This hike took place on 9/13/15
Mt. Bachelor is best known for it’s amazing lift system in winter to shred the white waves of snow and also for the last two summers ripping dirt turns on bikes. Far fewer people know that it’s a great place for a summit hike. With crowds of people hitting the taller and longer South Sister hike in the late summer, Bachelor remains largely overlooked and driven past by most people. Little do they know that it’s got a great marked trail from sunrise parking lot and only takes a half day round trip to summit.
There are two ways to get up to mid mountain from the Sunrise Lodge. We chose to take the service road up on this trip. I find it a little easier to hike to keep the legs fresh for the Summit part of the hike. The service road offers some great views on the lower mountain and it is easy to find just walking up from the Sunrise lift.
From there, just make your way up till you get to the base of the Summit chairlift. From the base of the summit lift, head east to the ridge and you will pick up the single track trail heading to the summit. This is where the trail becomes more challenging as it starts the climb through the lava rocks in a series of switchbacks.
The views seem to change at every turn as you make your way up the ridge line, stopping now and then to catch your breath and look around. As you make your way up you get your first glimpse of the summit shack and by far the most challenging part of the hike.
At this point the trail gets rockier and steeper but the trail is still well-marked as you make the final push to the top of the summit lift. From this point it’s a great place to look around and check out the views to the south. Seeing all the lakes is quite stunning and on a clear day you can see all the way to Mt. Shasta. After some sightseeing it’s time to make your way past the Summit lift shack to the true summit of Bachelor. Just keep following the trail to the west and up the ridge towards the bowl for an amazing view looking out towards the Sisters and Broken Top Mountain.
From here you can keep going up by following the trail as it heads to the south and wraps back around for the final push to the very top at 9065 feet. The views up at the top are breathtaking even if you have seen them in the winter as summer changes the look of the surrounding mountains. From here you just follow your tracks back down the way you came up as the trail is an out and back. Heading back down can be a little hard on the knees so take your time and enjoy the views looking North back towards Tumalo mountain.
On our way back we chose to follow the single track trail back down from the top of the Sunrise lift. It offers a different perspective on the way down and you are walking in the forest most of the way back.
This hike is best in late August and all of September as it will be snow free most years. It will take you 3-4 hours of some strenuous hiking round trip plus sightseeing to make the 6.2 mile trip, with an elevation gain of 2500 feet. Also take note that there is no water available and to bring a light coat as the wind likes to blow at the top. As with any high elevation hike bring sun and wind protection and of course a camera.