Placeholder Routes & Places


Backpack - Gearhart Mountain

Submit leader permission requests beginning July 1. Enjoy spectacular scenery, rock formations, and uncommon flora in this unique wilderness area.

COVID-19: Learn about our most up-to-date guidance for participants and leaders on our COVID-19 Response page. All participants and leaders must agree to the COVID-19 Code of Conduct before participating in this Mountaineers activity.
  • Moderate
  • Moderate
  • Mileage: 20.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 1,920 ft
  • High Point Elevation: 8,120 ft

7:30am Lookout Rock Trailhead, 1.4 miles beyond Dairy Creek Campground

UPDATED 5/28/21:

Covid-19 -- This trip is open only to folks that are fully vaccinated, in accordance with Mountaineers updated policy and  leader's preference.   Leader will request a copy of vaccination card for proof.         

Members only.  Minimum 3 persons.  Leader permission required. 

Request permission using leader permission link (and forward copy of completed form in an email, as I am not receiving some permission forms, including responses to following: Mountaineers multi-night moderate (or higher difficulty) backpacks completed during current and past 2 years, at least one higher elevation (mostly over 7,500') Mountaineers backpacks during past 5 years, current hiking/conditioning activities, and why this backpack is of interest (backpacking only, wildflowers, photography, etc.)  

Be sure you read all leader notes and route/place info, prior to submitting leader permission request.

Car camp (Corral Creek) or motel accommodations recommended in Bly area night for the night prior to the backpack.

Leisurely to moderate-paced naturalist/photo oriented backpack to enjoy  the best of a fascinating area- the Gearhart Mountain Wilderness.  Option to add a 4th day (6/28),  depending on group interest.  If you are looking for a faster paced backpack, please choose a different backpack. 

Itinerary:  Day 1:  Ascend the trail about 5 miles on the south side of  Gearhart Mountain to upper Dairy Creek basin's alpine meadows to set up camp for two nights, then and hike 2.6 mile round trip with to The Notch which is a pass just below the summit.  Day 2:  Hike up to 10 miles round trip over The Notch and toward Blue Lake on the north side of Gearhart Mountain.  Day 3:  Backpack out.  We'll have time to explore the wildflowers in Dairy Creek Meadows during our days on Gearhart Mountain.

The scenery, rock formations, and high elevation trees and flora on Gearhart Mountain are spectacular.  The flora of Gearhart Mountain, situated between the southern Oregon Cascades and the intermountain basin and range region.  Of the 250 plants found on Gearhart Mountain, 119 are found in either or both Crater Lake National Park and Steens Mountain further east.

See link to Kalmiopsis (Native Plant Society of Oregon) article on Gearhart Mountain Wilderness' geology and plants, including a plant list:

Gearheart Mountain weather:

Gearhart Mountain trip reports:


Gearhart Mountain

  • USGS Sandhill Crossing, OR

    USGS Lee Thomas Crossing, OR

    USGS Gearhart Mountain, OR

    USGS Campbell Reservoir, OR

    The Oregon Outback (Pacific Northwest Recreation Map Series)
  • See full route/place details.
Required Equipment

Required Equipment

The Ten Essentials plus overnight gear which may include:

  • Tent with footprint/ground tarp
  • Stove and fuel
  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping pad
  • Water filter
  • Bear canister or extra stuff sack and cord designated for hanging food
  • Cooking pot/pan with plate and utensils
  • Toilet paper and shovel or blue bag to deal with waste
Trip Reports