Battle Ax and Twin Lakes

  • Moderate (to Battle Ax)
  • 6.4-mile loop
  • 1730 feet elevation gain
  • Open mid-June through October
  • Use: hikers, horses

  • Difficult (to Lower Twin Lake)
  • 13.2 miles round-trip
  • 2340 feet elevation gain

Tallest peak in the Bull of the Woods Wilderness, Battle Ax not only commands views from Mt. Hood to Diamond Peak, but it also hosts an interesting rock garden of subalpine wildflowers and weather-stunted trees. The trail to the summit loops around the mountain’s base, past a collection of tranquil ponds. For a longer hike, bypass the summit and head for forest-rimmed Twin Lakes. Be warned that the very rough road to the trailhead is slow and bumpy.

Some say Battle Ax won its name because of the peak’s sharp, hatchet-shaped silhouette. Others note that “Battle Ax” was a brand of chewing tobacco popular when gold prospectors scoured this area in the 1890s.

To find the trailhead, drive …

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