Marie Lake and Diamond Peak

(to both lakes)
5.8 miles round trip
1060 feet elevation gain
Open mid-July through October
Use: hikers, horses

Difficult (to high point of PCT)
11.2 miles round trip
2040 feet elevation gain

Very Difficult (to summit)
12 miles round trip
3750 feet elevation gain 

Left: Marie Lake
Below: Hogback route to Diamond Peak summit
At bottom: Diamond Peak from meadow near the PCT

Climbers heading up 8744-foot Diamond Peak often pause to rest at Marie and Rockpile Lakes, two sweet little pools separated by a meandering alpine meadow. Word has  eaked out that the lakes themselves make a great destination, even for hikers with children. If you’d like a better look around, simply continue up the Pacific Crest Trail to its highest point on the bouldery shoulder of Diamond Peak. And if you’re still not satisfied with the view, why not climb the mountain? No technical skills or rock-climbing gear are required­—just lots of stamina and a knack for route finding.

Start by driving ...

Then backtrack 0.2 mile to the trail junction, continue straight 200 yards to a rock cairn, and detour 200 yards to the right to Rockpile Lake—small, but deep and green. Plenty of flat campsites are around to the left, on the lake’s far side.

If you’re not yet ready to return to the car...

This chapter is an excerpt from 100 Hikes/Travel Guide: Central Oregon Cascades.

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