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Some easy hiking trails near Bend, Oregon


Head east on Highway 20 (Greenwood Avenue) to the Pilot Butte State Park. The new parking area and trailhead is just east of the butte, and across from the Deschutes National Forest Headquarters. You may walk on either the nature trail or the paved road. The road is also available for vehicle traffic, weather permitting. It is a wonderful viewpoint for the entire Bend area.

This lovely city park has numerous rock formations along the Deschutes River with picnic and BBQ pits available. Bird watching is spectacular here. The trail along the river is used by bikers, hikers, and runners alike. Travel north on Highway 97 and turn left at the stop light at O B Riley Road. Travel north for about Ľ mile, and turn left into the park. The parking area is closed seasonally, but the park can still be accessed using roadside parking along O B Riley. For more information on city parks contact Bend Metro Parks and Recreation at 389-7275.


Drive north on Highway 97 through Redmond to Terrebonne. Turn right (east) at the flashing light. Turn left on NE 1st Street and proceed 2 miles, turning left at the state park signs. The park is another 0.7 miles. The picnic area has beautiful views of the rock formations where people from all over the world come to climb. There are numerous hiking trails following the river down into the Crooked River Canyon. Limited camping facilities are available. A State Park Day-Use fee is required, and there is a fee station in the parking lot.


Five miles downstream from Sunriver (the Deschutes River flows north), this trail provides a spectacular scene of untamed rapids. From Bend follow Highway 97 south 11 miles and turn right at the Lava Lands Visitor Center. Follow the road on your left for approximately 3 miles to the parking and picnic area. Walk across the footbridge. Benham Falls is an easy half-mile walk down the road along the river. This trail continues for many miles passing by Dillon Falls and Lava Island falls. It is also a mountain bike trail.

Benham, Dillon, and Lava Island falls also have parking areas accessible via Forest Service Road 41, just past the Inn of the Seventh Mountain. All parking areas require a Northwest Forest Pass for parking.

Travel south on Highway 97. Turn East on Forest Service Road 9720-directly across the highway from the Sunriver exit. This is an unpaved road which goes nearly 9 miles to the parking area at the Lava Cast Forest. The trail is an easy, paved, nine-tenths of a mile which wanders through many examples of 7000-year-old lava tree case formations. This road is snow-covered in winter. For additional information call 593-2421 (summer only).

Thirteen miles south of Bend on Highway 97 on the east side of the road is the largest uncollapsed lava tube in the state. It is about a mile in length and 100 feet deep in spots. The sandy bottom makes it an easy hike, and the Forest Service will rent lanterns to you for a small fee. There is a nominal entrance fee as well. The cave is closed from late fall through mid-April due to the hibernation of resident bats. For more information contact the Lava Lands Visitor Information Center at 593-2421(in summer) or the Bend-Ft. Rock Ranger District at 383-4000.

Drive south on Highway 97 for approximately 22 miles. Turn east at the East Lake and Paulina Lake sign. It is about a 15-mile drive up to the obsidian flow. This is one of the largest obsidian flows in the world, formed about 1300 years ago during the most recent eruption of Newberry Volcano.

The Ogden National Recreation Trail will take you along Paulina Creek, where you can count no fewer than 20 waterfalls. Drive south on Highway 97 about 22 miles to the Paulina and East Lake sign. Turn east, drive about 1.5 miles to a trailhead parking area on the north. The trail is 8.5 miles long (each way), accessible also from McKay Crossing Campground, which shortens the trip by 2.5 miles. There is a separate parking area at the east end of this trail for the viewpoint at Paulina Falls.


From Highway 97 in Bend turn west on Greenwood, which changes names to Newport Avenue in the downtown area of Bend. Follow Newport out for about 3 miles. You will see parking areas on both sides of the road. Aspen Hall is on the right and the main part of the park is on the left. The paved road through the park leads to several different picnic areas as well as trails. The trail system is a combination biking and hiking area. It heads up the ridge through some of the burn area from the Awbrey Hall fire of August 4, 1990.

From Highway 97 in Bend, turn west on Franklin. Follow the Scenic Highway loop through downtown Bend along Drake Park. Turn right on Galveston at the west end of the park, and follow this road out for eleven miles. Turn right and drive over the bridge. The pavement ends but the road continues for an additional 3 miles to a parking area at the falls. There is a trail up to the falls which connects to some of the sno-park areas and other trails.

Drive west on Cascade Lakes Highway for approximately 18 miles to Mt Bachelor’s first entrance at Sunrise Lodge. The 2.5 mile trail to the top of Mt. Bachelor is accessible in Summer and Fall and starts from the Sunrise Lodge area. The trail begins just west of the Sunrise chairlift and winds around through the trees. The top portion of the trail above the top of Sunrise chair goes through the lava rock itself and has beautiful open views of Broken Top and the Three Sisters. From the top, at 9065 feet, you can see nearly all of the Cascade Range to the North, and the nearby lakes along the Cascade Lakes National Scenic Byway.

This beautiful trail has its own parking lot across from the Sparks Lake meadow with a wonderful view of the north side of Mt. Bachelor. The trail winds along the Fall Creek through large pine trees and fields of lupine. You will see lots of small waterfalls. Follow the trail for 4.5 miles up to the Green Lakes, or cut off to the west after about 2 miles on the Moraine Lake trail, which is another couple of miles long. There is access to the South Sister Trail from the Green Lakes area. Please remember you are in a Wilderness Area and that special rules apply. There is no access in winter.

Other trailheads in this area offer a variety of horse and foot trails for just about any length of trip you desire. Many of them are accessed via parking areas along the Cascade Lakes Highway, and require a National Forest Trail Park Permit.


Located at McKenzie Pass on Highway 242, 15 miles west of Sisters. Beautiful view of the Cascade Mountains with a paved trail through one of the most recent lava flows in the United States. The trail is 0.5 mile long with interpretive signs along the path. It is closed in the winter.

This trail is 2 miles long going to the lookout station on top of Black Butte, at 6436 feet. The trail winds through open timber with wonderful views of the Three Sisters and Broken Top on the way up. On a clear day you can see nearly the entire Cascades Range! Take Highway 20 from Bend through Sisters to Forest Service Road 1110, near the Indian Ford Campground. Follow the signs up to the trail. For additional information, call the Sisters Ranger District at 549-7700.

Travel west on Highway 20 through Sisters, approximately 15 miles. Turn north on Forest Service Road 12, for about 1.5 miles and then turn left on FS Road 1232. It is about 1 mile to the trailhead. For road conditions or further information, call the Sisters Ranger District at 549-7700.

This is an excellent year-round trail and several starting points are accessible. Huge artesian wells, the source of the Metolius River, and further downstream is the Wizard Falls Fish Hatchery. One trailhead starts from the Canyon Creek Campground off Forest Service Road 1420. You can also start at the Wizard Falls Hatchery. Total distance to Bridge 99 is three miles, or to Candle Creek Campground it is 4.5 miles.





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