The Pamelia Creek Trailhead is one of the most popular entry points to Mt. Jefferson Wilderness. A Central Cascades Wilderness Permit is required between June 15 and October 15 for day and overnight use at this trailhead. Pamelia Lake or Hunts Cove Limited Entry Permits are available at the Detroit Ranger District of the Willamette National Forest. Check out Recreation.gov for more information, or call 1-877-444-6777. Parking is $5/day or with a valid recreation pass.
You’ll see why this area is so protected once you leave the parking area on the Pamelia Lake Trail. Combine the trail with the Hunt’s Creek Trail on the east side of the lake and the PCT for a fantastical way to have a long, fun day on this 18-mile lollipop loop.
The 2.5-mile trail follows Pamelia Creek to the lake. Stop at a few places to enjoy the bubbling springs that feed the creek. At the North end of Pamilia Lake is the Grizzly Peak Trail. For an extra 5.6 miles with 1300 feet of climbing, take the out and back to Grizzly Peak for views of Mount Jefferson, Pamelia Lake, the Three Sisters, and Three Fingered Jack. Otherwise, continue to Hunt’s Creek Trail via Pamelia Lake Trail or the trail along the lake.
Head left for a long climb for 2.5 miles on Hunt’s Creek Trail on the east side of the lake and along Hunt’s Creek to the Hunt’s Cove Trail, crossing the creek a couple of times. Turning left on Hunt’s Cove saves about a mile on the loop, but turning right for a steep 2.5-mile ascent on a ridge above Hunt’s Cove will be worth it. The trail descends from the peak for .75 miles to the PCT junction.
Follow left along the PCT for a nice downhill trail above and aside several lakes and stunning mountain views above several meadows. Six miles North on the PCT is the Hunt’s Creek Trail. Turn left for .75 miles to the Pamelia Creek Trail junction. Turn right to head back to the trailhead.