A “one stop shop” for every nature lover.
Located within the Willamette National Forest, the Cowhorn Butte roadless area has something for every kind of nature lover!
For those looking for a big climb, Cowhorn Mountain, the halfway point between Diamond Peak and Mt. Thielsen, stands at 7,664 feet and is located within this region. This mountain, unknown to many, has a unique story of its own. The region originally had Little and Big Cowhorn Mountains, but the cowhorn shaped spire fell from Little Cowhorn during a 1911 storm that hit the area, and these mountains were renamed. Big Cowhorn was renamed Mt. Thielsen, and Little Cowhorn was changed to Cowhorn Mountain. This hike offers beautiful views of the surrounding areas, including Mt. Thielsen and Mt. Bailey that are spectacular. However, there are also views of many clear cuts that have occurred in the area that can be seen during this hike. Due to the storm that hit the area in 1911, the trail is highly eroded, creating varying colors of red and black along most of the way.
Anyone looking for a quick day hike- or easy backpacking trip -should look no further than Indigo Lake. A quick 3.6 miles round trip, starting from Timpanagas Lake Campground, this trail is filled with wildflowers and wonderful trees. The lake itself looks onto Sawtooth Mountain, offering a breathtaking view from any angle. As you walk around the lake, there are many established campsites that allow for overnight or multiple day trips to this area. From this point, there are also options to extend the trip to a longer loop, following two different trails, one to the East and one to the West.
This area also has attractions for long distance hikers, as the infamous Pacific Crest Trail runs straight through it. As this trail grows with popularity, it is going to become even more important to protect the area and ensure that the trail remains in good shape for all who will be using it.