Alder Springs Trail [CLOSED] is a 5.7 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Camp Sherman, Oregon that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, running, nature trips, and bird watching and is best used from May until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 5.7 miles Elevation Gain: 711 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash


nature trips

bird watching




wild flowers




washed out


This hike to a pristine desert oasis takes you down through thousands of years of geological formations to Whychus Creek and Alder Springs. Once you have reached the springs, you have the option to carefully ford the creek and continue on to the confluence of Whychus Creek with the Deschutes River. Late spring and early fall are the best times to visit the Alder Springs area.

13 days ago

Alder Springs trail is now open as of May 22nd, not closed. In trying to locate the Alder Springs trailhead outside of Bend Oregon, the GPS ‘directions’ on the site are incorrect and take you to private property. Google coordinates point to road 6370 instead of road 6360. Owners not happy. GPS coordinates need to be updated.

Comment from AllTrails

- 2 days ago

This trail's route has been recently updated. Please see the 'Getting There' tab for instructions to the trailhead.

no shade
11 months ago

Excellent walk. Great views and beautiful wildflowers.

11 months ago

Nice trail. Prepare for a rough road.

Tue Jun 04 2019

The road is very rutted...seems worse than when we went last....took around 25 minutes down dirt/gravel from main road. The creek was really flowing today and was 2.5 feet deep. Wish I had brought water sandals. Everything is really green and beautiful especially the last mile or so along the deschutes.

Wed May 22 2019

Wonderful trail! Hiked it on 5/21/19. The gravel road to the trailhead was rough, but the gate was open. The hike is closer to 7 miles round trip. The creek crossing was cold and a little less than ankle deep - totally doable with flip flops and just added to the adventure.

Mon May 13 2019

Pretty wild flowers and cool rock formations. Water is a must on a hot day, minimal shade.

Sun May 12 2019

Great hike for early in the season! Don't listen to your GPS to get there though, follow the signs off Holmes Road instead.

Thu Apr 18 2019

Sun Apr 14 2019

Awesome and fun trail, perfect for spring hiking. The road to access the trail head is quite rough, you would definitely need a high clearance vehicle to access it. Trail head is about 20 minutes from the main road. The trail itself was in pretty good shape after the big snowfall we had this winter. At the 1.5 mile mark you can turn around or ford the creek to continue on the trail. Water was pretty cold and about knee deep- definitely recommend bringing water shoes to cross it. The remainder of the trail is quite narrow and lots of boulders but well worth the end view. Trail description says 5.7 miles but pedometer clocked in just under 7 so not sure what is more accurate. Fun hike overall and pretty easy. Seems like it would be wise to not go during mid day in summer as most the hike is exposed with no tree cover.

Fri Apr 05 2019

Trail is good. A bit muddy still this early in the season. Several different species of birds present. River crossing in draw is deep and water is strong but passable further downstream.

Sun Oct 07 2018

I went the first week of October and fording the River was pretty easy, knee deep. Unlike water crossings with rocks sticking up to step on, avoid the largest rocks, as they are super slippery. Knew to take extra shoes and small towel to dry feet off before replacing hiking boots. Leaves we’re just starting to turn with spectacular views along the way, then rewarded with incredible beauty at the end, where there’s a perfect spot to enjoy a snack before heading back. Hardest part of Trail is the last 1.5 miles back uphill to the parking lot.

Sat Jun 02 2018

Great hike, bad access road. Will do it again

Tue Oct 17 2017

Lovely hike. Warning...if it says you will FORD the creek, believe it. We didn't bring water shoes so didn't get to finish the hike. It is an easy ford with water shoes. One gal forded barefoot . The road in is VERY rocky and a good clearance vehicle is recommended. The road said it was closed due to fire in progress. The fire is over and there was no equipment on the site. We will try it again with water shoes this time. I gave it a 4 because I didn't get to finish

Wed Jul 26 2017

Hiked to Creek crossing but was more like raging river so could not cross--too deep & swift. Would try again in Fall. So, did not see best part of trail on 7/26/17

Sun May 28 2017

Rocky not a running trail. Wonderful River must ford the river at about mile 1.5. 5 mile dirt road into trail head. Pretty rough in places.

Fri May 05 2017

Access road to the trail head is pretty rough, shouldn't be driven without a high clearance vehicle. Trail is clearly marked and easy to walk on in most areas. Going down into the canyon is easy, the way back is the work but it's not bad. Not much shade along the way so bring lots of water/hat. Be aware of ticks and rattlesnakes. You'll have to cross the creek to continue on the trail. The end of the trail has large ponderosa pines and huge boulders to sit on along the Deschutes... this is a great place for lunch or to dip your feet in the water. Lots of cool rock formations, wild flowers and the creek to see along the hike.

Mon Sep 05 2016

Beautiful hike. Mostly easy with some rock scrambling, cliff edges, creek crossings. The scenery is well worth the trip. The road getting there is really rough. I would advise a good clearance vehicle.

Sun May 08 2016

This was a geology hike led and sponsored by the Deschutes Land Trust. The hike began in an area of volcanic tuff (pyroclastic flows) at the trail head and ran 1.5 miles down to Alder Springs and Whychus Creek, which is an area of sedimentary deposition. There are several hoodoos above the Springs. This hike did not cross (ford) Whychus Creek. After the ford, the trail continues another 1.5 miles to the confluence of Whychus Creek with the Deschutes River. Be advised that you pay for the walk down with a climb back out of the canyon, but it is not too taxing.

Wed Apr 27 2016

Easy hike, great views, very rough road to trailhead.

Sun Apr 20 2014

The Alder Springs trail was full of GREAT views, and was a spectacular trail. The trail condition at times was poor, but for the most part the overall trail was in great condition. The trail was demanding in the way of climb and elevation. Not many negatives about this trail at all though. I would recommend this to anyone ready for a challenging hike but challenging enough for the GREAT views of canyons! Awesome!

Sun Apr 13 2014

Great hike with my kids and friends !! Road to the trail sucked in my lowered car haha but well worth it. Awesome views and had to cross a 3 foot deep. Creek. I recommend this greatly

Mon Jan 06 2014

Be advised... the road leading to trail head is closed from Dec to about April. Check before driving out!

Sun Jan 27 2013

I'm giving this 5 because I like the desert hiking, and this one even had rivers, springs and cool rock formations. Hard to find but worth it. The trail is in good shape but a couple spots you have to look a little harder to find it. The first left about 50 yards from trail head leads you down to the river and then dead ends 100 yrds down river from that at a rock wall. I'v read about indian hieroglyphics but never been able to locate them. Saw a snake at the very end!!!! wow did I move fast. Back up at main trail continue along the top of the canyon with some great views about 1 mile from trail head. Head down trail and look for some mini caves in the cliff, then at bottom of canyon you'll see some springs right before the small river. It was the first week in October and very warm and sunny, the water level was low enough to cross the river. On other side you get to see more springs, we continued down trail about 1/2 hour then turned around, next time will go farther. Note we tried this hike early summer in 2011 and the river was to high to cross. Did I mention SNAKES. Watch where you step and sit!

13 days ago

mountain biking
13 days ago

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