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Bend/Redmond Central Oregon High Cascades Hiking Oregon Three Sisters Area Trip report

Tumalo Mountain Sunrise Hike – 09/26/2021

After missing a week of hiking due to heavy rains arriving for the one weekend we’d obtained a Central Cascade Wilderness Overnight Permit we were heading to Bend to celebrate Heather’s parents 50th wedding anniversary (congratulations again). That was possibly the first time we were excited to have to cancel our hiking plans as the rain (and snow on the mountains) continues to be greatly needed. Saturday was set aside for the anniversary party but we planned on getting a quick hike in Sunday morning before driving home.

In 2014 we attempted a to catch the sunrise from Tumalo Mountain (post) but were thwarted by low clouds which provided almost zero viability. Nearly seven years later (9/26/21 vs 9/27/14) we returned for another attempt and this time were rewarded with a colorful show. We arrived at the Dutchman Sno-park/Trailhead just after 5am and got ready to head out using our headlamps. Things already looked more promising than on our previous trip as the Moon was visible over Mt. Bachelor.
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The Tumalo Mountain Trail gains 1425′ in two miles to the site of a former lookout tower. I hustled up to the lookout site as fast as my legs would allow and arrived a little after 6am to catch the first strip of color to the east beyond Bend.
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After Heather joined me we continued further along the broad summit to the northern end where the view included Mt. Bachelor to the south and the Three Sisters and Broken Top immediately to the NW.
20210926_062629Mt. Bachelor

20210926_062918The Three Sisters and Broken Top

We spent the next half an hour watching the changing light and colors as we waited for the Sun to rise. We had brought an extra camera which I had been using the day before to photograph the anniversary. This proved interesting as each of the cameras we were using captured the sights in their own ways. As I’ve mentioned before I basically have no idea what I’m doing as far as photography and mostly I just rely on getting lucky once in awhile if I take enough photos. My usual camera is a Canon SX740HS, a small point and shoot with 40x optical zoom. Heather was using her phone, an LGE LM-G820, and the other camera, a Nikon Coolpix P900, belongs to my parents.
DSCN1128Mt. Bachelor via the Nikon.

IMG_5444Heather watching the show taken with the Canon.

IMG_5446The Three Sisters with the Canon.

IMG_5450Canon

DSCN1129Nikon

IMG_5455Mt. Bachelor (post) with the Canon.

IMG_5461Canon shortly before the Sun became visible.

IMG_5462Canon shortly before the Sun became visible.

DSCN1140The Three Sister just before sunrise with the Nikon.

20210926_064832The Three Sister just before sunrise with Heather’s phone.

IMG_5467Canon moments before sunrise. A line of wildfire smoke on the horizon gave it a red tint.

IMG_5469Canon

IMG_5471Canon catching the Sun.

IMG_5473Canon

DSCN1155The Three Sisters and Broken Top (Nikon)

DSCN1157South Sister (post) (Nikon)

DSCN1156Middle and North Sister (Nikon)

DSCN1158Broken Top (post) (Nikon)

IMG_5481Aline glow hitting the mountains. (Canon)

IMG_5478South Sister (Canon)

IMG_5479Middle and North Sister (Canon)

IMG_5480Broken Top (Canon)

IMG_5484Mt. Bachelor (Canon)

We started back down as soon as the sun was up.
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There were lots of views of Mt. Bachelor on the way down and we could also make out Mt. Thielsen (post) and Mt. Scott (post) further south.

IMG_5503Mt. Scott to the left and Mt. Thielsen to the right.

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IMG_5519Grouse

IMG_5523Chipmunk

IMG_5528Mt. Bachelor as we arrived back at the snow-park.

We finished our hike just after 7:45am and headed back to Salem. The hike had been everything we could have hoped for. There were just enough clouds in the sky to create some beautiful colors (the lingering smoke even added a bit although we would rather it wasn’t in the air) and the mountains were all clearly visible. My GPS showed a total of 4.7 miles which made sense given it was too cold to simply sit while we waited for the sunrise, spending over half an hour wandering around at the summit.

There were two other groups of hikers watching the sunrise with us and we passed many more as we descended. Tumalo Mountain is a great choice for a short hike with spectacular views. It is also just outside the Three Sisters Wilderness meaning that a Cascade Wilderness Permit is not needed. Happy Trails!

Flickr: Tumalo Mountain

Categories
High Cascades Hiking Oregon Three Sisters Area Trip report

Tumalo Mountain – Attempted Sunrise Hike

I am bit behind in our trip reports. We were recently on vacation to take Dominique to college in Bend, OR and while we were there we worked in several hikes. Our first hike was an attempt to watch the sunrise from the top of 7775′ Tumalo Mountain. From the summit we hoped to have a view of Mt. Bachelor, Broken Top, and South Sister while the Sun rose over Central Oregon to the East. The forecast called for some clouds but we hopped that they would stay higher in the air and provide additional colors for the sunrise. The trail sets off from Dutchman Flat sno-park and climbs to the former lookout site on Tumalo Mountain in 2 miles.
Tumalo Mountain Trailhead

We began our hike shortly before 5:30am and we could see the stars above our heads which gave us hope. The trail was fairly steep in places which combined with the elevation made it quite a workout. As we made our way up and around the south side of the mountain we could see a little light begin to show on the horizon to the East. We could also see some patchy clouds moving across our line of sight but looking up toward the summit we could see it was still cloud free.
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That quickly changed though and soon we were surrounded by clouds.
Trees near the summit of Tumalo Mountain

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It was cold and windy at the summit but we hung around from about 20 minutes hopping for a break in the clouds but one never materialized. We started back down at 7am and got back down below the clouds. Our best view of the day came at this point looking to the SE.
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We didn’t get the sunrise views we were shooting for so we will have to try this hike again some other time. We still had 5 more hikes planned so we would have plenty of opportunities for views later. Happy Trails!

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