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26. Mount McLoughlin

Mount McLoughlin, the Fuji-esque peak looming 9,495 above sea level and visible from much of Southern Oregon, is the sixth-highest peak in the Oregon Cascades and 16th-highest in the state.

As imposing as McLoughlin looks, however, it’s a peak 8-year-olds with good shoes and 80-year-olds with strong hearts have been known to scale.

From the trailhead not far from Fourmile Lake, the 10.6-mile, round-trip hike gains more than 3,900 feet in elevation. The early part of the forest-shaded path traces the Pacific Crest Trail for a few minutes before embarking on the more dramatic uphill gains, which get steeper as you go.

Bring lots of water and enough food for lunch at the summit. Although well-conditioned distance runners can make it to the top in 90 minutes, three-hour ascents are more typical. Early- to mid-season hikers will likely encounter swarms of mosquitoes, but probably won’t have their view shrouded by forest fires. The mosquitoes tend to disperse sometime in late July to early August, about the time thunderstorms ignite wildfires.

By leaving the parking lot around 6 or 7 in the morning, you will generally have better views before clouds gather in the afternoon.

To reach the trailhead, take Highway 140 and turn north onto the gravel road to Fourmile Lake.

The hike to the summit of Mount McLoughlin is a great way to see all of Southern Oregon. [Mail Tribune / file photo]