Explore the most popular fishing trails in Deschutes National Forest with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

hiking
19 hours ago

Hiked on 5/12/18. Car camped with Ali and Denali at the trailhead. Snow started at the beginning of the trail so we snow shoed the whole way. There was a cloud over the top of the mountain the entire way, and as we got closer the wind really started picking up. Our plan was to just go to the lake because we knew there wasn’t going to be a view but we stopped about 1.5-2 miles from the summit because we were hit with 40-50 MPH winds that were throwing snow and ice at us. We didn’t summit but the views of Bachelor were worth it. Really beautiful!

Beautiful hike! Still a lot of snow. Had to punch through and trail find, but it was great!

5/20/18: Amazing hike with great views. Still a lot of snow (~4-5 foot drifts). Might need to wait a little later in the season to get easier access to the trails.

hiking
1 month ago

Stopped in with kiddos over the weekend for a quick walk. Saw cougar track and scat in the middle of the trail! Back to the car we went!

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.

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.

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.

hiking
4 months ago

Had the trail to myself except for a few fishermen. Trail got a little soft and muddy in places as the day went on so go early when it's still frozen.

horseback riding
4 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!

Amazing hike! Went all the way up to the tarn and it was worth it, saw a goat as well! Ended up doing this hike after running into closure left and right due to fires in Sept. Road to get to the trail head was long and bumpy... had to drive slow to get there in my small sedan. Only passes two people the entire time on the hike.

backpacking
6 months ago

Awesome hike, haven’t done it in a year or so but looking forward to my next trip. Camped up here then went up the side of south sister

backpacking
6 months ago

Are there enough campsites around the lake for backpackers

hiking
6 months ago

Great trail. Not a lot of switchbacks or steep climbs. Beautiful views. I loved hiking along the water.

Oct. 16th 2017 Sunny nice day. Snow 2 to 3 feet at upper elevations, but snow on all the trail.

hiking
7 months ago

Great hike. BRING hiking poles! 8-12 inch s of snow. Nice and crunchy on the way up but slushy on the way down. GORGEOUS vista views. Hard hike for sure. Be in some kind of shape or suffer. Loved it. Hiked Oct. 5th (last week) much more snow today I’m sure.

Mostly dirt, some snowy spots.

Great views

7 months ago

Hi, for those who recently hiked the trail Do I need to worry about snow on some trails? thanks

Stunning views, especially during early fall.

hiking
7 months ago

Amazing hike along Fall Creek to Green Lakes. Arrived at the trailhead around 9am and had no trouble parking. The views of South Sister and Broken Top were spectacular, not to mention the beautiful creek and lakes.

Amazing hike, lots or snow as of 9/25/17. First stretch of woods had 2-4 inches about a mile in. Flat middle stretch had 8-12 inches. Snow shoes would probably help but its pretty slushy, packed and icy so maybe spikes would work better. Trekking poles are a MUST, and ideally some waterproof socks/boots. We weren't prepared and turned back before the final accent. There was also some posted potential trail closures down by the trailhead that referenced fire activity but it may have been out of date because the trail was fine, and we saw some folks who had made it all the way up and all was fine. Campground at the base was snow-free and beautiful but dropped below freezing at night.

Beautiful trail. Very nice walk and views. Easy hike.

backpacking
8 months ago

Nice fall hike to 3 quaint lakes. A bit of snow on trail but melting fast!

Snow from basically the parking lot all the way to the top, microspikes are not needed but make a huge difference in the slushy snow.

8 months ago

While this climb allows for some unbelievably rewarding scenery and views, it is not for everyone. You should not attempt it unless you are already in great hiking shape. The final ascent past the glacier is brutal and dangerous, but it is well worth it at the top. The unique part about this hike is all the different geographical challenges, although it is easy to get lost off the trail. Make sure to come prepared for changes in temperature at the top.

Amazing hike around the rim. Spectacular view point although the hike.

hiking
8 months ago

Great rewards for this hike…. rapid flowing mountain stream with rapids, water falls and wild flowers. Ending at two lakes with outstanding view of South Sister and Broken Top mountains! It has it all. NFS guide list this as the most popular hike in Oregon. We could see why! Note to travelers (as of August 2017)… coming from Bend there is no sign on Cascades Parkway for trailhead parking! You enter on the right at the construction stop light and can miss if not paying attention (we did).

Amazing!
Hiked up to the saddle and ran into Oregon Field Guide film crew camped out up top waiting to document the eclipse. There was a herd of mountain goats clambering up the face Three fingered Jack. A blue green pool that feeds Canyon Creek lies behind a moraine in a cirque at the base of the gigantic sheer cliffs. Opposite the mountain, east of the saddle you can scramble up to a spire-like remnant. It is comprised of layered rock that matches up with layers that are visible high on the towering face of Three Fingered Jack, now separated by thousands of feet of empty space where mountain once stood, evidence of major erosion at work!

hiking
8 months ago

Five star hike, yet not a solitary one. Currently closed due to fire activity Update: Reopened 9/18/2017

backpacking
8 months ago

Absolutely gorgeous hike. Stopped at Green Lake and camped for the night. Do not be discouraged by the fact that this is 'highly trafficked.' We saw some trail runners and other day hike/backpackers, but nothing excessive, on a Saturday and Sunday. Everyone was kind and helpful. Bottom of the trail is more populated, by the time you get to Green lake there are less people. Planning a through hike to Green, then gold lake, then out via the Park Meadow trail, for next year.

The smaller green lake isn't that cold in August, I recommend going for a dip if your joints are hurting at all.

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