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Eastern Oregon Hikes

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide


Columbia Plateau

Hike Difficulty Distance Elevation Change Notes
Deschutes River
Heritage Landing Hike Easy 3.8 55 Hike on fishermen's trails along the west bank of the Deschutes
Deschutes River Hike Moderate 22.6 400 Hike along the Deschutes River, open to horses and bicycles
Ferry Springs Hike Moderate 4.4 560 Shorter hike to higher views of the Columbia and Deschutes
Deschutes River from Macks Canyon Hike Difficult 23.6 350 Rough trail along Deschutes River

Cottonwood Canyon State Park
Murtha Ranch Loop Hike Easy 1.9 100 Short loop to a viewpoint, river access, interpretive signs, and an old barn
Cottonwood Canyon Pinnacles Hike Moderate 8.6 65 Hike along the John Day River below basalt cliffs and through sagebrush flats
Lost Corral Hike Moderate 10.1 75 Take a ranch track along the John Day River to an old cattle corral

Painted Hills
Leaf Hill Loop Hike Easy 0.3 20 Short hike around a fossil filled knoll
Painted Cove Loop Hike Easy 0.2 40 Get up close and personal with a hill of clay
Painted Hills Overlook Hike Easy 1.0 140 Ridgetop stroll with views of the Painted Hills

Umatilla River Area
Echo Meadows Hike Easy 1.4 70 Interpretive trail to Oregon Trail wagon ruts

Deschutes and Crooked River Canyon Country

Hike Difficulty Distance Elevation Change Notes
Cove Palisades Area
Tam-a-láu Loop Hike Moderate 6.9 650 Hike up to and around the rim of a lava plateau with commanding views

Smith Rock State Park
Misery Ridge Loop Hike Moderate 3.8 1000 Steep climb over the ridge with stunning views

Crooked River Ranch Area
Scout Camp Trail Loop Hike Moderate 2.3 700 Steep hike into scenic Deschutes River Canyon
Otter Bench Loop Hike Moderate 9.2 1700 Long, mostly flat hike in high desert along Crooked River Canyon, with two short side trails descending steeply down the canyon
Steelhead Falls Hike Moderate 4.1 680 Hike down to the falls in Deschutes River Canyon
Alder Springs-Lower Whychus Creek Hike Moderate 7.2 910 Hike below weathered canyon walls to lush springs and the rushing Deschutes River

Bend Area

Hike Difficulty Distance Elevation Change Notes
Badlands Wilderness
Oregon Badlands Wilderness hikes Moderate Links to info & maps of high desert wilderness just East of Bend, to help you plan your own hike

Ochoco Mountains

Hike Difficulty Distance Elevation Change Notes
Mill Creek Wilderness area
Mill Creek Wilderness Loop Hike Difficult 26.9 3500 Small, little used wilderness in central Oregon, usually drier than western Oregon
Steins Pillar Hike Moderate 4 680 Hike through open ponderosa and juniper forest to the base of a huge stone pillar

Lookout Mountain Area
Lookout Mountain Hike Moderate 3.4 1045 Shorter but steeper hike to Lookout Mtn summit
Lookout Mountain Short Loop Hike Moderate 7.1 1350 Hike through old fir forest to high desert plateau with sweeping views
Lookout Mountain Extended Loop Hike Moderate 8.9 1800 Nice but somewhat steep addition to the above hike. Starts near the paved hwy & avoids driving the last mile on rocky access road

Central Blue Mountains

Hike Difficulty Distance Elevation Change Notes
Strawberry Mountains
Strawberry Mountain Loop Hike Difficult 17 4500 Subalpine loop in eastern Oregon

Elkhorn Range
Hoffer Lakes Hike Easy 2.5 340 Hike to three alpine lakes with wildflowers galore and views of granite peaks
Elkhorn Crest Hike Difficult 12.5 3600 Ascend high peaks in the stunning open country of the Elkhorn Range

Wallowa Mountains

Hike Difficulty Distance Elevation Change Notes
Eagle Cap Wilderness: Northern access
Maxwell Lake Hike Difficult 8 2500 Hike to a beautiful blue lake high above the Lostine River
East Lostine to Eagle Cap Hike Difficult 19 4000 This is the easiest way to a high Wallowa Peak, very popular
Thorp Creek Hike Moderate 9.9 2830 Hike to a remote valley tucked in between the Wallowas' highest ridges
Ice Lake Hike Difficult 15.4 3380 Head up the West Fork Wallowa and then spectacular Adam Creek to a high alpine lake below the Matterhorn
East Fork Wallowa River Hike Difficult 17.0 4620 Backpack to Tenderfoot Pass with multiple day hike and scramble options from the area
McCully Basin Hike Moderate 15.2 2360 Gentle backpack to a remote basin on the east side of the Wallowas

Eagle Cap Wilderness: Southern access
Crater Lake via Little Kettle Creek Hike Difficult 13.6 3490 Steep hike to a high lake at the head of the Cliff Creek valley
Pine Lakes Hike Difficult 15 2700 Hike to a pair of beautiful lakes

Great Basin

Hike Difficulty Distance Elevation Change Notes
Hart Mountain National Antelope Refuge
Warner Peak Hike Moderate 11 2300 Spring and fall off-trail hiking; summit climb to Warner Peak; wildlife; amazing views
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.

Hiking is a potentially risky activity, and the entire risk for users of this field guide is assumed by the user, and in no event shall Trailkeepers of Oregon be liable for any injury or damages suffered as a result of relying on content in this field guide. All content posted on the field guide becomes the property of Trailkeepers of Oregon, and may not be used without permission.