From Oakridge drive 2 miles east to Kitson Springs County Road (follow signs to Hills Creek Reservoir) and turn right. At the intersection the road turns into Forest Road 23. Continue straight ahead for 14 miles to the Vivian Lake Trailhead, which is across from Hemlock Butte. The trailhead is signed and is on the left. There is a wilderness self-register and information sign.
Excerpt from "75 Scrambles in Oregon” by Barbara I. Bond, The Mountaineers Books, 2005.
Submitted by the author.
The Diamond Peak Wilderness is home to its namesake peak and other eroded volcanic remnants along the Cascade Crest. Odell Lake and Crescent Lake form the north and south boundaries on the eastern side of the wilderness. Although the peaks are not the highest in Oregon, the stunning forest is dense with a mixture of remaining old growth and second-growth trees, which include mountain hemlock, Western white pine, Douglas fir, and true firs. For a quick getaway pack in to Divide Lake and spend a day or two scrambling to the summit of your choice of three 7000 foot peaks. Divide Lake has camping in the vicinity, and you can filter water there. Use LNT techniques in the wilderness.
Mount Yoran is the prominent volcanic remnant just north of the lake. A scramble up the rock-filled chute on the south flank of the crumbling mountain will reward you with quiet and unique views of the surrounding wilderness. The route is moderately steep and has plenty of loose rock. Keep to the edges of the chute to stay on solid rock. There are two other peaks in the area to explore. From the saddle south of Mount Yoran ascend the northwest ridge of Peak 7138. You can also reach the summit of Peak 6907 from that saddle and ascend the south ridge. From the Vivian Lake Trailhead take the Vivian Lake Trail to the Mount Yoran Trail – about 1 mile. The Mount Yoran Trail will reach Divide Lake in about 4 miles and is a wonderful base camp. Enjoy the wildflowers which are dense after the snowmelts in mid-summer. Indian paintbrush, penstemon, lupine and bear grass litter the meadows throughout the area.
Mount Yoran: 7100 feet
Elevation gain from trailhead: 2035 feet
Round trip distance not including other scrambles: 8 miles
Best time of year: July to October
Map: USGS Diamond Peak, or USDA Forest Service Diamond Peak Wilderness
Contact: Willamette National Forest, Middle Fork Ranger District 541-782-2283 or http://www.fs.fed.us/r6/willamette
Note: Mosquitoes are thick in early season – be prepared.
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The hike is on a well traveled trail. At divide lake it's easy to find the climbers trail. If you are comfortable on 3-4 class on loose rubble it's spectacular.