Hager Mountain Lookout

Hager Mountain is a volcanic peak in Oregon just South of the small community of Silver Lake, in the Fremont-Winema National Forest. The summit is 7,189 feet. There you can find Hager Mountain Lookout. The 14x14 foot room with large glass windows on all four sides offers spectacular panoramic views of the surrounding area. On a clear day you can see Mt. Shasta, Mt. Hood, Mt. Thielson, The Three Sisters, and more.

In preparation of this hike, we did two practice hikes with our packs. One on foot, and one with snowshoes. I knew it would be a difficult climb, but had no idea what I was in store for. This was definitely the scariest and hardest thing I have ever done.



We started around 10:15am. The weather was in our favor with the sun shining and just a few clouds in the sky. The trail started out with patches of snow and eventually stopped to put our snowshoes on about half a mile in. The incline was steady and do-able. About half way there we stopped, took our packs off, and had a 10 minute rest break.

When we reached about mile 3.5, the mountain turned steep and dangerous. There were two stretches where we were walking sideways in our snowshoes on a cliff. I do not like heights, so when one of my snowshoes slipped out from under me, with my legs so tired and near collapse, I broke down. I didn't want to do it anymore. I was scared, and exhausted, and started to cry. I broke down. Luckily with encouraging words from Cody, I overcame my fear and trekked on. The incline was brutal. By the time we reached the top I felt so sick to my stomach, I wanted to be sick. I think it was a mixture of elevation sickness and exhaustion. 
We reached the summit at 2:15pm, making the total hike 4 hours long.


Unfortunately I didn't get as many pictures as I wanted because the next day the weather turned, and we had very little visibility.



For breakfast, we boiled snow to make water for our coffee, and Red Mountain Salsa I purchased from R.E.I. We added three eggs and it was delicious! I highly recommend these. These will definitely be a staple of ours for future backpacking trips.


We played lots of Yahtzee, and Phase 10, and listened to a great local radio station (92.9 FM). I was surprised to have great cell phone service at the top with full bars. We were able to charge our phones with my Goal Zero solar panel.


With the bad weather, I was very scared to leave the lookout and hike down our final morning. To my surprise, the trek down was much easier than I anticipated. It only took us about 2 hours to get down with no breaks! The first thing we did when we got back to the truck was crack open some cold beers to celebrate. The feeling of accomplishment is amazing and I can't wait to tackle another mountain.

Have you stayed in any lookout towers? I know they are very difficult to reserve. I think I got really lucky and got on just in time after someone had canceled.
The other lookout tower I really want to go to is Bolan Mountain Lookout but unfortunately there is no hike, and you drive right up to it.

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