Explore Central Oregon Hikes - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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this trail IS NOT open until end of may. beautiful area but gate closed and still a ton of snow

Beautiful views at he top and it’s worth the hike to get there are see them. Easy morning is best in summer to avoid crowds. Will be doing this hike again, beautiful and fabulous exercise. Would plan 3-4 hours.

Beautiful and fascinating place.

hiking
16 days ago

There is still quite a bit of snow here. You can’t drive to the trailhead as one of the Lodge’s is closed.

Couldn't access the trailhead - Hwy 242 is closed about 6 miles up (from its beginning point off Hwy 126. Likely due to snow. This was 4-7-18.

Great trail. Easy to lose the trail during the second elevation. Had to do some scrambling to find it. Definitely a tough trail. I saw about 20 big horn sheep when I hiked it yesterday. The view from the top is amazing.

snowshoeing
1 month ago

Beautiful hike with mild very gradual elevation gain and stunning waterfall at the end! There is a snowmobile trail that also leads to the falls, so be sure you find the trail through the woods off to the side of the snowmobile trail so you can enjoy the beautiful forest. The snowshoeing or cross country skiing trail is a little hard to find from the very start, but is easily visible from the cabin just a few feet up the snowmobile trail. The forest trail is also well marked with blue diamonds on the trail throughout the entirety. Highly recommend also checking out the lower falls viewpoint only 1/4 mile down in addition to upper level lookout. Of note, you need a Sno Park pass to park for this hike which we didn’t find listed anywhere else!

snowshoeing
1 month ago

Excellent hike with stunning views on a clear day! Tough incline heading up, but well worth the views. Snowshoed in mid- March

Great views and a really nice trail, hard hike but a good challenge

hiking
2 months ago

Began with an erroneous boondoggle most of the way to Wave Cave as we got to assisting a couple apparently right near the split in the trail. Knew something was wrong as there were too many people and then we came into visual of the cave....

One of my favorite hikes! Went in early July, great views with lots of butterflies and blooming flowers! Bit of an incline to the top but it’s well worth it.

Hiked on 2/18/18 with several inches of snow on the ground. The falls were extra beautiful with Frozen water around it.

hiking
2 months ago

Fascinating place and an easy trail for creatures who wear boots. Four stars only because the trail was short and I wanted to see more. The way the flora got a root-hold in the landscape was both inspiring and beautiful. We visited in mid-June on a sunny and warm day. Be ready for the three variations of rock to heat up fast in midday and it reflects a lot of light so take sunscreen even for the short jaunt. Definitely a place for closed toe shoes, keep an eye on little kiddos, and please do not bring doggos - I don't think they make tough enough dog-boots for this particular trail. I witnessed one hiker carrying his adult yellow lab on his shoulders, they best place for him if he couldn't stay home.

snowshoeing
2 months ago

Snowshoed on a clear day in January. Followed previous tracks up, and blazed our own trail coming back down. Quite steep at the final ascent, but manageable. View from the top was breathtaking.

hiking
2 months ago

Such an EPIC hike!! A lot of people say it’s much easier than Flat Iron, but keep in mind this one is much longer. The stats may seem easier on paper, but this hike is difficult! Many moments where you need to push yourself and keep going for the amazing reward at the end. You start out on the same trail as the wave cave, but it splits off at one point...GO RIGHT! It’s a little ways after the fence you walk through. There is a pile of rocks, but we missed it and had to backtrack a bit. Found our way though with GPS back to the trail. Definitely came in handy having the map downloaded. I added to lots of carins along the way, these helped tremendously. If you see some that have fallen or need a couple extra on top, add to them! And leave your mark :) it helps others who may adventure after you’ve considered this just a memory. It says 6.8 miles but man it felt like so much more...felt more like 11. We were out there all day, so plan for some extra time. Have fun and enjoy all the sisters have to offer :)

snowshoeing
2 months ago

By following the existing trail forged by those before me, I went straight up - round trip with some wandering around at the summit left my GPS showing only 2.98 miles. Snow was an icy pack the whole way up. Summit would be fantastic... On a day without a complete whiteout. Still worth the trip, great length and strenuous for a weekend day hike between breakfast and a late lunch. I look forward to going up in the spring.

PUT SOME “SPARKS” IN YOUR LIFE!
Words and pics by Ian Smith
Eventually we choose the Pine Tavern at Bend (Oregon) for food and what a choice. Right in the middle of the restaurant are two mature pine trees growing out of the floor and straight through the roof. While I ponder how the roof might be sealed, Lorraine checks out the wine list until my gaze is taken by the lovely garden that tilts toward the Deschutes River.
The birds are loving it; a robin hops around the plants in a vigilant search for insects while a flock of waxwings are having a wonderful time at the bird bath as mallards paddle back and forth in the river. It feels like you’re part of nature without even leaving your table. The tasty food gets us thinking about what else to do and we decide to have a crack at Sparks Lake.
Sparks is renowned among photographers as being a place to get a good shot but, as is always the case, you have to get the weather right......that’s where Lorraine, the weather goddess, comes in.
It’s not that far from Bend up the Cascade Lakes National Scenic Highway and, as we pass Mount Bachelor, the local ski field, it’s so hard to imagine people skiing over a rugged lava flow; just doesn’t seem right.
We’ve a bit of time on board so we slip into Todd Lake first. It’s a 4 km stroll around a placid lake and, while it’s nice and there’s some interesting bird life, we’re hoping for better at Sparks.
To get into Sparks it’s a twisting road with, at times, corrugations and bumps, the like of which we’ve never seen in America where just about everything is sealed road it seems. In fact, you have a less than 1% chance of driving on one, according to statistics. Still, our hopes of a reward at the end aren’t dashed though the weather goddess has let me down a little because of a breeze coming across the lake.
Its potential is easy to discern however, South Sister and Broken Top stand stark in the background, ready to cast their images on a millpond should it transpire and, since it’s a while before the earth spins around and delivers darkness, we first amuse ourselves watching a chipmunk letting some birds know just who’s in charge of discarded apple. The frenetic energy they forever display never ceases to warm us to their ways; oh that we should be able to scurry as fast.
We then look in other directions and start to wander down past the lava fields. Where once the flow from Mount Bachelor cooled it formed a barrier to the heated rock still flowing beneath and, in places, it rose up to 70 feet like a giant loaf of leavened bread.
The level of the lake is low, the snow season wasn’t great and, it hasn’t rained much since, so you can walk some places where you’d normally get your feet wet and thus we follow a narrow band of sand beside the lava wall.
You can see how good this place could be but the ripple, however small, frustrates us so we have to be content with the leg exercise and the occasional snap. Still, it’s a pleasant afternoon beneath a virtually cloudless sky and we reach a point where the realization dawns that it’s pointless to walk any farther around this strange body of water with no known exit. Somehow, somewhere, it just drains slowly.
We’d returned nary 50 metres before we were rounded up by a young couple, she of boundless energy demonstrated by practising rock climbing techniques up and down the lava flow with mind blowing dexterity. In leaps and bounds reminiscent of a mountain goat did she ascend with a confidence borne of youth. As we waited expectantly for a slip she continued to confound us with her suppleness.
The entertainment over, as quickly as it eventuated, we idled back to the carpark and stepped back to our original viewpoint. The breeze was faltering and two other photographers were waiting in anticipation so we deigned to join them and everyone’s optimism turned out to be justified.
Though we didn’t get an atmospheric ruddy glow we got a crystal clear sky with classic mirror reflection. South Sister and Broken Top were haze free and it’s easy to see why there are so many shots on the internet of this spot. In the stillness we were mesmerized by the natural beauty of the setting. Oregon just keeps on delivering.
We drove home satisfied, we’d seen and digested much without travelling too far today.

Great hike but there were some pretty icy spots. The view of the falls is not what I was expecting but I’d do it again.

Absolutely stunning! Not a great view of the falls though.

snowshoeing
2 months ago

Beautiful hike for snowshoes. Trail is covered so you’re at the mercy of the previous snowshoer who picked a pretty spicy grade up to the top.

hiking
2 months ago

Nice hike in Oregon's "Other Crater Lake" area. Great views along the hike, especially of an immense lava flow below.

hiking
2 months ago

Pretty cool trail winding through the canyon. Lots of weird rock art if you look for the carvings. The trail was kinda spooky in spots with all the old juniper and how quiet it was. Sandy soft soil most of the way, cool rough road getting in. Went Friday and didn’t see anyone else. Went again Saturday and there were tons of people there. Ignore the map on this page. You access the trailhead from HWY 20 by the badlands rock trailhead.

hiking
3 months ago

This hike was amazing! It is long and definitely a scrambly challenge, but it is certainly easier than its north side sister, Flat Iron. The trail is a little tricky to follow, but with GPS we had no problem. I highly recommend GPS for this trail. Spectacular views of gold canyon and of weavers needle. The best part was we only saw a few other people on this hike and had the summit all to ourselves!! This is a great trail if you want amazing views and a challenge, but also to avoid the crowds of Flat Iron.

hiking
3 months ago

PLEASE READ.......This is not a hike to take lightly it is straight up a rocky climb. You will loose your way a few times. Thank goodness for the good people that placed the carins. I added a few myself, please rebuild the ones that have lost a few rocks it helps tremendously to have obvious carins. There are some beautiful views for sure. This is only a 6.8 mile hike but feels more like a 12 mile hike. Plan on all day so you can take your time and take some breaks. Take plenty of snacks for energy you ll need it. I will NOT do this one again. Be mindful and do not take your dog.

Awesome in January!

Peaceful, simple, beautiful. What else do you need in a hike! Be warned though- the waypoint for this map isn’t to the trailhead, it’s for the road to the trailhead- it’s kinda confusing!

horseback riding
3 months ago

My favorite time of year to hike the Green Lakes trail is in the late summer to see the wildflowers. I've also been in the late fall (snowfall permitting) though and it was just as beautiful!

3 months ago

Short walk to a neat cave.

hiking
3 months ago

Nice, pretty easy mellow dog friendly hike. When you pull off, hang right THROUGH the gravel pits, not past them to hit the trail head!

I loved this hike. Quiet and not crowded like some of the others in this area. It was a bit dusty in the beginning but the scenery more than made up for it.

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