Mount McLoughlin

Standing almost 4,500 feet above the surrounding landscape, Mt. McLoughlin remains snow capped much of the year. While the mountain can be formidable during the winter and into spring, once melted out in the summer, a five mile trail on the east ridge leads to it's top. Out of the many routes up Mount McLoughlin, the East Ridge route is the most common and most moderate way up the mountain. Plan for a long, strenuous, and rocky hike up!

Distance & Elevation

Five miles & 3895 vertical feet from the summer trailhead. From the winter trailhead, Six miles & 4425 vertical feet.


Located in the Sky Lakes Wilderness area and part of the Cascade Volcanic Arc, Mount McLoughlin is a shield volcano topped by a lava cone. Its northeast side was carved out by a glacier during the last ice age creating the semi-cirque we see there today.

Directions & Map:

Recommended Equipment

Having the right gear can make or break a trip, especially if something bad happens. Below is a general overview of the gear needed for climbing this mountain in winter. This is our standard mountaineering gear list that is often added to or subtracted from. Make sure to adjust this list based on which season it is, which route you are doing, your strategy for climbing the route, the strength and experience of your group, and what the weather will be like during the climb. An easy way to remember what to pack is to break it down into groups of gear you need to have for the climb. See below, and please contact us if you have any questions whatsoever!

Food & Water

For water, 2L-3L per person per day is recommended just for drinking. Snow can be a great source of water on the mountain as long as you're careful about it and have the means to melt enough of it. Collect only clean looking white snow. We all know not to use the yellow snow but also don't use the red/pink snow. It is a type of algae that will do a number on your stomach.

As for food, several small snacks throughout the day are recommended. Big meals are fun but bog you down. Save the big meals for camp. Small snacks allow for a continual flow of energy to your body. For your snacks, try to balance sugars, fats, proteins, and carbs so your body is continually fueled. This helps reduce crashes in energy during the day.

Additional Info

Resources & Links


Click Here for the NOAA weather forcast for this area.