Blue Lake Tr3422

3D view of Blue Lake Trail #3422

Overall: 5

Aerobic: 5

Technical: 6

Steepness: 5

Flow: 5

Singletrack: 100%

Blue Lake Tr3422 is a Mount Jefferson Wilderness area hiking and XC Ski trail.




Avg: 17mi



Elevation Change

Avg Ascent:2850'

Ascent Incline



Avg: 4hr





With several well defined loops, this area was once accessible to biking, but no more. The terrain is well suited for XC Ski and day hikes.

As with many other west-side Cascade ranger districts, there are essentially no biking trails in the Detroit or Sweet Home ranger districts, with the Blue Lake page as one of the few pages on the site exclusive to hiking and XC Ski. Plenty of good riding opportunities available in nearby ranger districts.

The Camp Pioneer, Clarke Nature Trail, Maxwell Butte and Marion Lake trailheads offer relatively easy access to the area and the elevation gains are moderate enough for intermediate hikers.

Marion Forks is the largest CG in the area, with smaller campgrounds at Fay Lake, Lost Lake and Camp Pioneer. Riverside CG is just north of Marion Forks CG, on SR22.

The Middle Santiam Wilderness is west of SR20 and north of SR22, with a vast area to explore. The Crescent and Pyramid Mountains are the most easily accessible, with ridgeline terrain continuing on to Knob Rock and Chimney Peak, for those able to set up a shuttle.


Marion Lake Loop

This 14mi (2800' ascent) CW loop skirts the eastern side of Marion Lake, then traverses the Horse Pasture Creek drainage on Minto Pass Tr3437, to Bowerman Lake Tr3492.

The 5350' loop summit is just north of Blue Lake, while crossing the Jack Creek headwaters (while traversing the Marion Mountain ridgeline), with a steep descent past the Pine Ridge Tr3443 intersection, to Marion Falls.

Blue Lake to Marion Lake is relatively steep so this day hike works better as a CW loop.

Mosquitoes are ferocious in this area until August. Feel free to try the natural repellents, and avoid drinking carbonated drinks prior to hiking, but Deet 100 may be the only protection from 'the swarm'.

Directions: See Map. View Larger Map. No Map?.

Maxwell Butte, Marion Lake, Santiam, Turpentine, Duffy Lake, Blue Lake Trail #3422 Topo Map

Loop Directions

Turpentine, Duffy, Marion loop

Blue Lake Area Topo Map

  • TH: Park at the Camp Pioneer, Fay Lake TH or Duffy Lake TH, and hike the Blue-Turpentine loop CCW, as Blue Lake Tr3422 is a steep descending traverse of the Marion Mountain ridgeline.



Middle Santiam Wilderness

FR11 to the north and SR20 to the south create relatively easy access to this popular four-season wilderness area.

SR20 has a number of sno-parks, with the Tombstone SnoPark at 4200' and the other sno parks in the low 4000' elevations, well suited for XC Skiing.

The road is dangerous and sometimes unexpectedly snowed in during the winter, requiring a 4WD and chains. If possible, bring winter camping gear (tent, bag, stove, light, food), to cover any unintended overnight stays. Arrive with a full gas tank, and bring a GPS and other supplies in case of emergency.

Chimney Peak Tr3382 crosses the unbridged Middle Santiam, then wanders through old growth forest to Donaca Lake and on to Chimney Peak.

The rocky crags of the Pyramids are the primary area geological feature, with steeply wooded slopes leading to a series of open meadows. Access roads make this a good shuttle-hike choice, possibly combines with Crescent Mountain Tr3384.

Far more rugged and remote, McQuade Creek Tr3397 is more difficult to access, but can also be set up as a shuttle-hike.

Consider Chimney Peak Tr3382, Swamp Peak Tr3401 and Gordan Peak Tr3387 for a loop, possibly requiring as an overnight trip. The far larger loop, which includes Scar Mountain Tr3402, would be an overnight trip for experienced hikers.

Trail Index

Mount Jefferson Wilderness Hiking

Blue Lake Trail 3422, Bowerman Lake Trail 3492, Clark Creek Nature Trail 3456, Dixie Trail 3494, Duffy Lake Trail 3427, Maxwell Butte Trail 3391, Minto Pass Trail 3437, Pine Ridge Trail 3443, Santiam Trail 3491, Santiam Lodge Trail 3496, Turpentine Trail 3490

Middle Santiam Wilderness Hiking

Chimney Peak Trail 3382, Cone Peak Trail 3408, Crescent Mountain Trail 3384, Daly Lake Trail 3385, Echo Basin Trail 3410, Gordan Peak Trail 3387, McQuade Creek Trail 3397, North Pyramid Trail 4161, Parish Lake Trail 3383, Pyramids Trail 3380, Riggs Lake Trail 3388, Scar Mountain Trail 3402, South Pyramid Creek Trail 3403, Swamp Peak Trail 3401

XC Ski

Big Springs Loop Tr4152, Lava Lake Access East Tr4151

SnoParks and Campgrounds

Big Meadows Horse Camp, Big Springs SnoPark, Camp Pioneer, Fay Lake Campground, Fernview Campground, Fish Lake Campground, House Rock Campground, Lava Lakes SnoPark, Lost Lake Campground, Lost Prairie Campground, Marion Forks Campground, Maxwell SnoPark, Ray Benson SnoPark, Riverside Campground, Santiam SnoPark, Tombstone SnoPark


Trail Rankings

Ranking consistently applied to all of the listed trails.

  • Overall Rating: Ride quality and challenge
  • Aerobic: Ascent challenge
  • Technical Difficulty: Terrain challenge
  • Steepness: Average incline
  • Flow: Uninterrupted riding
  • Elevation Change: Total elevation gain
  • Ride Difficulty: Terrain challenge






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