Explore the most popular trails in The Cove Palisades State Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

The Cove Palisades State Park is a year-round recreational destination for the entire family. Located in our high desert region, the weather is sunny and warm in the summer months and chilly but generally mild in the winter. The park is situated among towering cliffs that surround beautiful Lake Billy Chinook. The park features myriad water recreational opportunities, a full-service campground, store, restaurant, marina and rental services. Not interested in camping? Deluxe lakeshore log cabins are available. Nature lovers will find nearly 10 miles of hiking trails that give access to areas rich in wildlife and splendid scenery. The park is home to the popular Eagle Watch event held each February. Learn about the unusual and unique attributes of this premier recreational and natural resource area ... at water level!

It was a nice hike. Weather was fantastic for January, the initial incline was muddy and slick because it was on the northwest shady side, but on top was dry and easy walking. views were great of the cascades and the cove. I was surprised to see three other pairs of people out hiking. I had my 14yo son with me and he had no trouble hiking the trail.

hiking
muddy
16 days ago

The day use areas are closed off for the season but there’s a small area to park off the main road right next to the trailhead. The ascent up is pretty muddy and slick in some areas but isn’t a bad jaunt up. The views at the top are pretty cool and the trail is flat. Overall pretty decent hike!

hiking
1 month ago

Nice mix of incline and flat terrain for this hike. It's basically a steep mile up, then a longer, flat loop around the top before coming back down. Great cool weather hike. Very exposed, not too crowded. There are other trails to connect with and make for a longer overall hike. Awesome views. Dog-friendly. Kid-friendly with caution/guidance. Trailhead is pretty easy to locate.

hiking
no shade
1 month ago

The trail starts at the parking area just before the campground above The Cove Palisades. The first .25 or .50mi. doesn't seem promising, but after crossing the road the trail switches back toward the canyon. There are amazing views at the top section of the trail. The path is somewhat rocky and narrow. It's very exposed. Overall, a good short workout with some great views. Went in late November when the ground was dry - perfect weather for this type of hike.

7 months ago

The first part of the hike is uphill but it wasn't that bad. Well worth it to get to the loop at the top! We started at 7:30 and had the entire trail to ourselves. Views were fantastic--the clouds gave way and we saw Mt. Jefferson. Being from Illinois, mountain views are always a treat!

really steep, not sure if it gets better after the first mile+ my kiddos threw in the towel

hiking
muddy
snow
11 months ago

Beautiful views. The initial trip up can be rough in the snow/mud. We hiked it mid Feb. The valley views of the lake are gorgeous.

hiking
Sun Jan 20 2019

Awesome! Pretty flat when you get to the top, but totally different terrain than most hikes I’ve done in OR.

hiking
Wed Jan 02 2019

Really enjoyable even in the cold. The views of the lake were really something.

on Tam-a-lau Trail

hiking
Mon Dec 03 2018

Great views of the lake, river canyon and mountains. We were literally the only people on the trail and only 2 boats on the lake far below. Signage for the trail wasn't very obvious from the road -- park in the Upper Deschutes Day Use Area in the single car section, then walk the short distance back up to the main road and cross it; the trail starts on the other side. All effort and elevation gain (pretty minimal at 600 ft) is in the first mile to the top. Looking down into the canyon at certain points on the rim can feel a little freaky if you have any fear of heights! (Even driving up and down the canyon in this spectacular state park may result in white knuckles. Road was dry when we were there, but chains are recommended if there are winter conditions.)

hiking
Fri Nov 30 2018

Beautiful and serene.

Sat Nov 10 2018

great views and nice loop

hiking
Tue Oct 16 2018

Great views!

hiking
Thu Oct 04 2018

Amazing trail. Beautiful views at the end.

on Tam-a-lau Trail

Thu Jul 12 2018

This is actually the Tam-a-lau trail - not sure why it’s listed as a different hike on here.

Enjoyable hike. First mile is the roughest and then the rest of it is flat. Saw 2 bald eagles hanging out, super neat. Very quite, not a lot of hikers there which is really nice.

Mon Oct 30 2017

Great hike, all the elevation gain in the first mile. Glad we saved this for the fall, summer would be brutal!

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