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Climbing Red Mountain is a rugged and long trek that rewards climbers with a 9,560 foot summit that is the highest point in Baker County, Oregon (14th highest in Oregon). The climb requires no special technical skill, other then good footwork and balance to navigate hundreds of vertical feet of crumbling red rock.
The Kettle Creek Trail #1945 from East Eagle is not heavily used but is in good condition. It contains an endless series of switchbacks climbing 3,066 feet in 5.6 miles at a 10% average gradient. The trail eventually arrives at a saddle where it levels out and passes a few ponds before arriving at Crater Lake. At this point, the Red Mountain summit is in full view. Soon, it is a matter of sighting an ascent line and going for the summit. Most any route up the talus slope to the summit ridge is climbable. In the end, 5,844 feet of climbing in about 9 miles is required to reach the summit from East Eagle trailhead. Crater Lake offers a good camp location for a less-ambitious summit day.
Regulations: A free wilderness permit needs to be filled out at the trailhead but otherwise there are no restrictions. A Northwest Forest Pass is not required at the parking area.
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