After a beautiful hike to Ramona Falls on Mt. Hood, we came home and began planning our next adventure. We decided our next weekend trip would be into the Mt. Jefferson Wilderness area, as it was a part of Oregon we hadn’t really explored.
We picked a somewhat primitive campground, Riverside, in the Santiam Pass for our stay. Located right on the North Santiam River, Riverside Campground was a nice place to set up home base. The sites are spacious and beautiful and many allow for a great view of the river. Although the campground is located right off the main highway, the noise from the river and dense vegetation make for a nice barrier from traffic noise.
Our plan was to hike up to Pamelia Lake. The landscape promised streams, meadows and views of Mt. Jefferson. Because this is such a popular hike, the forest service has now made it a limited entry area, and you must get a permit in advance in an effort to limit foot traffic. The hike to Pamelia Lake climbs about 800 ft. in elevation and is fairly easy.
Our hike to Pamelia was beautiful and as the day was still young we decided to continue our hike up to Hunts Cove. We had been told by fellow hikers that we’d met on the trail, that the hike was beautiful and the lake was worth the extra walk. Several couples we met along the way were planning on camping overnight at the alpine lake. What we didn’t realize though was just how far it was…at day’s end we put in almost 18 miles. What the backpackers hadn’t expected was that the lake was still totally frozen and the area was still buried in snow. It didn’t seem to detour anyone though, as we saw several small camps made along the lake in the snowfields.