Explore To Do - 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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hiking
19 hours ago

Great place, lots of variety in the trails as well as the scenery. Hiked along the gravel road going in to Jawbone Flats, (lots of old abandoned mining equipment all along the trail) then continued to Opal Pool and came back along the trail through the forest which connects back to the gravel road.
Since I am new to hiking this last part is for those that are also just getting started, or consider this a long hike. The gravel road is relatively flat, but the section through the woods had some short but steep climbs over rocky terrain. The path is pretty narrow and has some long drop offs in several areas. Don't let that scare you off though, I'm on the older end of the scale and new to hiking and found it all very manageable.
Believe my mileage would have been closer to the 6.5 than what was experienced by Stacy if I had taken the gravel road in and back out and stopped at Jawbone Flats. Adding Opal Pool and taking the route though the forest definitely increased my mileage.
All Trails recorded me at 8.4 miles total.
Most likely due to the weather conditions at the moment, the road leading in wasn't bad at all, even a sedan should be able to make it all the way to the trailhead.

nature trips
1 day ago

Absolutely breathtaking views and amazing perspective of the falls. A lot of falls have walkways behind the falls. Definitely one of my favorite hikes of all time!

Absolutely beautiful. I went with my husband & daughter in the summer. Be sure to take plenty of water. I'm going again with a friend in October. should be pretty in Fall. Highly recommend it.

Awesome. That’s all that needs to be said.

walking
3 days ago

Very crowded!

hiking
3 days ago

Difficult road to travers to the actual trail head unless you have an all wheel drive vehicle. We walked the road to the TH and the trail itself is not long but steep and appearing not formerly maintained. The hike is sleek with rock and covered in fallen leaves making it difficult to traverse in many areas. The pay off is well worth the jaunt with a beautiful falls. The drive to this falls is also splendid.

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

4 days ago

Amazing views!

Super day out there! Nice and sunny and trail was good. I would obviously still recommend mountain gear, poles, crampons etc. it was a great day! Trails were great!

hiking
4 days 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.

Sumitted November 8th!... a bit chilly, but no wind at the top, and amazing sunny views! Definitely appreciated crampons near the summit. This is a challenging hike! I am an avid hiker and runner and my body hurts in ways it rarely does 2 days later... but well worth it!!

Beautiful hike, enjoyed the falls very invigorating

hiking
11 days ago

Nice loop hike with manageable elevation gain. We started at the South Falls trailhead and went counterclockwise, which I would recommend. The first part of the Rim Trail runs next to the road, so we were glad to get that out of the way first.
We didn’t know about the trail running event this weekend, which meant a full parking lot and lots of muddy, cold people. We were expecting a lot of other people, but not that many. We almost turned around, but are glad we didn’t. Fortunately most of the runners had finished by the time we hit the trail.
It was a cloudy day, but the falls are still amazing.

Decided to venture out to this trail on 10/20. We hiked along the gravel road to Jawbone Flats, then over to Opal Pool, and we crossed the bridge taking the trail through the forest as our return route. The 6.5 mileage is VERY off from what you actually do. It’s 4 miles alone to Jawbone Flats and the loop through the forest adds quite a bit due to the twists and turns. My stepmother and several other groups behind us clocked it at over 9.5 miles, so come prepared.

Great hike you can do in different loops depending on how much time and effort you can make. 1 mile, 2.6 miles, 5 miles, etc. we did the 2.6 mile loop and it was beautiful. We saw 2 falls

hiking
16 days ago

One of the most beautiful sights to see in Oregon.

Awesome day 10/28/28....a bit of rain filled the streams and falls were amazing.

Absolutely gorgeous! made it to the white locked fence easily thanks to the directions of *always staying to the left and down hill * directions once turn off of Crooked Finger Rd. Took second trail as stated below with Abbey Foundation sign and it was a quick hike in staying left once we hit the river.
Definitely going back once every season this next year !

Completed 10-8-18
Went in the dark, still a fun hike

hiking
20 days 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.

Hated it but intend to do it every year until I can’t!

hiking
22 days ago

Great fall color in the forest. I did it counter clockwise so it was an easy walk with less crowds.

hiking
23 days 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.

backpacking
24 days ago

Great to backpack, but it's a little extreme to call this one "moderate" in difficulty.

People talk about a rough road and 4x4s only, when there's no real reason to take the 4x4 road. Start from Shellrock Lake, and it's a dead-easy 6mi of friendly, even trail with minimal (mayyybe 1500 ft) gain. As of fall 2018, there are very few sections with roots/tough footing/blow-downs. Unless you're (mentally) unstable or have a new 4Runner you want to try out, there's no reason whatsoever to shave-off 1.9 dead-easy miles by attempting a Gresham "truck nuts" approach. I drove to Shellrock in a 40 year-old German convertible and it was fine. Your 1999 Honda Civic with the huge muffler, ground effects, and the 4ft fin on the back? It fine. Trust me. I mean, no one likes it and--contrary to popular belief--that bass *will not* get you women, but your sick whip?? It'll do just fine, bra.

So let's rate the difficulty, as these reviews make this wonderfully peaceful, friendly, and mellow trail sound like trying to do Dog, Defiance, and Devil's Rest in the same day with a 60lb pack (and yup, that's called the TripleD: only really bored Mazamas, tweekers, and--for whatever reason--mechanical engineers like doing that.)

So if the PCT from Mexico to Canada is an 11 on the 1-10 scale of backpacking difficulty, and you were bored/silly enough to want backpack Defiance (9), then this is maybe a 3.5. Maybe. Mind you, on this scale walking to PSU from the Pearl with your Jansport full of books is a 1, and Mirror Lake with a tent, a bag, a sixer, and Cheetos (no Tom/Dick/Harry) is a 2.

The Serene Lake backpack is great, easy to drive to, and most any first-time backpacker could make it. If you stopped every 30 mins for rest, you'd be fine if you started before noon: it's only 6mi to the lake. Also, so many little baby lakes and mellow camp spots are peppered throughout this hike. Even if the 8 or so decent lake spots were taken, there are a ton more cool flat spots within a mile of the lake that'd be great if you just ported h20 in your Camelback.

Oh, and take the wonderful "long way out" heading west out of Serene Lake on the return and use the Grouse Point trail to then head back east. It adds another mile or two and maybe an additional 6-700ft of overall gain, but is equally mellow given enough time.

Anyway, loved this backpack. It'd be a go-to for taking first-time backpackers who wanted to do something that was quiet and friendly, but gave you that (priceless) feeling of being more than 10 miles away from a Plaid Pantry.

For a challenge, might be cool as a snowshoe.

5 stars. And I'll include a complete trail map from the Shellrock Lake start point in my profile photos with a title if that's of use to anyone.

hiking
24 days ago

Breathtaking views! Pretty crowded, especially the first few waterfalls (lots of people stopping for photos), but the farther you go, the less people there are. You can walk behind a couple of the waterfalls, and those areas usually have large puddles of water and can be pretty muddy so heads up! I highly recommend this hike, it's drop-dead gorgeous!

hiking
24 days ago

Today we hiked this trail for the second time. Two years ago we went at Thanksgiving and we had quite some snow and couldn’t see any of the views. But loved it nevertheless. Today was a hot autumn day and totally clear. I had forgotten how steep this hike was, but it’s oh so worth it once reaching the summit. The view will blow your mind. You’ll see a big chunk of the Cascadian mountain range, a fire lookout and a historical building. Would definitely do this hike again!

Went today for the 2nd time. Totally forgot about the steep uphill hike, just remembered the amazing and rewarding view when you make it up to the top. Will definitely go again!

Day use fee $5 :)
Pretty hike! Not particularly difficult - I was expecting a bit more of a challenge, but the view is nice and I love trekking through the woods.

hiking
25 days ago

Did this hike on Friday morning. Got there 10 minutes before 8am right when they opened the gate. Glad I got there early as by the time I finished the loop it was there was a lot of people going in. Beautiful hike!

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