A Tough Hike to Fish Creek Mountain

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Fish Creek

The characteristics of a great day hike are solitude, a variety of things to see, a good workout and maybe the opportunity to do some bushwhacking.

The current trail to 5,100-foot Fish Creek Mountain meets all the criteria. It begins at an unmarked trailhead off of a rough dirt road southeast of Estacada, Oregon.

Leaving the trailhead, one gets the challenge of hiking a hard-to-follow access trail built by volunteers. The trail is very steep in places.

The only downside of the hike, compared to 20 years ago, is the old fire lookout site on the mountain’s summit is now overgrown with noble firs and mountain hemlocks standing well over my head. Still, there continues to be views extending to Mt. Jefferson. Although, about a mile down the trail from the summit is a much better viewpoint of Mt. Jefferson and Olallie Butte.

Wildflowers and colorful butterflies added to the beauty of the seven-mile outing with about 2,200 feet of elevation gain.

Mt. Jefferson

Hydaspe Fritillary Butterfly

Autumn leaves of a Vine Maple

The overgrown old lookout site

Mountain Hemlock cones

Mt. Hood

Woodland Skipper Butterfly


Noble Fir cones

Early morning sun shining through the trees

Olallie Butte

Yep, that’s the trail – – – find it if you can











Categories: Oregon Cascades HikesTags: , ,


  1. Nice hike and nice photos

  2. Great work as always John!

  3. Hi John-I did have done this hike for the Multnomah Athletic Club last year and prior to that did a bunch of trail maintenance as I scouted the trail. I wanted to add that going down to the lake right adds a bit more adventure and beauty to this hike—but adds about 3miles RT. It’s a very small lake nestled on what feels like the ledge outcrop. I’ve spent the night here a few times and it’s peaceful and always nice to find what feels like a hidden lake in the woods.

  4. Sigh. Autumn Leaves! I love the clouds that are nestled in the forefront of the Mt. Jefferson picture. Did you get to do some bush whacking then? The sun coming through the trees….and the path disappearing into the distance…great shot! Beautiful!

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