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Central Oregon Hikes

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide


Bull of the Woods Wilderness

Hike Difficulty Distance Elevation Change Notes
Whetstone Mountain Area
Whetstone Mountain Hike Moderate 4.8 1360 See old growth conifers and then visit a former lookout site with expansive views
Silver King Lake via Whetstone Ridge Hike Moderate 10.2 2215 Ridge crest hike to a wilderness lake
Twin Lakes via Whetstone Ridge Hike Difficult 15.8 2595 Hike through old growth and along a high wilderness ridge, then drop to two pretty lakes

Bagby Area
Bagby Hot Springs Hike Easy 3.4 200 Popular trail to developed natural hot springs

Pansy Lake/Dickey Creek Area
Big Slide Lake Hike Moderate 12.0 1680 Hike through old growth and up a wilderness valley to a secluded lake
Bull of the Woods Lookout Hike Moderate 6.4 1250 Ridge hike that takes you directly to the Bull of the Woods Lookout
Pansy Lake Hike Easy 2.4 500 Family friendly hike to pretty wilderness lake
Bull of the Woods via Pansy Lake Loop Hike Moderate 7.5 2100 Loop hike taking in lakes, expansive views, old growth forest, and a fire lookout
Mother Lode Loop Hike Difficult 13.5 3650 Loop hike around the Mother Lode Basin using an abandoned trail

Elk Lake Creek Area
Elk Lake Creek Hike Easy 4.4 300 Great short hike featuring waterfalls in an old-growth forest
Battle Creek Shelter Hike Moderate 9.8 400 Challenging hike next a stunning green stream
Elk Lake Hike Difficult 17.4 1300 Excellent backpacking trip through the Bull of the Woods Wilderness Area
Welcome Lakes Loop Hike Difficult 13.8 3440 Hike through a 2010 burn to do a loop taking in secluded lakes and a high ridge

Rhododendron Ridge Area

Hike Difficulty Distance Elevation Change Notes
Rhododendron Ridge
Burnt Granite-Tarzan Springs Hike Moderate 8.3 2070 Take abandoned trails to a viewpoint and area of purported Bigfoot activity
Hawk Mountain Lookout Hike Easy 4.0 600 Hike to a restored lookout cabin with great views of Mt Jefferson

Olallie Lake Scenic Area

Hike Difficulty Distance Elevation Change Notes
Olallie Lake Area
Potato Butte Hike Moderate 7.2 1700 Pass several lakes on the way to a scenic viewpoint
Russ Lake Loop Hike Easy 2.8 225 Loop hike with spurs to see four lakes
Olallie Meadows-Olallie Lake Loop Hike Moderate 11.9 1895 Varied hike with lakes, old growth, meadows, and optional diversions
Fish Lake-Si Lake Hike Moderate 5.8 805 Hike through old growth to secluded lakes
Olallie North Loop Hike Moderate 5.6 955 Scenic loop taking in many lakes
Olallie and Monon Lakes Loop Hike Moderate 7.5 150 Walk around two scenic lakes and gather huckleberries in late summer

Breitenbush Cascades Area
Breitenbush Cascades Hike Easy 0.4 200 Incredible waterfall and great views of Mount Jefferson

North Santiam Drainage

Hike Difficulty Distance Elevation Change Notes
Silver Falls Waterfall Hikes
North Falls Hike Easy 0.8 90 Staircase down to view a huge waterfall
Upper North Falls Hike Easy 0.6 40 Paved trail to a 65-foot waterfall in a dark amphitheater
Silver Falls Upper Loop Hike Moderate 3.0 290 Loop to waterfalls at the east end of the canyon
Featured.GIF Silver Falls Lower Loop Hike Moderate 4.6 670 Eight waterfalls in less than five miles
Maple Ridge Loop Hike Easy 2.6 400 Shortest loop in the park visits two major waterfalls
South Falls Loop Hike Easy 0.9 280 Quick hike to the most popular waterfall in the park
Trail of Ten Falls Loop Hike Moderate 7.8 870 See all ten of the waterfalls in the park

Silver Falls Backcountry Hikes
Silver Falls Perimeter Loop Hike Difficult 16.8 2470 Long, forested backcountry loop from the North Falls Trailhead
Smith Creek Loop Hike Moderate 9.0 1420 Loop up into forested hillsides and then skirt the bottomlands of Smith Creek

Mill City Area
August Mountain Loop Hike Moderate 5.0 540 An interesting hike to three waterfalls with a lot of varied scenery in between
Shellburg Falls Hike Easy 2.8 410 Flat hike to a waterfall resembling North Falls
Stasel Falls Hike Easy 3.2 370 Easy approach to the top of a serious waterfall
Natural Arch Hike Easy 1.0 460 Quick steep hike down to a rock arch in the Santiam State Forest
Rocky Top Hike Easy 1.0 705 Steep hike to the site of a former lookout with expansive views

Scotts Mills Area
Abiqua Falls Hike Moderate 1.0 180 A short steep hike to the base of an impressive waterfall.
Butte Creek Falls Loop Hike Easy 1.1 320 An easy loop to two beautiful waterfalls.

Opal Creek Wilderness and Scenic Area

Hike Difficulty Distance Elevation Change Notes
Little North Santiam Area
Little North Fork Hike Moderate 9.0 400 Rolling riverside hike along the enchanting Little North Santiam
Henline Falls Hike Easy 1.8 200 Short hike to a beautiful waterfall and abandoned mine shaft
Henline Mountain Hike Moderate 7.8 2955 Steep hike to an old lookout site with views and then farther to the true summit
Whetstone Mountain-Battle Ax Creek Loop Hike Difficult 14.9 3850 A big loop that takes in much of interest in the Opal Creek Wilderness and Scenic Area
Jawbone Flats Hike Moderate 6.6 360 Hike a closed road above the Little North Santiam to a historic mining town
Opal Pool-Cedar Flats Hike Moderate 10.5 1240 Hike along the Little North Santiam to pristine Opal Creek and then to an ancient grove of cedars

Opal Lake Area
Opal Lake Hike Easy 0.8 400 Easy hike downhill to small secluded lake

Detroit Area

Hike Difficulty Distance Elevation Change Notes
Battle Ax/French Creek Ridge Area
Battle Ax Loop Hike Moderate 6.0 1765 Scenic loop to a rugged high point with views of the Cascades
Twin Lakes from Elk Lake Hike Difficult 15.6 3295 Hike along a remote ridge and drop to Twin Lakes; return via Battle Ax's summit
Mount Beachie Hike Moderate 5.6 1350 Hike past an old trailhead to a summit with views south and east
Battle Ax Creek Loop Hike Difficult 15.4 4855 Hike through the east half of the Opal Creek Wilderness and then back along high ridges
Mount Beachie via French Creek Ridge Hike Moderate 8.2 2115 Ridge hike with views north and south and rock formations
Phantom Natural Bridge Hike Moderate 4.6 1540 Hike up and down along a ridge with views, past a small lake to a large rock arch

Breitenbush Hot Springs Area
South Breitenbush Gorge Hike Easy 6.2 740 Hike a National Recreation Trail to a narrow chasm among old growth trees
Devils Ridge Hike Moderate 6.9 2500 Steep hike to viewpoints over the peaks and drainages of the central Cascades

Detroit Area
Dome Rock-Tumble Lake Hike Difficult 14.0 4520 Hike to the top of Dome Rock for the views and then descend to quiet Tumble Lake
Tumble Lake Hike Moderate 4.0 1100 Drop down into a high valley where a waterfall tumbles out of a lake
Gold Butte Lookout Hike Easy 3.2 800 Short walk up to a rental lookout with great views
Stahlman Point Hike Moderate 5.0 1300 Forested trip to a former lookout site above Detroit Lake
Bachelor Mountain Hike Moderate 3.8 1100 Open traverse to a former lookout site gives spectacular views into Mt Jefferson Wilderness
Coffin Mountain Hike Moderate 3 1000 Hike through wildflower meadows to a summit with expansive views and a staffed fire lookout

Mt. Jefferson Wilderness Area

Hike Difficulty Distance Elevation Change Notes
Jefferson Park Area
Jefferson Park Ridge Hike Moderate 7.5 1500 Gorgeous hike to spectacular viewpoint, alpine wonderland
Jefferson Park via Park Ridge Hike Moderate 11.2 2500 Hike over an alpine ridge to beautiful Jefferson Park
Jefferson Park from Whitewater Trailhead‎ Moderate 11.0 1800 Shorter and easier hike to lakes in Jefferson Park
Jefferson Park from South Breitenbush Trailhead‎ Difficult 13.0 2900 Most difficult approach to Jefferson Park

Three Fingered Jack Area
Square Lake Hike Easy 4.4 200 Short, easy, kid friendly hike through burnt forest to a lake with a distant view of Three Fingered Jack

South Santiam Drainage

Hike Difficulty Distance Elevation Change Notes
Sweet Home Area
Crabtree Valley Hike Moderate 3.4 900 Hike down into a remote valley with massive old-growth
Horse Rock Ridge Hike Moderate 3.2 660 Wander through vast hanging meadows and visit a unique rock formation
Rooster Rock via Trout Creek Trail Hike Moderate 7.0 2200 A mellow forested ascent to a series of rock spires in the Menagerie Wilderness
Santiam Wagon Road Hike Easy 5.0 300 Hike a historic wagon road to a charming campground

Tombstone Pass Area
Cone Peak Hike Moderate 4.8 820 Uphill hike to stunning wildflower meadows
Cone Peak Loop Hike Moderate 7.1 1740 Loop up to stunning wildflower meadows and return via an historic wagon road
Echo Basin Hike Easy 2.0 400 Short loop hike through old-growth Alaska cedars to a cirque basin
Iron Mountain Hike Moderate 1.6 650 Popular July hike to stunning wildflower meadows
Crescent Mountain Hike Difficult 9 2200 Difficult hike to wildflower meadows and viewpoint

Santiam Pass

Hike Difficulty Distance Elevation Change Notes
Santiam Pass Summit Area
Sand Mountain Hike Easy 2.5 200 Hike up to a restored lookout and peer into a cinder cone crater

Three Sisters Area

Hike Difficulty Distance Elevation Change Notes
Linton Lake Area
Linton Lake Hike Easy 3.0 250 Easy hike to a scenic lake

Metolius River Area
Wizard Falls Loop Hike Moderate 6.0 300 Hike up river to fish hatchery, then back down the other side
Middle Metolius River Hike Moderate 22.0 500 Hike down the river along old logging road, nice campsites
Lower Metolius River Hike Moderate 17.0 450 Hike up the Metolius from the reservoir, nice campsites

Three Sisters Wilderness
Green Lakes via Fall Creek Hike Moderate 8.4 1150 Climb to the beautiful Green Lakes area alongside a creek with stunning waterfalls
Tam McArthur Rim Hike Moderate 5 1200 Hike up to a plateau that offers stunning views of the surrounding Cascade peaks
Trail around Three Sisters Hike Difficult 48.1 5800 Circumnavigate the Three Sisters, good alternative to hike around Mount Hood
Camp Lake from Pole Creek Hike Difficult 13.4 2250 Fairly popular hike to spectacular alpine area between South and Middle Sisters
Camp Lake to Green Lakes Pass Off Trail Difficult 3.5 700 Off trail route shortcut between Camp Lake and Green Lakes Pass
Trail around Broken Top Hike Difficult 20.3 2200 Nice alpine areas, good in combination with Three Sisters hike, requires some easy off-trail to complete loop

Waldo Lake Area

Hike Difficulty Distance Elevation Change Notes
Waldo Lake Area
The Twins Hike Moderate 6.6 1600 Hike to a summit with expansive views of Waldo Lake and the Cascade peaks

Oakridge Area

Hike Difficulty Distance Elevation Change Notes
Oakridge Area
Fuji Mountain Hike Moderate 3 950 Hike to a former lookout site with amazing views

Cottage Grove Area

Hike Difficulty Distance Elevation Change Notes
Forest Road 17
Spirit Falls Hike Easy 0.6 130 A short hike to a small waterfall
Moon Falls Hike Easy 1.1 250 Hike to a 100' waterfall
Pinard Falls Hike Easy 1.2 230 Hike to the highest waterfall in the area
Forest Road 22
Trestle Creek Loop Hike Easy 3.7 1200 Visit two waterfalls on this pleasant loop near Brice Creek
Parker Falls Hike Easy 1.8 420 Large Douglas Fir surround the trail to two waterfalls

See more Central Oregon hikes and destinations in our Central Oregon index

Oregon Hikers Field Guide is built as a collaborative effort by its user community. While we make every effort to fact-check, information found here should be considered anecdotal. You should cross-check against other references before planning a hike. Trail routing and conditions are subject to change. Please contact us if you notice errors on this page.

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