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Painted Cove Loop Hike

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

The boardwalk at Painted Cove (Steve Hart)
Looking over the painted hills at Painted Cove (Steve Hart)
Canadian Geese on the nearby lake (Steve Hart)


Hike Description

This is a hike through the one place in the Painted Hills where you can get right next to a "painted hill".

From the Painted Cove Trailhead, take the left fork of the trail and start on to the boardwalk. There are several interpretive signs about hills and how they were formed. The boardwalk is constructed up a natural draw and you can see the red bentonite close up of both sides of the trail. At the end of the boardwalk, the trail heads up the hill a bit. An informal side trail heads farther up to a great viewpoint of the entire area. Back on the main trail you'll come to a switchback at the head of a small valley.

The backside of the trail is just as interesting as the boardwalk. Here more signs educate hikers about the purplish rhyolite flow. Juniper trees and sagebrush on the left contrast with the bare red bentonite on the right. The trail is short and the little adventure ends all too quickly.


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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.