Orofure-yama Half-day Hike

オロフレ山 | Oro-hure-pet

Posted on Jun 29, 2019
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Posted on Jun 29, 2019

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Reading time: < 1 min
9.5km

Distance

4 hours

Time

360m

Ascent

1231m

Highest point

3/10

Difficulty

Best season icon (Hokkaido Wilds)
Jun-Sep

Best season

Mt. Orofure (オロフレ山, 1,230m) is an impressively accessible above-1,000m peak situated near the south coast of Hokkaido, between Lake Toya and Lake Shikotsu. It appeals to both seasoned hikers and beginners, with plenty of exposed rock, alpine flowers, and big views. From early June till early November each year, the paved access road to Orofure Pass (オロフレ峠, 930m) is open, so hikers can drive direct to the trailhead. If visiting outside these dates, it is a quiet 2.5km walk along the road to the trailhead.

Last updated Jul 20, 2019

Route Map

Need to know details

Location

Mt. Orofure (オロフレ山, 1,226m) is a high mountain sitting between Lake Toya and Lake Shikotsu in southwestern Hokkaido, here. The official traihead is at the old Orofure Pass (オロフレ峠, 930m, here), accessible by car from the beginning of June till beginning of November each year. If visiting outside of these dates, hikers walk the 2.5km from the gate near Route 2 (here) to the pass on the paved road.

General notes

Mt. Orofure is attractive as a half-day hike due to its relatively high-altitude trailhead, starting at the Orofure Pass at 930m. Climb only another 300m up and you’re at the top of a 1,230m peak. The route is short enough for beginners to enjoy it, and has enough exposure for more experienced hikers to also have plenty of fun. Even from the pass itself there’s already good views. After less than 30 minutes from the trailhead, hikers will encounter beautiful rocky outcrops and exciting cliffs on either side of the narrow trail. In spring, the mountain is known for Japanese wood poppies (Glaucidium palmatum), a delicate lilac-colored mountain flower.

Hut

None

Route markers

The route is not marked, but it is well defined and there are no junctions.

Route Timing
Up | 1.5hrs
Down | 0.75hrs

The route timing applies if starting from the Orofure Pass carpark. Add an extra 40 minutes or so if starting from the main road when the gate is still closed.

Transport

Public transport:

There are no public transport options for this route.

By car: 

At both the main road Route 2 junction and the pass, there is ample parking.

Physical maps
Official Topo Map: Karurusu Onsen (カルルス温泉) – map no. NK-54-15-13-4

NOTE: The GSI 1/25000 topo map(s) above can be purchased for 350yen from Kinokuniya bookstore next to Sapporo Station or online (in Japanese).

route safety

Weather forecast

Windy.com weather forecast for Orofure-yama

Onsen nearby

If traveling back to Sapporo, it is likely that you’ll be traveling through the little village of Otaki. In this case, our pick of onsen in the are is the down-to-earth and understated Horohoro Sanso (ホロホロ山荘, 800yen, here). The hotel itself is nothing to write home about, but the onsen is massive with plenty of options, both indoor and outdoor.

Extra Resources
No extra English resources that we know of. If you know of any, please let us know in the comments.

Photo Gallery

Show Full Route Notes Close Route Notes

Route Trip Notes

We’d been at Lake Toya for an overnight camping trip the previous few days, and were on our way back to Sapporo. Mt. Orofure happens to be on the way back to Sapporo from Lake Toya, so this quick and easy hike made a lot of sense. Unfortunately, however, we were every so slightly too early for the official start of the hiking season. It was the 3rd of June, but the gate across the access road to the pass was still closed. We happened to have our folding bikes in the car, but hey, it was only a 2km walk – surely it wasn’t worth lugging the bikes out of the car.

20 minutes later after trudging up the road, we were wishing we had the bikes. It wasn’t particularly far, and there wasn’t any traffic, but the bikes would have made easier work of it.

Once at the pass we marveled at the view we’d gained already. Onwards from the pass we started the hike in earnest. The track started with some low-lying trees. We were walking through a low canopy tunnel. We were early enough to see the poppies blooming, so that was nice. And then we were thrust above the treeline, with great views across precipitous drops on either side of the trail.

The final climb up to the summit is a quite the scramble, up a very steep ridge.

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Comments | Queries | Reports

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