Start at the Stahlman Point trailhead on the south side of Detroit Lake. The trailhead lies right between Shady Cove and the South Shore Campgrounds on the lake. You'll have to run this as an out-and-back; there are no roads or alternative ways to the summit.
From the start, the trail meanders through second growth Douglas Fir forest complete with the usual Oregon understory of Oregon Grape, Salal, and Sword Fern. The trail is steep, but never relentless. Short, steep sections give way to well-timed, leg-resting reprieves.
About halfway up the trail, you'll begin to catch views of Detroit Lake, Dome Rock, and French Creek Ridge through the forest. At 2,500', the trail turns southeast and enters a section of old-growth Douglas Fir forest. Shortly after ducking under an ancient, downed forest giant that hangs above the trail, you'll pass over an intermittent creek and resume climbing.
After the creek, the steepness levels off a bit and makes for an enjoyable climb as the views get better and better through the forest. Two more switchbacks and you'll be on top of Stahlman Point enjoying the views. The Point used to be a fire lookout for obvious reasons.
From the summit, soak in the 360-degree views of Detroit Lake, Coffin Mountain, French Creek Ridge, the North Santiam River, and, finally, Mt. Jefferson before enjoying the downhill you just earned.
Shared By: Breyden Holoubek