Explore the most popular hiking 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.

Left the trailhead about 8 am on 6/16. Saw many others using spikes/crampons, but personally I never felt the need as the snow wasn’t very hard. Waterproof boots and a good trekking pole or two will suffice. Reached the summit by noon. Was no visibility and 45 mph winds, but never felt dangerous due to the well marked trail. Brought some waterproof pants and gaiters for some glissading on the way down. Back to the car by 2 pm.

1 day ago

I went 6-16-18, day before Father’s Day, first time. There were plenty of snow 2-3 miles in, I put crampons by now. I used Gaia GPS and the AllTrails app to find my bearings because the snow covered up the trail. There are no markings except for a few signs the trail and intersections. I luckily ran into some locals that knew where to go. We only made it to the crater lake at the rim. There’s flurries of snow and mostly sleet towards the lake. I didn’t attempt the summit because it was very foggy and I could see maybe 20 meters in front of me. Lake was in the process of melting around the edges and had a beautiful hue of blue that my phone camera didn’t do it justice. It was an awesome hike overall but for unfamiliar hikers, better to wait for more thaw. I had crampons and trekking pole.

2 days ago

Lovely, easy and well marked trail... if you begin to the Left, it will take you through peekaboo views of several Cascade Mountains as you walk through volcanic rock - such a contrast and a visual delight. The second half of the trail runs side by side with Sparks Lake - I had to pause to not only breath in the breathtaking views but to take photo after photo around every corner. I look forward to returning as everyday in Central Oregon has different weather patterns (blue skies, high/low clouds, rain, snow and more) and each brings its own magic.

Keep in mind you have to start on the skyline trail.

great little walk for kids and adults alike.
pretty populated but I understand why. nice parking lot and the path is paved.
there are hundreds of cute chipmunks residing on the path that are incredibly friendly and clearly used to being fed.

Catch the PCT just a few hundred feet west of the Dee Wright Observatory. The trail itself is mixed terrain and crosses different sections of ancient lava flows (for the geology nerds out there). Wear sturdy hiking boots or your feet will be pleading for mercy on the rough and jagged lava rock. Little to no shade, so plenty of water and sunscreen is a must.

I highly recommend also heading to the top of Big Belknap Crater, which is just a bit further up the PCT before shooting to the left and up the steep scree-covered slope (can't really miss it), which adds another mile each way. The intimate view of Mt. Washington and the Three Sisters will blow your scree-filled socks off.

Went last summer in early August. Park along highway when lodge is closed and walk up to the trailhead. Beautiful views, still a couple patches of snow to go over near the summit. Had trouble finding trail until near summit so I ended up scrambling up much of the mountain. Was a lot of fun, planning on making this hike a summer tradition!

We parked at the pay by plate station and took the trail that followed the road to the water fall. Almost went too far and ended up on the Farewell trail. Make sure you don’t do that if you’re wanting to see the waterfall. Family restrooms at beginning of trail. There’s a little bit of an incline up to the viewing points but not anything you couldn’t stand aside and take a breather if needed. There is a trail off to the right on your way up if you’re looking to head under the waterfall, but we heard it was a little treacherous so we turned around and continued up. Wonderful pictures and sites. Lots of people and dogs. Some not on leashes. Perfect for first timers or even “out of shape”- like me- people.

very pretty with wildflowers, mountain views, & clear snowmelt lake. trail wet & muddy in places so be prepared.

Nicely groomed trail, easy, and scenic.

3 days ago

Hiked on 6/14. Started the hike at 6 am. Good amount of snow still so we put on ice spikes when the trail started to get steep. Was good to start early in the day while the snow was still hard as it turned to slush as the day went on and was harder to manage. Trekking poles were a must to keep from sliding and take some pressure off our knees on the way back down. It was clear up top with a beautiful view of the other 2 sisters, 3 fingered jack and mt Jefferson. Don't be discouraged by the false summit, keep going because the glacier/snow field and view from the top are worth it!

Awesome views the whole way but getting to both gold lake and green lakes are currently still snowed in wouldn’t attempt to do this till July as the temperature dropped to 25 overnight

5 days ago

I also would like to know -- hoping to head up there this weekend.,

5 days ago

I enjoyed this hike. The pollen was very thick in the air this time of year (mid June). I wore lots of bug spray per the recommendations of the internet, and I was ok as far as mosquitoes... I may have just gotten lucky that it wasn't a very buggy day. There were a few flies around the lake, and a lot of mosquitoes when I got back to my car. I only ran into a few other people since it was a week day afternoon. The view of Diamond Peak from the shore of the lake was amazing, and the woods were very peaceful. Although there is a decent amount of elevation gain its spread out over 4+ miles so no individual stretch is intensely steep.

What a fantastic hike! The viewpoints along the trail give you a different scene of the creek and the Falls. You do gain some elevation so save some of your energy to go a little further and get to the Spring Ck Bridge. Totally worth it ;-)

nature trips
7 days ago

What an incredible place. My husband and I showed up at this trailhead looking for Jack Lake and ended up doing almost all of the Canyon Creek Meadow hike. We stopped when the trail forks to the left and right with a gorgeous view of Three Fingered Jack. We had to walk through tiny patches of snow to get that far, and gave up when we couldn’t see the end of it. It’s mostly uphill so it was an excellent workout. We ran into 11 people and 3 dogs. Can’t wait to return with the kids once the snow is gone. This was our favorite place yet!!

7 days ago

Perfect hike for when you are in the area. Family and dog friendly and amazing views every time I go.

7 days ago

Great hike!

mountain biking
7 days ago

If you start from the west trailhead of Tiddlywinks and ride to the end at the Storm King trailhead it is the most fun! You can start part way in off NF road 4100 I think it is if you want a more DH experience. This was one of the most fun trails I’ve been on in a long time, very flowy!

Made it to Carl Lake on the 26th of May, last 2 miles is all over snow, most pond/lakes frozen over. Carl Lake reminded me of going thru the wardrobe into Narnia.

Cabot lake was nice tho!!

8 days ago

Beautiful hike. There before the bugs hatch. Had to turn around at the river. Running too fast and it was 36 degrees out. Plan on bringing some kind of shoe for fording across. One of my favorite hikes. Snow free to the river.

Has anyone done this recently? Is the gate open for high clearance vehicles?

Google maps wasn’t the greatest getting to the trailhead. If you stay on the main dirt road you will get there eventually. The trail is mostly through an area of burned trees in various stages of regrowth. Like others have said the waterfall is hard to see from the viewpoint through the trees. The 60ft decline is a scramble but well worth it. Possibly one of the prettiest waterfalls in Central Oregon. There is a sign at the waterfall that says the trail ends but you can continue past for another bit.

We couldn’t have asked for better weather for this hike. Cloudy most of the time with a little sun in between. Lava island is so impressive! Got to see some big crows and a pretty flintch as well. Great easy family hike along the Deschutes!

Very nice trail once you hit the river, The Falls have great view points once you get there. Not much elevation at all but made for a good workout being 7 miles. Probably a better mountain bike/ Running trail IMO is the only reason for 4 stars.

Awesome trail not to busy and well maintained. Went from Benham to Dillon Falls and back definitely worth the hike. My favorite parts were actually the lazier parts of the river watching ducks, geese, and kayakers making their way up and down the river.

Great hike. Still some snow but easy to navigate through and around. Mosquitos are brewing so come prepared. Amazing views!

lots of mosquitos A LOT. bring bug spray. plus side is we had the whole trail to ourselves aswell as the lake. bears are there btw we had one walk into our campsite at 2 am. friendly and left once it noticed us

Beautifully landscaped, asphalt and stone path for the most part (some gravel) along the Deschutes river. Visually impressive, easy stroll, enjoy the walk.

This was an amazing hike from start to finish! The majority of the time you are next to the river and in a pine forest that provides some nice shade. The last third or so is opposite the old lava/obsidian flow, which provides for some other worldly sights as well. The finale at the lakes is just spectacular and well worth the effort to get there. It really is a hike with something for everyone. At this time of year (June 7) the trail was still about 50-60% snow-covered, but the path in the snow was well worn and easy enough to follow. The lakes are partially frozen still, but that just adds to the beauty. I can see why this trail is so popular but ended up seeing only about 10 other hikers on the path.

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