And towering over all this beauty are some majestic mountains. With the Cascade Mountain Range and Wallowa Mountains calling the Beaver State home, there are some pretty high peaks to climb, or just marvel at. These are the 10 highest mountain peaks in Oregon. (Spoiler alert: Mt. Bachelor doesn’t even make the cut!)
Towering at 11,249 ft, the potentially active stratovolcano is the highest mountain in Oregon and one of the loftiest in the country, due to its prominence. In the winter, Mt. Hood Meadows is one of the premier destinations for snow sports in the Pacific Northwest, while in the summer, hikers and campers can explore the Mt. Hood National Forest in all its vibrant beauty. The Cascade Range mountain houses 11 active glaciers and attracts more than 10,000 climbers a year, making its summit the most visited snow-covered peak in America.
Also part of the Cascade Range, Mount Jefferson is a stratovolcano and second largest peak in Oregon, with a height of 10,497 ft. Its rugged surroundings make this one of the hardest volcanoes to reach in the Cascades; however, its remote location doesn’t hinder its tourism. Visitors can hike, backpack, climb, and photograph the mountain all year long.
The four highest peaks in Oregon are all housed in the mighty Cascade Mountain Range, and coming in at number three is South Sister. Also known as “Charity,” the volcano is the tallest out of the trio called Three Sisters in Central Oregon and just slightly shorter than Mount Jefferson, soaring at 10,363 ft. South Sister last erupted 2,000 years ago and is a predominantly rhyolitic stratovolcano. Unlike its sisters, Charity has an uneroded summit crater, which holds a small crater lake known as teardrop pool—the highest lake in Oregon. It’s also the easiest of the three peaks to climb, and one of the most popular mountains in the state.
North Sister is just slightly shorter than South Sister, measuring in at 10,090 ft. Also known as “Faith,” it is the oldest and most eroded of the Three Sisters. Because of its age and conditions, North Sister is the most dangerous of the three peaks to climb and is often referred to as “The Beast of the Cascades.” However, one of its peaks, Little Brother, can be safely scrambled.
At 9,843 ft, Sacajawea Peak is the highest point in the Wallowa Mountains in Eastern Oregon and the fifth highest in Oregon. It’s also one of the most prominent peaks in the continental United States, ranking 18th, and the second most prominent in the state, behind Mount Hood. For curious mountaineers, the easiest way to summit Sacajawea is via its east ridge from Thorp Creek Meadows. It can also be reached along the ridge from the Matterhorn, though that route is only recommended for those with climbing experience.
Located in Southeast Oregon, Steens Mountain is the only peak on this list that isn’t part of a mountain range. Measuring in at an elevation of 9,738 ft, the fault-block mountain is the sixth highest peak in the state. Stretching approximately 50 miles north to south, Steens Mountain is often mistaken for a range, though it’s a singular entity. The mountain is traversed by a 52-mile loop road, which is suitable for passenger cars and elevates up to 9,700 ft, making it the highest road in Oregon. Aside from the typical recreational activities (hiking, bicycling, camping), there are numerous hot springs along the mountain’s base, including Alvord Hot Springs, and its remoteness makes for spectacular stargazing.
Standing tall at 9,662 ft, Aneroid Mountain is the second highest peak in the Wallowa Mountains and seventh in the state. It is located in the Eagle Cap Wilderness of the Wallowa National Forest, just 15 miles south of the Eastern Oregon town of Joseph. The ascent is a fairly easy one, but for those wanting to make it a challenge, try coming from south and climbing one of the basalt rims. Upon reaching the summit, mountaineers are rewarded with expansive views of the Wallowas, farther east to the Hells Canyon area and north to the Blue Mountains.
Not to be confused with the cult classic TV show, Twin Peaks is another high point of the Wallowa Mountains. Measuring in at 9,609 ft, it’s just a bit shorter than Aneroid, making it the eighth highest peak in Oregon and the third highest in the Wallowas.
Just shy of Twin Peaks and Aneroid’s heights, Red Mountain towers at 9,537 ft, making it the fourth highest peak in the Wallowa Mountains and ninth highest in Oregon.
Rounding out the Top 10 is Mount McLoughlin. Part of the Cascade Mountain Range, this steep-sided stratovolcano is the fifth highest peak in the Cascades and 10th in Oregon, with an elevation of 9,493 ft. Mount McLoughlin is a prominent landmark in the Rogue River Valley and just northeast of Crater Lake.
It’s enjoyed a handful of different monikers throughout the years, including Mount Pitt, Mal-sr, Alwilamchaldis, Makayax, Walum, Kesh yainatat, Melaiksi, and Mount Sastise, to list just a few.
But whatever you want to call it, this mountain is prime for hiking and skiing.