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Mt. Washington is an eroded volcanic plug in the central Oregon Cascades, the main rock types are basalts, including andesite. As with most Oregon cascade mountains the rock quality is generally crumbly and poor, however the quality does improve at the summit's exposed volcanic plug (still not super though). The majority of summits seem to happen from mid-June through September, although year round summit possibilities exist. There are several routes to the summit though the most popular is the North Ridge route. Make sure to sign the summit register!
From Highway 20 you take the turn off for Big Lake/Hoodoo ski bowl near Santiam Pass and continue on this road for 4.2 miles (US forest Service road #2690) till the road ends at the Patjens Lake trail head there is parking here and all along the roads numerous turn-outs. Take the Patjens lake trail for about a mile (shortly after it leaves the lake) then cut south-east through game trails to meet up with the Pacific-Crest trail and continue along the PCT for another mile or so till you'll see the climbers trail to your left, it is supposedly marked by a cairn but is snow fields are still present it can be easy to miss so pay close attention, if you hit Cold water Springs you've gone to far. Follow the climbers trail/bushwhack east till you hit the ridge desired for your route. An alternative and my recommended approach (although it is a couple miles longer) is to park at the PCT trailhead turnout off Hwy 20, about 3/4 mile further down the road if comming from the west. From the trailhead take the PCT south till the climbers trail just before Cold Water Springs. Both trailheads require self issued wilderness permits available at the trailheads. And I'm not sure but think you might need a Northwest Forest Pass or equivalent. Call the McKenzie River Ranger District Phone: 541-822-3381 for additional information.
Browse More Classics in Mt. Washington
Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Mt. Washington:
North Ridge Easy 5th Easy Snow Trad, Snow, 2 pitches
North Ridge - Summer 5.1 PG13 Trad, 3 pitches, 350 feet
Featured Route For Mt. Washington
North Ridge - Summer 5.1 PG13 OR : Mt. Washington
Just a couple additions to add for a summer climbI parked at the PCT trail head and found the cairn on the left about 2.5 miles in on the PCT.Turn left at the cairn and with some light bushwhacking for about 200 yards you'll find trials that lead up to the North Ridge.Once on the ridge any obstacles you come to pass them on the West side which has less exposure.At the base of the summit pinnacle you will encounter a loose gully. Follow the gully up left and eastward until you see a ledge up 10 f...[more] Browse More Classics in OR