From mountain peak to Wild and Scenic River, this long loop takes in a range of terrain, wildlife and views.
Start from the Diamond Peak trailhead outside Pomeroy, where it’s a scant mile to the Mount Misery Trail intersection. Consider the optional side trip to 6,379-foot Diamond Peak before dropping down the Melton Creek Trail. Melton Creek eventually joins the Crooked Creek Trail, crossing into Oregon and losing more than 3,000 feet of elevation during its descent to the Wenaha Wild and Scenic River.
Follow the river upstream for 3 miles to its intersection with the Weller Butte–Smooth Ridge Trail, then begin the arduous climb to regain all the lost elevation. The trail ascends more than 16 miles through desert terrain, old-growth forest, wildflower meadow and open grassland. Giant western larches, ponderosa pines and western junipers adorn the route—and don’t forget to keep an eye out for deer, bighorn sheep, elk, bears and cougars.
Don’t miss the side hike to the fire lookout at Oregon Butte when Smooth Ridge rejoins the Mount Misery Trail, where on a clear day one can see the Cascades to the west and Oregon’s Wallowas to the south.
Complete the loop by following the Mount Misery Trail back to Diamond Peak. The views along the route are fantastic, so there’s no reason to be miserable except that each step brings you closer to the end of the trek. Note the location of springs on the map as water is hard to find, especially on Smooth Ridge and Mount Misery.
WTA Pro Tip: The loop is best done in early summer, when wildflowers are at their peak and seasonal springs still hold water. In fall wear blaze orange, as hunters may outnumber hikers.
Mount Misery Loop
- 48.5 miles, roundtrip
- Elevation Gain
- 4,000 feet
- Highest Point
- 6,387 feet
Hiking Mount Misery Loop
Mount Misery Loop
Map & Directions
Co-ordinates: 46.1192, -117.5367 Open in Google Maps