Badlands Loop Trail is a 18.8 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Bend, Oregon that features beautiful wild flowers and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, birding, and horses and is best used from March until October. Horses are also able to use this trail.
Starting at the trailhead, walk north along the trail along the sandy jeep trail. The trail is fairly stark for about three miles. I startled three deer while hiking, jackrabbits abound and the coyotes howl in the nighttime. When you come upon Badlands Rock, you will need to skirt it unless you come between oct31st-mar1st because of the nest of a mated pair of protected prairie falcons. I hiked it in February, and when I crested the peak of Badlands Rock, I could see the snow capped peaks of the cascades in the distance. A red tailed hawk keened at me as it flew overhead. Take the left fork of the dirt road and follow it until it T's. At the T take the left fork, unless you want to follow a gorge made from a raised lava seam. Follow the dirt road back to your trailhead. From the trailhead go back to the paved road, about .5 miles take the jeep trail to the left, follow it to the mouth of Dry River Gorge. Petroglyphs are hidden in old caves along the canyon.
This trail gives you a real taste of the central Oregon dessert. Mostly level and sand to take home in your shoes
Take water. This is the desert. Great area for hiking or mtn biking. As you are going east on HWY 20 from Bend, the parking lot is at mile marker 16 - not a lot of signage. On a clear day - beautiful views of the Cascades. Great desert flowers at the right times.
The Flatiron loop trail in Oregon Badlands Wilderness offers subtle attractions. Lava flows, bright, small flowers (in season), tall junipers, and gradual changes in the microenvironment. Folks have wandered bit to explore the lava flows so make sure you don't lose your route.
This is one of my very favorite places. It's an easy hike, very flat desert land all the way out. The sand makes it feel like you are walking farther than you actually are though. The rock formations are cool, and you can do some bouldering and scrambling out there at various secret spots. I've always wanted to hike out and camp out there, but I haven't done it yet. This is my zen hike for sure. Also, it is EXTREMELY hot in the summer. There is hardly any shade..this is the DESERT. Bring lots of water and wear sunblock!
Flatiron rock loop is great, we really enjoyed this walk- not too much of a hike, no real elevation gain in this part. Bring plenty of water though as it is a desert and very dry/dusty in the summer especially. Beautiful and enjoyable.
We completed the Flatiron Rock trail yesterday morning. Beautiful sunny day with light wind. Perfect for a hike like this. Very little elevation change. Trail surface was soft sand most of the way. We spent time hanging out at Flatiron Rock taking photos. Scenery was amazing. We were able to see 10 mountain peaks in the distance.
See link below for additional trail information.
We hit this on a beautiful February day. Shot some video check it out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rP6DqdvpXt4