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Mount Bailey
Mount Bailey lakeview.jpg
Elevation 8,375 feet (2,553 m) NAVD 88 [1]
Location Douglas County, Oregon, USA
Range Cascade Range
Prominence 2,968 feet (905 m) [2]
Coordinates 43°09′19″N 122°13′12″W / 43.155144764°N 122.219995761°W / 43.155144764; -122.219995761Coordinates: 43°09′19″N 122°13′12″W / 43.155144764°N 122.219995761°W / 43.155144764; -122.219995761 [1]
Topo map USGS Diamond Lake
Type Shield volcano, tephra cone
Volcanic arc/belt Cascade Volcanic Arc
Last eruption Less than 100,000 years ago [3]
Easiest route Hike

Mount Bailey is a relatively young tephra cone and shield volcano in the Cascade Range located opposite Mount Thielsen from Diamond Lake in southern Oregon, United States. Bailey consists of a 2,000 feet (610 m) high main cone on top of an old basaltic andesite shield volcano. With a volume of 8 to 9 km3 (1.9 to 2.2 cu mi), Mount Bailey is slightly smaller than its neighbor Diamond Peak.[4]

Mount Bailey has become well known in the Pacific Northwest region as a haven for "snowcat skiing" in the winter months. Instead of a conventional chairlift, snowcats—treaded, tractor-like vehicles that can ascend Bailey's steep, snow-covered slopes—carry skiers to the higher reaches of the mountain. In the summer months, a 5-mile (8 km) hiking trail gives foot access to Bailey's summit.[5]

Native Americans are credited with the first ascents of Bailey. It was considered a sacred place to them and a source of medicine (healing) where spiritual leaders would hold feasts and prayer vigils on the summit.[6]


Name origin

The origin of the mountain's name is a matter of dispute. Older maps show its name as either "Old Baldy" or "Old Bailey", "Bailey" possibly being a drafting error. The summit's bald, burnt-over appearance might indicate the origin of the designation "Baldy".[6] No record of a person named Bailey who was connected with the peak has been found.[6] In 1992 the Oregon Geographic Names Board voted to name the mountain in honor of naturalists Vernon and Florence Bailey.[6]

The Klamath name for the mountain was Youxlokes, which means "Medicine Mountain". In local legend, the mountain was a meeting place for the mystical members of their society, such as medicine men or priests, and the figures of the Heavens. It was essentially a place for feasts, religious ceremonies, and for health.[6]

Geography and geology

Part of the High Cascades, Mount Bailey heads the Mount Bailey chain, which consists of the mountain and smaller cinder cones trending north. Similarly to its neighbor Mount Thielsen, it is a shield volcano with precipitous summit slopes, and almost equal in appearance. Built around the same time as Rodley Butte, according to morphological study, the current volcano is no more than 100,000 years old, and formed relatively close to Diamond Peak's current cone. Despite its similarity to Rodley Butte, both in age and original composition, Bailey switched from erupting basaltic andesite to pure andesite (silicon dioxide).[7]

The High Cascades have long been glaciated, by both Pacific-bred storms and natural, elevation-caused, glaciation. In fact, glaciation probably formed on them as early as the late Miocene. Over time, as the range built up, newer activity diminished older Tertiary age rock. Creating lava plateaus, Pliocene activity, mostly basaltic and andesitic, was probably responsible for the original cones at Bailey, Thielsen, and Union Peak.[8]

Bailey is comprised by a central tephra cone, upon which basaltic andesite eruptions streamed over, building up to create the current volcano.[9] Eventually switching to andesite,[7] it may have been built over several eruptions or even eruptive periods, judging from the silicic nature of its rock.[9] It is currently inactive, having been since approximately the time Mount Mazama became active, sometime in the early Pleistocene epoch.[10]


On the mountain's slopes, there is biological diversity; starting at the lower slopes, the prominent tree type is standard pine, eventually changing to a landscape of mountain hemlock, western white pine, and Shasta fir.[11]


Bailey is a popular hiking and skiing site, due to its steep climbs and views of Diamond Lake. It is accessible from Oregon Highway 230, starting at the Fox Spring trailhead.[12] Following the Mount Bailey Trail, part of the Diamond Lake Recreational Area,[13] hikers can see "panoramas to the northeast of Diamond Lake and Bailey's dizzying avalanche bowl".[11] To skiers, the peak is known for its method of transportation, featuring snowcats.[11]

See also


  1. ^ a b "Bailey". NGS data sheet. U.S. National Geodetic Survey. Retrieved 2008-03-31.  
  2. ^ "Mount Bailey, Oregon". Retrieved 2008-03-31.  
  3. ^ "Deschutes & Ochoco National Forests - Mt. Bailey Volcano". USDA Forest Service. 2003-11-26. Retrieved 2008-03-26.  
  4. ^ Wood, Charles A.; Jűrgen Kienle (1993). Volcanoes of North America. Cambridge University Press. pp. 191. ISBN 0-512-43811-X.  
  5. ^ "Umpqua National Forest: #1451 Mt. Bailey Trailhead". USDA Forest Service. Retrieved 2008-03-26.  
  6. ^ a b c d e McArthur, Lewis A.; Lewis L. McArthur (2003) [1928]. Oregon Geographic Names (Seventh Edition ed.). Portland, Oregon: Oregon Historical Society Press. pp. 664. ISBN 0-87595-277-1.  
  7. ^ a b Wood and Kienle, pp. 190-191.
  8. ^ Harris, Tuttle, and Tuttle, p. 536.
  9. ^ a b Hoblitt; Miller, , and, Scott, (1987), Volcanic Hazards with Regard to Siting Nuclear-Power Plants in the Pacific Northwest, United States Geological Survey  
  10. ^ Harris, Tuttle, and Tuttle, p. 530.
  11. ^ a b c Bernstein, p.32.
  12. ^ Bernstein, p. 31.
  13. ^ Dunegan, p. 157.




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