- Easy (road to summit)
- 1.2 miles round trip
- 340 feet elevation gain
- Open April through November
- Easy (Meadow Edge Trail)
- 2.4-mile loop
- 500 feet elevation gain
- Moderate (East Ridge Trail)
- 5.4-mile loop
- 1250 feet elevation gain
Highest spot in the Coast Range, Marys Peak’s wildflower-dotted summit meadows command views from the ocean to the Cascades. Four different trails ascend this mountain, ranging from easy paths to long, hard climbs. A snow gate blocks the upper part of the road (above Conners Camp) from late November through March. A National Forest parking pass is required, but is available at the trailhead.
Kalapuya Indians sent young men to the summit in quest of guiding spirit visions. The mountain’s Indian name, Chateemanwi (“place where spirits dwell”), survives in the name for nearby Chintimini Creek. Numerous Marys have been credited for the peak’s mysterious English name.
Indian legend offers an explanation for the summit’s unusual alpine wildflowers and noble fir forest—rare in the Coast Range. Apparently the trickster god Coyote stole Panther’s wife, and Panther retaliated by kidnapping Coyote’s son. In his anger, Coyote dammed the Willamette and flooded all but this peak’s summit, which he spared as a refuge for plants and animals. Botanists see a thread of truth in the tale. Oregon’s climate has warmed over the past 6000 years, forcing once-common Ice Age species to retreat to this mountaintop “island.”
The easiest and only crowded hike at Marys Peak is …
For a shorter drive (but a longer hike), take …
The most challenging route …
This chapter taken from the book 100 Hikes/Travel Guide: Oregon Coast & Coast Range.