Home  •   Field Guide  •   Forums  •    Unread Posts  •   Maps  •   Find a Hike!
| Page | Discussion | View source | History | Print Friendly and PDF

Lower Metolius River Hike

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

The hike goes along the Metolius River (Jerry Adams)
Mostly it's a closed gravel road (Jerry Adams)
There's two miles of pretty primitive trail (Jerry Adams)

The Lower Metolius River is another nice hike, less popular but less wild than the Middle Metolius River Hike. Most of the hike is on closed dirt road which may not appeal to some people. It is sometimes near the river, and sometimes a few hundred feet away, with river noise faintly in the distance.

This hike is on the East side of the Cascades so it is much drier than in Portland on the west side. It will often be fairly dry here when it's raining in Portland, although there might be an occasional thunderstorm in the summer bringing rain here when it's nice on the west side.

This hike is also at fairly low elevation so it's accessible in the spring when there's snow higher up. It's open even in the winter, although there are times when there's enough snow to make it difficult to get to the trailhead.

The Metolius is better known for fly fishing. The water is very cold in the summer. The river would make good rafting because there are only easy rapids, but I think there are trees that block the river that make this difficult.

I don't know how crowded it is in the summer, but it's pretty hot, so this probably wouldn't be the best time to go here.

I have never seen this hike in any guide book, so you will probably find few people here. It's at the end of Sullivan's book where he briefly lists a bunch more less popular hikes.

The first 1.7 miles is along a gravel road that is open during the summer, so when the winter gate is unlocked, the hike is this much shorter. Monty Campground is here. I suspect this is a fairly busy car campground in the summer. I think there's a gate here that prevents vehicle traffic beyond in the summer.

I camped here one night when I was backpacking. No one else here. Nice outhouse which was convenient. There's a nice area to walk along the river, about a mile long. There's a fish counting station. A pickup truck drove by, monitoring this.

The next 4.6 miles is a closed gravel road. There is a private residence so you might see some traffic. If you don't like walking along a gravel road then this hike wouldn't be so good. I saw a couple campsites between the road and the river.

The next 1.8 miles is a poorly maintained trail. I'de almost call it a "fishermen's trail". There's a couple places where the river is trying to claim the trail, but it's pretty easy to get by. There's a nice campsite right at the beginning of this, about 6.6 miles from the trailhead.

A little further is a nice campsite area. There's about a 1/4 mile long flat area with few trees and a number of fire pits. Right next to the river. 8.3 miles from the trailhead. If you came here to camp, in the unlikely event someone else was here, you could find another place to camp out of sight and hearing.

This is the end of what I arbitrarily defined as the Lower Metolius Hike. Return back to the trailhead the way you came.

Beyond here is about 3 miles of old road that's impassable to vehicles, then another 7 miles of closed gravel road that has a small amount of traffic to a couple private residences. See Middle Metolius River Hike.



Trip Reports

Related Discussions / Q&A

More Links

Page Contributors

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.