Outdoor Fun on Marys Peak
Scott A. Gese


The view is a highlight, but there’s so much more.

West of the city of Corvallis, along the Oregon Coast Range, is a high hill known as Marys Peak. It rises 4100 feet above sea level. It’s one of the most prominent peaks west of Corvallis and the highest of all peaks in the Oregon Coast Range.

Marys peakSmoke from California wildfires obstructs a clear view from Marys Peak/Scott A. Gese

On a clear day the top of the hill will reward you with a dramatic, sweeping view in every direction.

If you look to the West, you can see to the edge of the continent. To the East is the Cascade range where majestic mountains show off their peaks of Winter white. Mount Rainier, Thielsen and Adams as well as Diamond Peak and several others dot the horizon from North to South.

This high vantage point and the expansive vista can give you a whole new perspective of the world around you. It has the potential to make you stop and think about your place in the world. It’s akin to the feeling you might have when gazing at a star-filled sky.

The view is grand for sure, but it’s not all there is to Marys Peak. There’s plenty to do here.

Hiking

Marys Peak is a popular hiking spot for those who live in or close to the surrounding area. There are five easily accessible trailheads for your hiking pleasure. The most popular is Marys Peak trail. A relatively flat 5.2 mile out and back hike that will take you through tall timber and open meadow as you ascend to the top of the hill.

As you hike your way to the top, you’ll pass a grassy alpine meadow. In Spring and early Summer the meadow is fills with the fluttering wings of butterfly’s as they enjoy the nectar from an abundance of colorful wildflowers. On a sunny day, the meadow is a gorgeous spot for a picnic. Even in late Summer, sitting on a picnic blanket and soaking up the warm sun makes for a refreshing afternoon.

A couple of these trails go deep into the forest and are used by animals and people alike. I’ve seen evidence of Black tailed deer and Black Bear along the way.


marys peak alpine meadowMarys Peak Alpine Meadow/Scott A. Gese

Camping

If you’d like to make your trip to Marys Peak a weekend affair, there are camping spots available. The campground is located at the end of the road and easy to find. A half dozen sites are open during the Summer months from April to September. They are on a first come first served basis. They’re not as secluded as I like, but the night sky makes up for the lack of trees. Bring your tent and sleeping bag and be ready to stargaze.

Winter Sports

During the winter months, it’s not unusual to find snow on the ground. At this time of year the roads can be potentially difficult to traverse as they are not maintained for winter travel. However, Hiking, snowshoeing, cross country skiing and sledding are all possible here.

If you like playing in the snow, Marys Peak should be on your to do list.

It’s advisable to check current winter weather conditions before heading out. Snow can hamper the ability to reach any of the trailheads. You should always be prepared for incoming winter weather. Letting someone know where you’re going. Bringing along emergency gear is always a good idea when traveling on winter roads no matter where they might be.

Marys Peak is full of possibilities in every season of the year. Create some lasting memories and don’t forget to bring your camera.

How do you get to Marys Peak?

From Corvallis, head west on Highway 34 to the town of Philomath. From here, the road splits and highway 20 heads toward the coast. Don’t go that way. Stay on 34 for about 10 more miles to Marys Peak Road. Marys peak road is about 5 ½ miles long and winds its way past three trailheads. The Lower East Ridge at Conner’s Camp, Meadow Edge Trail at the Marys Peak Campground and the Upper trailhead from East Ridge and North Ridge at the end of Marys Peak Road. There’s a $5 fee to park for the day.

Get a trail map and further details about Marys Peak by <<clicking here>>


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