Four-in-One Cone Hike – Forests, Lava, and Views

To go or not to go?  That was the question facing leader Roz O’Donoghue on Thursday, August  27th,  the morning of the proposed CONC hike to Four-in-One Cone.   The hike had already been postponed from the previous Tuesday, when a layer of smoke from a wildfire blanketed that portion of Central Oregon.  Thursday morning, an early rising CONC hiker texted a photo to Roz showing the Cascades to the west of Sisters free of smoke.  With that and a favorable NOAA weather forecast, Roz made the “go” decision. 

Starting at a trailhead near Scott Lake, five hikers followed the Scott Trail up through woods and along lava flows to Four-in-One Cone, a hike of about 4.5 miles each way with 1500 feet elevation gain.  (Both the lake and the trail, and nearby Scott Mountain, were named for Captain Felix Scott, Jr., who supervised the building a toll road from Eugene over the Mackenzie Pass in 1862.)  Walking along the ridge of Four-in-One Cone, the hikers were rewarded with clear skies and magnificent views of North Sister, Mt. Jefferson, Three-Fingered Jack, Mt. Washington, and even a peek of Mt. Hood in the distance.  

In addition to panoramic Cascade views, this hike offers contrasting landscapes of lodge pole pine and hemlock forests, rugged lava flows, meadows, and cinder barrens.  There were a few huckleberries left from an earlier bloom, and some late summer flowers.   All in all, another day well spent.