Malheur National Forest
(Forest Service Trails #212 & #216)
Fields Peak is located in the Aldrich Mountains south of US Highway 26 and situated between the South Fork John Day River and US Highway 395. The Fields Peak trail climbs approximately 2000 feet in just under 3 miles, from mixed conifer forest to open, subalpine ridges. Near the top, mountain mahogany and subalpine fir communities alternate with high meadows where bunchgrasses mix with lupines, paintbrushes, balsamroot, columbines, and fleabanes. The peak is a good site for observing butterflies displaying in mass on warm days from late June to mid-July. They can be seen spiralling upwards for one hundred feet or more from the location of the old lookout at the top. Views from the top are also impressive, with near 360 degree views. Several of the Cascade peaks should be observed along with Snow Mt. to the south, the Strawberry Mts to the east, and the Elkhorn and Greenhorn Mts. to the northeast.
Flora highlights include: arrowleaf balsamroot (Balsamorhiza sagittata), bitterroot (Lewisia rediviva), Brown's peony (Paeonia brownii), daggerpod (Phoenicaulis cheiranthoides), fairybells (Prosartes trachycarpa), foothill daisy (Erigeron corymbosa), glacier lily (Erythronium grandiflorum), Great Basin Claytonia (Claytonia umbellata), long-flowered bluebells (Mertensia longiflora), mountain snowberry (Symphoricarpos oreophilus), nettleleaf horsemint (Agastache urticifolia), Rocky Mt. sunflower (Helianthella uniflora), showy daisy (Erigeron speciosus), silky phacelia (Phacelia sericea), wild hollyhock (Illamnia rivularis), woolly goldenweed (Stenotus languinosus), and 7 species of buckwheats (including oval-leaf buckwheat: Eriogonum ovalifolium).
Colonial luina Luina serpentina is a local endemic with a very narrow range in the Aldrich Mountains. It can be seen along the drive to the trailhead along with masses of mock orange (Philadelphus lewisii) which should be in bloom in June. The trail is moderate to difficult, and driving time from John Day is about one hour on paved and gravel roads.
Trail Length: 4.0 miles, one way.
Rating: Moderate to Difficult. The trail become difficult upon leaving the junction with the McClellan Mt. Trail #216 on the south side of Fields Peak. The Fields Peak trail ascends very steeply to the top of the north side of the peak, which is often snow covered into mid-July, which accounts for the difficult rating.
Season: June to November
Allowed Activities: Hiking, horse use, ATVs and mountain bikes. ATV's are not allowed on the McClellan Mt. Trail #216 which travels eastward along the top of the ridgeline from Fields Peak.
Partial Flora for Fields Peak
June 24, 2011: Fields Peak - A Native Plant Society of Oregon Field Trip
July 15, 2003: Fields Peak, Malheur N.F.
May 24, 2003: Fields Peak Trail, Malheur National Forest