backpack: Jefferson Park
Two night backpacking trip to Jefferson Park in the Mount Jefferson Wilderness, Oregon
Total mileage for all three days: 18.7 miles with 2,400 ft. elevation gain
about 6 miles with 1,800 ft. elevation gain
We hiked in via the Whitewater Trail to the PCT, then into Jefferson Park. Our campsite was at Rock Lake, which we had all to ourselves the first night. When we arrived at our campsite, we met three very nice guys (hello Gary, Alan and Dave!). We had been warned that the mosquitos were terrible, so we were prepared for the worst. Fortunately, they really weren’t that bad. I sprayed my clothing with Sawyer Permethrin and used Sawyer Picardin on my body… and it worked! Only two bites.
We met two super nice park rangers, who were checking permits. If you want to camp at Jefferson Park, you need to reserve a permit online.
4.7 miles with 600 ft gain + about 2 miles in the evening
We explored the Jefferson Park area, beginning at the PCT and heading north to Russell Lake. We then hiked south to the junction for Park Lake and the South Fork Breitenbush River. Both sides of the river were literally covered with wildflowers. After exploring this area and having lunch by the river, we continued back to the PCT and south to Scout Lake and Bays Lake. In the evening, we did a short hike to take photos at dusk, my favorite time of day to be running around with a camera in my hand.
hike out to the trailhead
about 6 miles with 1,800 ft. elevation loss