The "Inback" Tour along the Middle Willamette River
Traveling in the Cascade Mountains of Oregon

a turnoff off the willamette pass leads to hills creek reservoir and the middle willamette river, waterfalls, hiking trails, campgrounds, diamond peak wilderness, oregon cascades wilderness area and more in the cascade mountains of oregon.

Brad calls this the "Inback" Tour in contrast to the Outback: An alternative to the Willamette Pass: Diamond Peak Wilderness, Crescent Lake, other mountain Lakes, camping & hiking trails in the Willamette National and Deschutes Forests of Oregon.

Beginning in the Willamette Valley: Access Oregon State Hwy 58, or the Willamette Pass, as it's also known, on I - 5 just south of Eugene. The sign says Klamath Falls. That's the exit to take.

Follow Oregon State Hwy 58 to Oakridge.

These are forest service roads; you might want to check at the ranger station western outskirts of Oakridge and ask about road conditions, fire conditions and any other information you may want or need. Also, these directions are sparse compared to others I've shared on the sight. I need to head out here and explore more, and the directions will expand accordingly.

Continuing on Hwy 58: On the eastern outskirts of Oakridge, you'll see the sign for Hills Creek Reservoir on the right. Take this turnoff. Cross the bridge you'll be driving along the reservoir, and afterwards, the road follows the middle fork of the Willamette River.

There are many forest service campgrounds out here. Stop and spend one night or more, check out the swimming holes, try some fishing. This is beautiful country. When you're ready to move on, the road continues south and east, curving around the other side of Diamond Peak giving access to the Diamond Peak Wilderness area. Eventually the road comes out at Crescent Lake. You can continue on around the other side of the lake or take the first turning, which will take you to Crescent Lake Junction on the Willamette Pass. I imagine the road to Crescent Lake Junction is better than the other alternative, and this route touches the far eastern border of the Diamond Peak Wilderness area where it comes down to meet the lake.

Brad and I have hiked to mountain lakes out here: June and Indigo Lakes. Indigo Lake is especially beautiful, as one might imagine from the name. More than that, the contrast between the cobalt blue of the water & the backdrop of white stone is quite striking. June Lake is less striking, but offers its own charm. Want to fish ... I assume the fishing is good. I've seen people up here fishing.

I regret you'll have to ask at the Forest Service Station for directions to the lakes. Brad and I went on these hikes during the first summer of my life in the woods; everything was new to me, and I certainly don't remember how to drive around in our national forests and find these lakes. :-)

I do, however, remember the the first time we went to Crescent Lake; we began our journey at Crescent Junction, and took that road out there, forest service road 60, and there were deep, large puddles. That was not during summer, and summer or early autumn offer the best times with respect for roads for driving out there. If it's too late in the year, the danger of fires in the forest is a definite possibility, so plan your trip accordingly. No matter the time, high clearance on your vehicle is wise, if not 4-wheel drive, is a necessity. As I said, be sure to check at the forest service station. :-)


Forward ~ Scenic Vistas on the Willamette Pass.

Back ~ Travel Tour for the Willamette Pass.

USFS: The Willamette National Forest
and USFS: Deschutes Ochoco National Forest.

Hiking Trails and Campgrounds on the Crescent Lake/Oakridge "Inback" Travel Tour.

Brad and I are happy to present the Travel Tour Guide for the Willamette Pass and Surrounding Areas: Directions, Map and Scenery and the Aufderheide.

bridges on hiking trails in the cascade mountains of oregon.  

Travel Oregon and northern California while staying at Gathering Light ... a retreat
located in southern Oregon near Crater Lake National Park.


Travel on the Willamette Pass, Hwy 58, to Gathering Light ... a retreat: Travel Directions, Map & Scenery: Hiking trails, mountain lakes, waterfalls, mountains, horseback riding trails, winter sports and more.

Travel Directions to and Day Trips of around 100 miles from the retreat.

Little known Scenic Places near Crater Lake and the retreat: opportunities to explore and photograph nature untrammeled: hiking, sightseeing, wildlife viewing, birding, & more: Travel Directions, Map & Scenery.

the sunset log cabin at gathering light ... a retreat in southern oregon near crater lake national park: cabins, tree houses in the forest on the river.  

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