Sawtooth/Cowhorn Mountains

August 25, 2001

Cowhorn Mountain (7664') stands a few miles south-east of Diamond Peak. We began our climb at Timpanogas Lake on the Indigo Lake Trail. Indigo Lake is a very ancient scenic alpine lake that lies at the food of craggy Sawtooth Mountain (7300'). From Indigo Lake we followed the Windy Pass Trail on a steep climb from the lakes basin to the crest of Windy Ridge. Once on the ridge, the trail cuts a nearly level traverse eastward to the base of Cowhorn Mountain, where it dead-ends at a junction with the PCNST. The summit of Cowhorn is a short, easy scramble from the trail junction. We had an excellent view of the Willamette Pass area and the forests near Crescent Lake and Summit Lake. A falcon was hunting near the summit while we watched. We retraced our route back westward on the Windy Ridge to Sawtooth Mountain's south ridge, where a cross-country scramble leads to the summit. We then descended back to the Windy Ridge Trail and continued hiking westward to a junction with the Sawtooth Trail. The Sawtooth Trail leads back to Timpanogas Lake over a torturous route that climbs and then descends two steep ridges before finally dropping to the lake and the cars. This hike was estimated to be between 15 and 16 miles with an elevation gain of more than 3500 ft. and took us just over nine hours to complete. Survivors were George Baitinger, Buzz Blumm, Dick Hildreth, John Mowat, Rich Romm, Sue Sullivan and leader Brian Hoyland.

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