Diamond Peak Wilderness: Marie and Rockpile Lakes

Campsite on the shores of Marie Lake

After setting out from the Emigrant Pass trailhead north on the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT), I quickly remembered why people avoid the area until September. The mosquitoes were pretty incredible. There are countless small ponds along with the occasional lake. Mountain hemlock is the dominate forest tree through out Diamond Peak Wilderness.

Entering Diamond Peak Wilderness along the Pacific Crest Trail

Trail junction to Rockpile Lake and Marie Lake
Nearly 3 miles of your hike to Marie Lake is along the almost flat PCT. After turning left at the four way trail junction you will descend along a path that was once a road. Thankfully the Diamond Peak Wilderness was designated in 1964 which prevents motorized access.  Both Rockpile and Marie Lakes are beautiful, but Marie won my heart.

Marie Lake Diamond Peak Wilderness Willamette National Forest

Rockpile Lake in Diamond Peak Wilderness Willamette National Forest
 Marie Lake is relatively warm by western Oregon standards, but after a short swim setting up my tent was absolutely necessary. The mosquitoes along the lake shore would have been an absolute nightmare without a tent. There was another group camped along the western shore, but I only heard them right around sunset.

On the way back to the Pacific Crest Trail

Diamond Peak and a small meadow near Rockpile Lake
 On the way back towards the PCT there are breathtaking views of Diamond Peak. Late summer and early fall are the best time to check out Diamond Peak Wilderness. 

Directions from Oakridge: Follow Highway 58 for 1.8 miles to FR 21, turn right and follow for 31 miles, turn left onto FR 2154, follow signs to Summit Lake.

Hike Distance:  8.13

Hike Type: Out and Back 

Elevation Gain: 600 Feet

Trailhead Elevation: 5,600 Feet

Usage: Light

Difficulty: 1 out of 5 because of rough terrain

Fees: Northwest Forest Pass or 5 dollars

Cell Service with Verizon: None

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