Best Hikes on Earth: Mary’s Peak

The Original Self Portrait, Mary’s Peak 2005

Last summer, I wrote a post on my All-time Top 5 Favorite Hikes. This past weekend I got to revisit one of the best: Mary’s Peak, the highest summit in Oregon’s Coast Range.

When I lived in Oregon, I hiked up Mary’s Peak at least once a week. The trail winds up through pristine Oregon Old Growth woods and then summits in a vast widflower-filled meadow. From the top you can see the Pacific to the west and the Cascade volcanoes to the east. Step for step, it’s one of the most beautiful hikes on Earth.

Mount Hood from Mary’s Peak, January 2006

Summit Weather Station, January 2006

Snowy Oregon Old Growth

It’s a good thing I remember the view from the summit well, because when I revisited Mary’s Peak over the weekend, I saw nothing but clouds. The view was completely socked in by fog, in all directions. Even still, the hike up through the misty trees was stunning and still worthy of my top 5.

Oregon Old Growth, Mary’s Peak June 2012

Feeling Lucky!

To the Summit!

Foggy Summit Field

This fence is new. You used to be able to walk right up to the weather station. No more. Sigh.


Mary’s Woods at Mary’s Peak

A Top Ten hikes post is on my to write list! Stay tuned…

About theblondecoyote

Mary Caperton Morton is a freelance science and travel writer with degrees in biology and geology and a master’s in science writing. A regular contributor to EARTH magazine, where her favorite beat is the Travels in Geology column, she has also written for the anthologies Best Women's Travel Writing 2010 and Best Travel Writing 2011. Mary is currently based in western Colorado. When she’s not at the computer she can usually be found outside -- hiking, skiing, climbing mountains and taking photographs. Visit her website at
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6 Responses to Best Hikes on Earth: Mary’s Peak

  1. runninghip says:

    Beautiful photos. Envy you for seeing this in person, and looking forward to your Top 10 list!

  2. mountainmae says:

    Love the picture at the summit- the dog obviously enjoyed it also.

  3. LA Edwards says:

    I love hearing about all of your adventures. Great photos!

  4. what beautiful photographs! Wish I was on this adventure with you.

  5. Christine says:

    Nice pictures of Mt. Hood! I really enjoyed being in Oregon. I am an American expat who lives in Europe.

  6. Pingback: I ♥ Volcanoes! « Travels with the Blonde Coyote

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