Explore August 20th to 28th trip 2017 - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

eastern oregon, hikes and places to see

August 20th to 28th trip 2017 Map
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A perfect example of the beauty of Central Oregon.

Unique trail! We were camped at Thompson Reservoir and decided to explore this trail. It was a very hot day, however, it’s much cooler once you get down into the trail, it felt very nice. We climbed a lot of boulders to get further on the trail. You can turn back at anytime if you’re not wanting to climb over rocks. We had our 7 lb dog with us so we carried her much of the way. We loved this trail!

The south side of the loop is the Tumalo Creek Trail portion of the loop and was the most scenic part of the hike up until you reach the falls. The north end is actually a road. If you want to hike through some alpine forest you can hike up past Tumalo Falls to Double Falls, but probably wouldn’t want to go much further without snowshoes. Spikes recommended if there is snow on the ground.

This was a great hike, would do it again on a cooler day, the lack of tree canopy makes it too warm on a hot day.

Not a dull moment on this hike. It’s got a spectacular reveal of Monkey Face when you pop up on a ridge, plus just the right amount of toughness with the climb and descent. This is followed up with a lovely amble along the river back to the start, passing by numerous, climb-able rock faces to admire. A great showcase of the high-desert terrain this area is known for.

We did the trail to the falls out and back. It's about 7 mile without much incline. The only incline is the last couple hundred yards to the falls, so it's a pretty easy hike. It was very icy for the first mile and hard pack after that. We had spikes but there were other people who were hugging the snowy edges to keep on their feet. I personally wouldn't go without spikes until it snows again, just to slick. All and all a beautiful hike, the scenery is fantastic.

12/27/18 - I drive an XV crosstrek and was not able to make it to the trailhead. So we parked along the road and snowshoed the last portion in. We did not actually hike the trail because there was at least four feet of snow, but got to see great views of three fingered jack, beautiful snowy scenery, and enjoy some time by the snow covered lake right off the trailhead.

Blue Basin was what finally made me pull the trigger on traveling to Oregon, and it did not disappoint. We did both this and the rim loop trail, the turquoise blue rocks were gorgeous. I’ve not seen many photos that truly capture the beauty of this place. It’s absolutely stunning, as is the rest of Oregon

Took us two hours to do this. Did it clockwise with the river trail first and then misery ridge. Perfect for a winter day. Misery ridge requires some climbing but the views of the canyon and river are beautiful on the way down.

3 miles of dirt road up to trail head. There was ice on the road and we got up in an Impreza but I wouldn’t try it without a 4WD vehicle. Once on the hike the first half is In the trees but once you get further up there are good 360 views of the valley. Up top is awesome with a fire lookout tower and more 360 views! There was about 2 feet of snow on the upper mountain but it was still easy to do.

amazing views and a great well kept trail!

hiking
1 month ago

Awesome trail all the way. (This review describes hiking up the ridge first for a counterclockwise hike, which seems to be the more common choice and my preference.) Some very steep grades on the ascent up Misery Ridge, so I like to use a trekking pole. Great views of the river canyon on the ascent, then you wind around to the back where an even more spectacular view awaits of the cool Monkey Face rock formation (look for climbers on it) and the Cascade Range all the way from Mount Bachelor to Mount Hood. Then the trail descends down around Monkey Face and follows the river in a mostly flat meander past a lot of climbing sites. (A previous reviewer compared Smith Rock SP to Zion NP, just on a smaller scale. That is exactly what I thought the first time I visited here!)

scenic driving
1 month ago

11/25/18 road going up to the trailhead is pretty slick, drive safely! :)

Amazing scenery, quick, fun, intense hike. Misery Ridge portion is not kid or dog friendly in my opinion with crowds and vertical drops.

Great short walk to a nice falls

11/21/18
Snow is starting to accumulate in the upper meadow and above. Slick icy snow on the way up to the saddle, microspikes recommended

No good trail markings, typical Oregon. ended up on the skyliner trail which was an awesome 6.5 mile run. Head back tomorrow with a map and run the falls loop

hiking
1 month ago

THIS IS FREAKING AMAZING! The only thing that makes me sad is that I don´t have any formal experience climbing. The views are stunning. Loved it! For me it wasn't a hard hike as some people say, I think moderate is accurate. Lots of people.

1 month ago

Loved the views and colors. I wish these were longer hikes.

on Painted Cove Trail

1 month ago

Impressive views, but really short walk.

1 month ago

I loved the views, the hills are really impressive and even if it is not a proper hike (the trails are really short), all the trails together give you the impression of a larger hike.

Definition of a steady incline from the start to finish but wasn’t too difficult. Views from the top are incredible!

on Black Butte Trail

2 months ago

Amazing views!

hiking
2 months ago

A great hike with breathtaking views. Hiked this today with a family of 5, 10 years being the youngest and a energetic dog. Mid-November and it was a cool start, still plenty of hikers! Very popular trail. I was worried reading some of these reviews that this was going to be challenging. The kids were just about to think it was when we saw the watch towers and knew we were close. We used a Garmin and found it to be about 2.4 miles to the top. (and as stated in other reviews, it is up, the whole way!). We made it in about 70 minutes up and 50 minutes down, in good tennis shoes, nothing fancy. Path is relatively soft and easy to walk, top has more rock “stairs” and can require more careful footing. As stated, it was cool today, if hiking on a warm day, start early and bring plenty of water. Had a great time, highly recommend!

It is 35 minutes from Sisters, and all but the last mile+ were good/great roads. The last little bit is rough but doable. Not a lot of parking, both lots full when we left and it is not peak season. But there is a pit toilet at the trailhead.

We are an active family, young children and inactive people will likely need to take their time.

I snowshoed this trail in march and it was so fun! Flat, and accessible. Some were mountain biking it.

Awesome trail, very busy, very doable for anyone. Easy trail and short enough to take your time. $5 parking fee.

Beautiful trail to the top. Quite the Climb though.

hiking
2 months ago

We loved this hike! Beautiful views once you get up out of the trees (the views within the trees were still pretty). This is an uphill hike, the entire way- there was no reprieve. We had to stop a few times to catch our breath. The views from the top were worth it! Two lookouts to see, one is boarded up and the other is active. We could see 8 mountain peaks, even through the slight haze. There were a few 2wd vehicles at the trailhead, though the road is a little rough.

Today we visited 7/7 of the Oregon Wonders. Smith Rock was the final one and it did not disappoint. It reminded me a little bit of Zion - a mini version though. The hike was pleasant and easy up to the Misery Ridge. A couple of strenuous and steep switch backs take you to the top. The views on top are very rewarding. I totally recommend doing the river trail first and ascending the ridge from the back side. It’s shorter (but steeper) and faster. Also, your knees will thank the steps on the front side of the rock formation. Save some energy for the final incline to the parking lot. This one might be the most brutal one! Lol.

hiking
2 months ago

This is one of my top ten favorite hikes of all time. The views were stunning (especially of Mount Shasta) and the terrain was really different. It was fun to scale the rocks and make our way up to the stop. We drove into the waypoint which was right near the official trailhead and we'd recommend others to do the same. I think a 2wd car could make it there. It took about an hour and 45 to get up and then an hour and 30 back down. We were hiking with our 6 mo old pup who had a blast. Think some dogs could get scared with the rocks and ledge but she did great and it was super fun to watch her navigate.

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