Tenas Peak Loop
ElevationAscent: 2,303' 702 m
Descent: -2,303' -702 m
High: 6,534' 1,992 m
Low: 4,303' 1,311 m
GradeAvg Grade: 7% (4°)
Max Grade: 36% (20°)
Current trail conditions
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“A long day trip or easy backpack on the northern edge of the Mount Thielsen Wilderness.”— Bruce Hope
Family Friendly With gently graded trails, good campsites, access to water, and some views, this is would be a good introductory backpack for a family wanted to spend some time in the outdoors.
Tenas Peak used to host a Forest Service fire lookout and thus offers excellent views (but not in all directions). Getting to the summit for those views involves easy trails, paralleling a section of the North Umpqua River, ascending delightful little Tolo Creek, and pleasant travel through a mixed forest of widely-spaced trees. Campsites and water sources along the way make it ideal for an easy or introductory overnight backpack.
- These trails, and the Pacific Crest Trail, are open to equestrian riders and you may encounter them at anytime, but most likely on summer or fall weekends. Remember to yield appropriately if you encounter horses. Yes, horses can make a trail extra dusty BUT many equestrians also voluntarily undertake trail maintenance tasks—such as clearing small downed trees that are a pain for horses and pedestrian alike. Expect mosquitos along the river and creeks during the summer season.
- For last minute supplies, there is a gas station, restaurant, lodging, and a small general store at the Diamond Lake Resort on Highway 138, about 11 miles from the Kelsay Valley Horse Camp and Trailhead.
From the trailhead, go southeast 0.1 miles on the Windigo Pass Trail #1412 to a junction with the Porcupine Connect Trail #1412A. Turn right and follow the Connect Trail for about 0.2 miles to its junction with the North Umpqua Trail #1414. Turn left (southeast) here and follow the nearly level #1414 upstream along the North Umpqua River.
After 2.0 miles of easy travel up the river, you'll come to a junction with the Tolo Creek Trail #1466 and a large informal campsite, "Dutch Oven Camp," where Tolo Creek joins the North Umpqua. Turn left (northeast) here and follow the #1466 as it climbs up along Tolo Creek to its headwaters. Where the trail makes a sharp turn to the left (3.7 miles up from the North Umpqua), you'll find another informal campsite, "Lil Indian Camp," supplied with water from the upper-most reaches of Tolo Creek. Note that water may not be available here late in the summer.
From the campsite the #1466 heads northeast for about 1.3 miles to a signed four-way trail junction. Here, the Tenas Peak Connector Trail goes left (southwest) to views from the summit of Tenas Peak, while the #1466 goes right (east) for about 0.6 miles to its end at the PCT. The Tenas Peak Trail #1445 goes straight ahead at this four-way junction and starts gently down the northwestern slopes of the peak. Follow the #1445 downhill.
After 2.0 miles of gently downhill travel through and open forest and past delightful Warrior Creek, you'll come to the end of the #1445 at its junction with the Windigo Pass Trail #1412. Turn left (southwest) here and follow the #1412 back to the Kelsey Trailhead. The #1412 is primarily an equestrian trail, so you may find it hot, dusty, and horsey. But you only have about a mile of this before you Bradley Creek and the trailhead.