Maiden Peak, featured on the Central Oregon Six Pack of Peaks list, is a great hike that flies a bit under the radar compared to other central Oregon mountains. On a clear day the summit offers expansive views of the Cascade crest, as well as the many reservoirs below. The trail gives you plenty of opportunity to warm up in the first couple of miles, climbing gradually to the crossing with the Pacific Crest Trail. Note that the USGS and USFS topo maps do not show the current PCT crossing very accurately.
Beyond the PCT junction the trail begins to gradually steepen until the final exposed walk to the summit. After a few hours in the trees the views are quite stunning!
Topo map and GPX track:
In and out hike on well established and marked trail.
Approximately 12 miles round trip.
+/- 3200 ft
Trailhead and Permit Notes:
There are multiple trailheads for Maiden Peak. The one noted here, via Gold Lake, is small with room for only a couple of cars and requires no special permit for parking. If it is full, there are pullouts up and down the road, as well as additional parking down by Gold Lake.
There are other trailheads to choose from, but this is the shortest route to the summit. For someone wishing to make this a backpack, look for the route via Rosary Lakes described in the Sullivan book linked below.
Useful Guides and Gear: