Mount Bachelor is the place to go in Central Oregon in the Winter. The place is crawling with activity. How about a hike to the summit in the non-Winter days? That is just what happened this fall. I am still a little surprised how long it took for me to visit this local mountain. I found it to be what I expected, a nice climb. It is a good place to visit for a quick climb without having to travel very far.
The trailhead is easy to find, it’s the Mount Bachelor Resort parking lot. For those unfamiliar with the place, here are the directions from Redmond Oregon. As you can see, it is close to home.
Alexis joined me on the climb, and I have to mention that he did start feeling the affects of the altitude, even though this isn’t a taller mountain. Just goes to show that it can be a factor anytime you start climbing. A few years ago, we climbed Mount Adams and I had very little response to the altitude. That baby is a 12,000-foot climb. Later that year I climbed Diamond Peak. I was feeling altitude sickness even before I made it to the summit and it is only 8700 feet tall. You never know when you may have the added fun wrinkle of feeling like dog dirt on a mountain thanks to your goof-ball body and the altitude. I am happy to report that Alexis made it to the summit of Bachelor, he toughed it out.
The trail is out and back totaling six and a half miles with an elevation gain of 2700 feet. See what I mean, a nice stroll. It starts out on one of the service roads used by the Bachelor vehicles. It lasts about 1.5 miles until you reach the sunrise express lift. From there it becomes a trail and starts to climb a little more in ernest. Remember the dude from the Ernest saves Christmas movies? My wife thought he was so funny. I made it through one film, and even then, about halfway through that one I was feeling altitude sickness. It’s like we were climbing the mountain of bad comedy. It is funny how comedy is so individual. She thought that dude was a laugh a minute but finds no delight in true comic masterpieces, like The Airplane movies. I watched those as a kid so many times. I imagine I will find myself on the side of Mount Bachelor many more times now that I have cracked my nugget on it. You might ask what “cracked my nugget” means. I say let your mind fill in the blanks, hopefully you fill it with something slightly off base and hilarious, like the Airplane movies. Surely you will come up with something.
I like this trail because it has good old switchbacks, there aren’t any real steep climbing sections, a moderate uphill climb. The views of Broken Top and South Sister are worth the trip. I take away a little bit because of the constant view of man-made stuff. I understood what I was getting into, but I do enjoy seeing more nature and less metal on my hikes.
Just before you get to the summit, you reach a spot where you have views of the other side of the mountain. This was my favorite part of the climb. Right after that, you come to an opening on the East side and, by far, the best views of the Three Sisters and all their kin. It is a nice spot. There is a gap in the landscape that opens up this nice view. The summit is just steps away.
We were able to make it to the top, have a bit of a snack and get back down and into Redmond by the early afternoon. There is a geographical marker up there, I won’t tell you where so you can have a little fun searching for it.
Mount Bachelor is very busy in the summer as well as the Winter. There are bike riders all over the place. As you make your way down, be mindful of them, yield the right of way. They are really moving and sometimes your trail intersects with theirs as they are coming out of a corner. Don’t dilly around on their trail. It was fun watching them blaze down the mountain. I would be up for trying it sometime. I will rent a bike and not trust my $85 rusty, Walmart Special.
The only thing that could have improved this hike was running into some bohemians. I am really digging the bohemian clothes these days. They just have a vibe. I haven’t had the honor of wearing them yet, one day I will. Will it make my days and water more refreshing? I can only say yes, yes they will.
The Mount Bachelor trail is not open for hiking while the ski season is happening so you will have to work with that. I recommend a late Spring or Fall hike. If you go in the summer, please be prepared for the exposure. Take plenty of water and wear light breathable clothes, bohemian clothes will do just fine.
The first mile and a half are on the road.
We see you Broken Top
A glimpse of the top while still on the road.
The Sunrise Express is just below. Expect nice views of the Cascades, you will get them.
Just below the Summit. Not a big fan of the smoke but it gave us a nice picture.
A good place to kick back and have a snack and break.