“A rugged route trail with access to the deep forest and talus slopes surrounding Sawtooth Mountain.”
— Leslie Kehmeier
This trail takes you deep into forests of the Oregon Cascades Recreation Area. The trail climbs gradually through a mix of fir and hemlock, past small lakes to the intersection with Start O' Willamette.
The Start O' Willamette Trail heads south back to Timpanogas Lake at about the two miles. If you look carefully, you can get a glimpse of Amos Lake and Andy Lake.
From the intersection, climb up a series of switchbacks before the route levels out for a brief time. The grade kicks up again as the forest cover begins to open up with occasional views across the lake basin towards Sawtooth Mountain.
As the route reaches one of its high points, it turns back to the southwest and descends for a short time back into the deep forest.
The trail heads up to a ridge and a large vista before meeting the upper end of the Indigo Extension.
Enjoy a fun descent along the southeast flank of Sawtooth Mountain before the final climb.
The last climb is the steepest, taking you across a rugged (and beautiful) scree slope below the summit of the Sawtooth Mountain. When you reach the open ridge, take a moment to soak in the views.
From here, enjoy the final stretch of trail on a winding descent to the Sawtooth Trail.