Explore the most popular mountain biking 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.

Great hike through the forest and along the river! Nice views of waterfalls, rapids and lava flow across the river. Nice views of Mt Bachelor and Broken Top in a few spots too. A little muddy in spots, but it's early April. Trade off is no mosquitoes yet! Yay! Pretty easy hike overall.

Completed this hike on our Vacation last week! Just came in on the gravel road side of the trail and it was easy to walk and great views! Worth doing if you are there!

cross country skiing
27 days ago

Fresh snow and an awesome shelter stocked with firewood. Beautiful!

Awesome trail - easy to follow, great beginner snowshoe, but spectacular views make it perfect for all levels of skill. Didn’t do the loop - just went out and back on the trail side, decided to nix the road section. Lots of fresh powder as of today, but it won’t last long!

1 month ago

This is a great winter get away!! Close to Bend and a good cross country ski!! On the weekend it is really crowded, but on the week day it is a good choice!! The views are spectacular and if you like waterfalls it is a must see!!

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.

Please park in usfs parking lot at trail head not in front of gate during winter months. Too many rigs block access to the home owners further down the road. Nice walk but respect those that live near by.

hiking
2 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.

This was an easy hike. Majority of it is walking up a gravel road but the scenery isn't horrible. Tried to get back to double falls but encountered to much ice on the trail. There is also a trail to get behind the falls and to the bottom

trail running
3 months ago

Missed the dirt on the way out, but took it on the way back and loved it. Great running trail with some pretty views. Highly recommend this!

great mountain biking trail

Loved the view, this was an absolutely beautiful winter hike! I’d definitely recommend hiking past the top of the first falls, following the river for another mile or so to Double Falls. Level, flat and easy for a majority of the way, the last 1/4 mi to the top of the Falls provides a slight incline for children. The trail loop will begin on a service road, but the loop back was much more enjoyable, in the woods, and secluded. When you hit Silverlake Lodge at the end, the single road bridge next to it will bring you back to the start.

trail running
3 months ago

Awesome trail run from SR. Did it with 2 inches snow on the ground in 20 degree weather and the scenes were amazing. the beginning of the trail isn't really marked very well so the Alltrails map was handy.

We hiked out and back along the road, in about 4-5 inches of snow. Very flat, easy hiking even with all the snow. Falls were gorgeous. Beautiful day. Our dog loved it too.

Really nice trail along river. Friendly crowd and lots of sweet dogs along the way. I would consider this to be easy and not moderate. There was hardly any elevation gain.

paddle sports
5 months ago

Beautiful calm and easy for beginners

Great calming and peaceful trail. Wide and open for lots of foot traffic and activities. Many bring dogs and enjoy the scenes of the river.

Well groomed scenic and easy hike.

hiking
5 months ago

Lots of puddles, the scenery is gorgeous. Lava flow and lots of pine trees, just breathtaking with a light dusting of snow this morning. Hiked from meadow picnic area to Dillon falls, about 6 miles each way. Loved it!

This is the most beautiful hike I've ever done! Sooo many different views of mountains, water, rock formations, and spectacular nature! We found a secret place to hang out - just ours!! We can't wait to return...

Beautiful hike and easy for kids to complete. Expect a hike from your vehicle. Busy trail.

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

We hiked this in mid September 2017. There were quite a few cars in the parking lot but we had to wait only about 10 minutes before a spot opened up. This was an easy hike on well groomed, wide trails, with a slight but steady increase in elevation. We didn't finish the loop and turned around after only 4 miles because it started snowing heavily and we weren't dressed for snowy conditions.

hiking
6 months ago

Day hiked to Maiden Lake from Rosary Lakes. Took about 2 hours. Snow on trail 3" or so - so slowed us a bit. Lake is gorgeous!

Great hike for the kids

7 months ago

Great trail. Ran into a couple of mountain bikers on the trail otherwise we were by ourselves until the falls were it was a little crowded. Must pay attention to signage. We missed the return loop so completed it as an out and back.

hiking
7 months ago

Nice, easy trail. Early on is through the woods, then the river, with a great payoff at the end with the falls. First couple miles is fairly isolated, then the last mile has more people from those who parked closer to the falls.

Great little ride.

beautiful hike with lots of features to enjoy...very easy aside from the initial 1/2 mile, which is easy but all uphill

Load More