mount Bachelor



Country: United States

Location: Central Oregon Cascade Mountains

Round trip: 5 km

Start elevation: 1930 m

Final elevation: 2763 m

Maps: Mt. Bachelor, Broken Top (USGS 1: 24,000)

Contributor: Charles Hipkin and Hilary Hipkin

getting there

From Bend, go west for about 20 miles on Highway 46 (Cascade Lakes Highway) to the Mount Bachelor Ski Area. You may have to park at the side of the road outside the barrier. If so, walk up the paved road to Sunrise Lodge where the trail begins.

featured plant

Hulsea nana

partial plant list

Anemone drummondii

Arabis platysperma

Cardamine bellidifolia

Castilleja applegatei

Castilleja arachnoidea

Castilleja hispida

Castilleja parviflora

Dieteria canescens var. shastensis

Draba aureola

Erigeron compositus

Eriogonum marianum

Eriogonum pyrolifolium

Hieracium gracile

Hulsea nana

Luetkea pectinata

Lupinus lepidus

Penstemon davidsonii

Phacelia hastata

Phyllodoce empetriformis

Polemonium pulcherrimum

Polygonum newberryi

Saxifraga tolmiei


Mt Bachelor is a singular, volcanic cone. Although principally a skiing venue, in summer it is quiet and offers a short but moderately strenuous hike that has a volcanic talus flora that is typical of the Central Oregon Cascades. The summit views are fabulous.

The trail clambers over volcanic scree and is moderately steep in places, but plant hunting and photography will break up this relatively short hike. Initially you will wind your way up through groves of Mountain Hemlock, where in open areas you will glimpse photogenic views of the Three Sisters and Broken Top Mountain. Above tree-line, spreading mats of lavender-purple flowering Penstemon davidsonii are very common among the volcanic cinder and the pristine white flowers of Anemone drummondii make a striking contrast against the charcoal black talus. Castilleja arachnoidea, a paintbrush so typical of volcanic mountains in Northern California and Oregon, occurs here in different colour forms from yellow to dull red. Other common species you’ll encounter include Lupinus lepidusSaxifraga tolmiei and the saxifrage-like Luetkea pectinata (a member of the rose family). As you approach the upper ski-station, the bright yellow composite flowers of Hulsea nana are outstanding. To reach the summit from here you have to scramble up a poorly defined trail. On top you will see mats of daisy-like Erigeron compositus, the distinctive Draba aureola and carpets of Polemonium pulcherrimum ssp. pulcherrimum.

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