Mt. Fuji & Maiden Peak
June 27-28, 1981
Mt. Fuji 7144' and Maiden Peak 7818' from Gold Lake 4800': After establishing base camp at Gold Lake, reached via Hwy 58 and FS Rd 500 (east of Waldo Lake jct.) we started for Mt. Fuji at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday. Weather warm and clear. Elevation gain on Fuji is 2300 feet. Trail 3674 good, except for windfalls. Distance 5.8 miles to top with steady climbing to summit. Returned to camp at 5:30 p.m. On Sunday broke camp at 8:00 a.m. reaching Maiden Peak at 11:30 a.m. Elevation gain is 3000' in 5.8 miles. Returned to car at 5:00 p.m. Windfalls also notable on Maiden Peak trail, and this trail, no. 3681, is not as well used as the Fuji Trail. It becomes somewhat obscure beyond the 4-mile marker. Intersecting trails on both peaks are well marked. (Suggest getting new Waldo Lake USFS map at Oakridge Ranger Sta. enroute to the area.)
Each ascent is through unbroken mature stands of Hemlock until white bark pine (P. Albicaulis) is reached at the 7000' level. Water is scarce on both routes. Views of the high Cascades is spectacular from both mountains, especially Diamond Peak and the Sisters; less haze would have extended our range to Mt. Hood to the north and possibly Shasta to the south. The lakes, especially Waldo and Odell, break the continuum of forest and lower volcanic peaks, modiied by the pleistocene glaciers which were probably 2000 feet thick in this region between major peaks. 10,000 years ago this was indeed a land of fire and ice.
At Birthday Lake on Mt. Fuji on Saturday fishermen presented us with 3 plus-13 inch Eastern Brook trout which Paula fried in foil at our campfire with mushrooms which she gathered enroute.
Considering the long drive from Eugene, and good luxury car camping at Gold Lake it seems worthwhile to schedule these two easy trail peaks over a weekend. There are variations possible to many hidden lakes on both the Fuji and Maiden regions with a little map study. Paula Vehrs accompanied Helene and Tom Johnston, leader.