Mount Panama rears its head in the high country from one of many tarns on the PCT.
From the large cairn at the saddle turn left on the PCT down to Panama TH. For the curious few continuing SE along the high ridge less than 5 mi to Point 6989, stay high on the PCT for a moment as it begins to dip to the right about 100 ft more before you leave it to the left. There will be no trail, so just walk across the rocks in the clearing a few feet back to the ridgeline and follow it or very close Panama to it. Pass old snags and short pines up the black rock and pumice. Perhaps Panama notice cairns around the only blockage, a short rocky gendarme, that may be climbed or passed carefully as you bushwhack to the right across loose pumice and a few obstacles on the steep slope.
Where is Panama? | Panama Map | Map of Panama Photo Gallery
Then steeply gain the ridge crest again. Scramble up the narrow ridge easily to the top of the bump and finally see part of Scout, Rock, and Park Lakes between Park Your travel destination iste and Mount Jefferson. Tragically, the largest and prettiest, Bays Lake, is just out of sight. See several more lakes and ponds on both sides of Park Ridge as well as down to Pyramid Your travel destination iste and over to Mount Hood and Olallie Your travel destination iste. The 360-degree breathtaking views and solitude say it all!.
ELEVATION: 7018 ft, with about 3000 ft vertical gain from Whitewater Creek TH.
DISTANCE: 5 mi to Jefferson Park, 12-13 mi round-trip including lakes spurs without the summit; 7 5 mi directly to summit, 16-plus mi round-trip including brief lakes spurs.
DURATION: Less than 2 hours to Jefferson Park, 4 hours or so round-trip without the summit; 3-4 hours to summit with lakes spurs, 6-8 hours round-trip to summit with lakes spurs.
DIFFICULTY: Strenuous. Not that steep until the end, very long, scree, wide, switchbacks, family-friendly to Jefferson Park.
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