At 8,364 feet, Gearhart Mountain stands higher than all the other volcanic domes in this Wilderness of high mountain meadows, cirques, and U-shaped valleys. Picturesque rock formations cap most of the ridgelines, offering sweeping views of the artistic sculpturings of long-vanished glaciers. Lodgepole pine, ponderosa pine, whitebark pine and white fir dominate the vegetation. There is only one lake in the Wilderness, Blue Lake. The Wild and Scenic North Fork Sprague River sweeps past the northern boundary of the area. The main thoroughfare, Gearhart Mountain Trail, provides about 13 miles of access for foot and horse traffic along the main ridge and to the well-visited shores of Blue Lake. Joining the main trail from the southwest is the 3 mile Boulder Creek Trail to the wilderness boundary and the 3.5 mile Deming Creek Trail to the Forest Trailhead. The wilderness has fairly gentle terrain and open forestland with beautiful mountain meadows with lush green ground cover, stands of aspens, and multitude of spring flowers that invites visitors to explore all corners of the wilderness The snow starts in late September and may linger until early July. Snowshoeing and backcountry skiing are increasingly popular sports here.
Leave No Trace
How to follow the seven standard Leave No Trace principles differs in different parts of the country (desert vs. Rocky Mountains). Click on any of the principles listed below to learn more about how they apply in the Gearhart Mountain Wilderness.
Digital and paper maps are critical tools for wilderness visitors. Online maps can help you plan and prepare for your visit ahead of time. You can also carry digital maps with you on your GPS unit or other handheld GPS device. Having a paper map with you in the backcountry, as well as solid orienteering skills, however, ensures that you can still route-find in the event that your electronic device fails.
Motorized equipment and equipment used for mechanical transport is generally prohibited in all wilderness areas.
This includes the use of motor vehicles, motorboats, motorized equipment, bicycles, hang gliders, wagons, carts, portage wheels, and the landing of aircraft including helicopters.
Oregon Wilderness Act of 1984 - Public law 98-328 (6/26/1984) To designate certain national forest system lands in the State of Oregon for inclusion in the National Wilderness Preservation
System, and for other purposes