Explore the most popular birding trails near La Pine with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

19 days ago

I did this trek with my 11 year old dog who can no longer go on long trips or hikes with much incline. It was beautiful, flat, a little dusty, and the only people we saw were fly fishing. We also spooked a huge buck down by the river and got to see him bound through the woods.

This is not the correct “trail” to tell people to go on. It is a sandy/dirt road, lined with telephone poles. We were the only people on it, on what would be a typical busy Saturday. They need to update his app information to have people go on the actual hiking trail. Yes, this will eventually will lead you to the falls, which is breathtaking, but this was not scenic at all, you just pass by mounds of dead brush and trees waiting to get burned. I would look up the Peter Skene Ogden trail instead

Very nice hike. The trail can be accessed from either the Paulina Lodge or the paved parking lot right off the road. It is clearly marked. The views from the south side of the creek are most striking and the short trail to the bottom of the falls is good for all ages. Very easy access to stone lookout points on the south side. Not sure how there could be confusion about the easment under the power lines being the trail. The longer trail described above is actually on the north side of the creek (opposite the road and parking lot). It is easily accessed from lodge/boat launch parking area. Trail begins parallel to the creek and there is a stone lookout platform on the north side of the creek as well. Beyond that is a very nice trail which meanders through the piney woods and often offers glimpses of the creek. High desert wildflowers and birds are also part of the nice walk. We saw osprey and their nest. Overall, a very nice hike.
It was pleasant even in late July.

30 days ago

Beautiful views, and amazing geology with very little effort, but it's also not a one-mile-and-done tourist trail. Even on a weekend day in midsummer, I had it all to myself, and there were only a few other folks at the springs.

1 month ago

It was a fantastic trip do you only thing I would recommend taking this trip in July is lots of mosquito repellent

1 month ago

Nice easy hike. Super super buggy.

Meh.. it’s pretty and the water is beautiful but the bugs were OUT OF CONTROL! So many nats and mosquitos. The “hot springs” are saying it nicely... they’re shallow but do provide a lot of heat.

A nice easy hike with loads of waterfalls! Very dusty, but worth the hike up to the bridge.

Fun trail with great views of the lake. Definitely recommend starting early and wearing solid hiking shoes as some of the terrain can get a bit sketchy. Otherwise very easy for pros, maybe a little challenging for novices. Took about 3 hours.

I hiked to Mink Lake in late June, on a sunny and only slightly breezy day.

I mentioned the breeze because the combination of June and countless lakes, ponds, bogs, etc ,makes for legions of mosquitoes and other assorted "bugs". I came prepared with Deet and a mosquito net; both were put to constant and good use!

There is ample parking (plus a pit toilet) at the trailhead. The trail sign say "SIX LAKES TRAIL" and mentions Doris Lake, Blow Lake and the junction with the PCT at 6 miles (both heading out and coming back, this section barely clocked at 5.5 miles).

As others have mentioned, the trail (or trails) are well graded and well maintained (even if vegetation was encroaching in places around Mink lake). The whole route is pretty much going through forested areas and I did not have to worry about sunscreen (stopping in open areas for a while may change that). The elevation profile shows that the first section (from parking lot to PCT) is a long and sustained ascent (3+ miles) followed by a 1.5 miles drop to the PCT junction.

At the PCT, I deviated from the direct route and continued west on the PCT to visit Horseshoe lake (instead of heading directly to Porky lake). This brought the total distance out-and-back to just short of 21 miles. On this bright sunny June Saturday, I only met two other people during the course of the 11 hours on the trail; both were PCT section hikers on their way north. No campers, no one fishing. This does not appears to be a high traffic area -- it could also be because there are really not many "views" to speak of beyond the lakes and a few and brief views of the Sisters and Bachelor.

Mink Lake is definitely worth the visit. It feels like a "little Waldo" - minus the crowds -- with deep clean waters, forested shores, a trail along its shoreline. There are a few primitive, but very good, campsites just off the trail (there might be more if you go a bit off trail but I did not check). The size of the lake and the lay of the land did allow for an afternoon breeze to come through and push the mosquitoes away. There is an old shelter, quite dilapidated, on the southeast corner of the lake, with camping spots around too (the shelter itself does not offer much with half the roof gone and only two walls standing.

1 month ago

La Pine State Park is a mostly overlooked gem along Highway 97 as you near La Pine south of Bend. There are certainly more scenic highlights in the area, but this park is well worth a visit. The trails are usually not very crowded. The Falls River Loop is probably the best trail in the park. The Deschutes Loop is a close second. Mom and I completed the loop along with some extra wandering for just over 7 miles.

While not much elevation gain/loss, there is varied terrain throughout this hike. Dirt, rock, gravel, sand; need to watch your footing as it's easy to trip. The views around the lake are gorgeous. I recommend starting your hike about 10 - 11 am, hike to the hot springs on the edge of the lake (about halfway around and marked), each lunch and relax, then finish.

I've hiked quite a few trails around Central Oregon and really enjoyed this one. Would do again.

1 month ago

Cougar Woods Loop is a relatively short loop that shows off the scenery in La Pine State Park. I have hiked this trail a few times over the years, but this was the first time with GPS. The trail has apparently changed since it was originally mapped by Open Street Maps, but the route is relatively close in most sections. My route matches the official park trail map on site very closely. Watch for side paths along the river to take in more scenery and add to the distance slightly. All the trails in La Pine State Park are connected, and a longer hike can be experienced by chaining together some of the loops. For a state park, the trails are not usually crazy crowded. There are a campground and day use area in the park as well.

The lake was pretty, but it was congested with campers. The views of the lake were the same the whole trail.

Cool hike but the view was the same throughout it.

great hike! Hiked at night with headlamps with a few other friends. if you know the trail well enough, you can find the natural hot springs! very cool.

The trail is beautiful !! Once we got to it❤️
However, had we followed the directions given on “all trails” I have no idea where we would have ended up. They are wrong!!!! Please review this carefully. Instead if turning on the dirt track where the directions tell you to turn, go one mile further down Paulina East Lake road and then to the left is a paved road leading to a parking log and to the trail head.

Easy loop trail around the lake. Views are spectacular. Water on the far side of the lake is emerald green. Could sit and look at Paulina peak for a long time. Weather cooperated in a beautiful 65 degree cloudless way. Saw a soaring bald eagle and several osprey.

on Lucky Lake Trail

2 months ago

Great hike. Yes, mosquitoes are out. Trail actually loops North for some distance and switches back to the South before heading West up to the lake (not directly West and up across the contour lines as shown on the map.) 5-6 rather clear areas to pitch a tent for the night, or find rather flat ground on the west side of the lake if they're occupied. Several people were fishing, including us, but no one seemed to have any luck. People were catching a lot of trout at Lava Lake.

This trail is an easy out and back that follows the river to beautiful falls. Children would like it because there are lots of opportunities to wade in the river. My watch showed it was closer to 4.5 miles round trip. We went in late April and it was perfect.

3 months ago

This is a great short hike with options to go further along the 6 Lake trail. It’s open now and the gate is open- from the south (La Pine). There is a bit of snow. I’d recommend poles and hiking boots right now.

this trail IS NOT open until end of may. beautiful area but gate closed and still a ton of snow

3 months 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!

5 months ago

Beautiful hike with mild very gradual elevation gain and stunning waterfall at the end! There is a snowmobile trail that also leads to the falls, so be sure you find the trail through the woods off to the side of the snowmobile trail so you can enjoy the beautiful forest. The snowshoeing or cross country skiing trail is a little hard to find from the very start, but is easily visible from the cabin just a few feet up the snowmobile trail. The forest trail is also well marked with blue diamonds on the trail throughout the entirety. Highly recommend also checking out the lower falls viewpoint only 1/4 mile down in addition to upper level lookout. Of note, you need a Sno Park pass to park for this hike which we didn’t find listed anywhere else!

Hiked on 2/18/18 with several inches of snow on the ground. The falls were extra beautiful with Frozen water around it.

6 months ago

Super easy trail, great for anyone that wants to take a quick walk through the woods. Quiet, lightly used (I ran into one person on a warm Saturday) and offers varying views, from the river to pockets of dense forest and everything in between. Lots of anglers fishing on the first 1/2 mile, the rest of the time you'll be alone.


Great hike with some very good views of a gorge and falls. Easy to find and good parking. Would do it again!

11 months ago

Awesome lake! Super pristine water and not a terrible climb to get there. We actually backpacked in with the intent of camping at Cliff Lake, but there wasn't a decent place close to the lake to camp, so we continued to Porky Lake and did Mink Lake as a day hike. Next time I'll skip Porky and head right to Mink Lake.

11 months ago

This trail sucks. In the directions description it says to take the Peter Skeen Ogden trail but the map takes you to a snowmobile trail that is 2.5 miles of dust and boring. The waterfall at the end was breathtaking though.

Load More