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Fuji Mountain, OR | July 2022

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Fuji Mountain, gem of the central Cascades, and well-loved hike, is a fantastic choice if you're in the area. Only half an hour from the highway, and with a very pleasant and well-worn trail to the top, this is the easiest hiking of any of the SOTA peaks in the area that aren't drive-ups.

On OR-58, Willamette Highway, the turnoff is about 15 miles east of Oakridge. The entrance is a pretty decently wide forest road, graveled, and you will immediately find yourself on a massively potholed road. Nonetheless, most passenger cars can navigate this carefully, and you will find yourself flying up a two-track forest road in much better shape in 5-10 minutes. The road curves and twists up, and just over halfway up, the main road curves right and up, but a spur goes straight; you'll want to keep going up, and the road is the best way to get there. Eventually, you'll see a sign for hikers, a nice wide pull-off to the right, and a row of parking - park perpendicular, this trail is still pretty popular. Head up the trail, after about .3 miles, you'll see a sign directing you either left, and slightly down, for Fuji Mountain, or right, to all other destinations. The trail says about 1 1/8 miles to the summit, and this is about right. The trail is easy and well-maintained (where I could see it under the snow) but this trail will maintain some snow even as the summit starts to clear, so you may not even make it to the trailhead in parts of June or even into July (July 7, with a heavy snowpack in the 2021-2022 snow season, had me stopped an extra .3 miles down the road. July 26, there was probably no snow on the trail at all.) There are also diamonds which will make this trail pretty easy to follow even through the snow, but unless the road is clear you'll not get close before the trail itself is patchy snow.

The summit has beautiful panoramic views of Odell Lake, Waldo Lake, the Sisters, adn Diamond Peak very up close and personal. 10/10, easy hike, great trail, beautiful summit. Didn't get any 2m to Eugene; a yagi would help you here, but I'm not sure why it didn't work for me anyway. There's plenty of room for an HF antenna; it's very steep on the north side of the ridge, but the south side has more wiggle room.

View of clouds in a valley, revealing the forest in places, with patches of snow