Painted Hills Overlook is a 0.7 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Mitchell, OR that features beautiful wild flowers and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for walking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
IF you're looking for a hike, the Carroll Rim Trail (also on AllTrails) is for you. The rest are several loops found on a gravel road. The scenery was breath taking and worth the driving to get to the unit. Highly Recommended.
Not a hike but a great place to appreciate Mother Earth and take in all the colors!
Not for someone looking for a long hike, but more for someone who wants a high dose of educational beauty you will see nowhere else. highly reccomended.
It is a long way to drive into the middle of nowhere to see these hills but it will be fast and furiously short. Incredible, surreal views. Worth the drive but not worth the hike if you have other better hikes to do.
This is a 6.4 mile loop.
If you're driving.
Otherwise, the Carroll Rim trail (which is also on AllTrails) is the only hike in the Painted Hills. There are several small loops you can do after driving to them, but if you're looking to hike, well, this isn't your place. The hills are cool enough, but after your 6.4mi graveled drive to varied .2mi "hikes," you might want to venture elsewhere for some exercise.
On the other hand, if you're fresh off the tourbus or looking to gas-guzzle your way through an interesting piece of geology, well... man: is this is the place for you! Bring your camera, all your cousins, an umbrella, and every digital camera your family owns, 'cause it's ON!
this was a long drive to get here, but the views are worth it. there is no camping in the park itself so be prepared. there are a bunch of little 1/2 mile hikes. there is no shade and can be very hot in the summer, bring lots of water. all in all really liked it!
The Painted Hills are not located near anything so it is a long drive along winding roads just to get there. On top of that it won't take long to explore the entire area because it isn't very big. That being said the color of the scenery is gorgeous and definitely worth seeing. 4 of the trails are something like 1/2 mile in length or shorter and the 5th trail up to the top of the ridge looking down on the hills is only something like 3 miles round trip so you mine as well get them all in. None of them are difficult. They recommend late afternoon as the best time to visit because the hills will have the most color in the afternoon sunlight and I would have to agree with that. There are very few trees so bring sunscreen and bring your camera.
I guess I was the luckiest girl to experience these magnificent painted hills in winter time when the weather was absolutely beautiful, sunny, and no crowds......I had the whole place to myself and I could hardly get enough of it! I stayed for 2 nights in Mitchell, which is the cutest little town, with one pup/restaurant, 1 store, and a gas station, which is open during the day, and not on Sundays!. I stayed at The Painted Hills Vacation Cottages, which was so wonderful, and so well equipped, with everything you need, including a well equipped kitchen and a lovely clean place all together, and I highly recommend it.
As for the hike........well, it is the most interesting and awesome place and a photographer's paradise. The 6 mile hike through the park is easy, but I can imagine it gets quite hot there in the summer months. The Park entrance is just 6 miles from Mitchell, so that is really the best place to stay if you would like to spend some time here, and trust me, if you're an outdoor adventurer, this is what you'd want to do.
Make sure you take lunch and water, as there are no amenities anywhere near there.........just solitude and raw beauiy!! Go and enjoy!
This location is great to visit all year round. The trails are clearly marked and well maintained - easy for the beginner hiker. The scenery is worth the stop, however the park is quite small to only allow for short day hikes. The drive out to the Painted Hills also allows for some great scenery stops - so plan your travel accordingly. When I visited, I did about three different short hikes all allowed great panoramics of the painted hills and great insight on the geologic history of the area.