Explore the most popular forest 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.

hiking
15 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.

walking
17 days ago

Easy 1 mile loop with my 4 and 7 year old boys. The scenery was otherworldly and kept my kids entranced. Only part of the trail is considered handicap accessible, but for parents with really little ones: all of it is doable with a good jogging stroller (though a double stroller would be tight).

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.

hiking
25 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.

Firstly, this map is not accurate. The hike has you ending at a campground, on the other side of the road from the lake. The hot springs are right along the lake side. You can park .1 mike from the hot springs at Hot Springs Boat Ramp. Secondly, the walk along the trail from the other boat ramp/campground was silly. If you want the walk then walk along the lake shore.

hiking
1 month ago

This hike is awesome. I can understand lacking motivation to do it since you can also drive to the top, and tons of people do that very thing. Nevertheless, there are views along the hiking trail that cannot be seen any other way than hiking the trail. I'm talking awesome views! Well worth the steep climb up. I see no reason to start at Paulina Lake along the Crater Rim Trail as this route suggests. Drive 0.7 miles on the road toward Paulina Peak, and you will find a gravel parking area and trailhead. The section of trail from the lake not very interesting anyway. From the trailhead mentioned, it is two miles up and two miles back for a total of four miles. On your way up, watch for side trails to huge rocks. These side trails offer some awesome view angles. Be very careful though! Don't let small children play close to the cliff edges. I don't recommend climbing the huge rocks that jut out. It's tempting, but they are vertical climbs and dangerously situated on the edge of doom below. Just get close enough to the rocks to snap photos of the lakes below or of Paulina Peak above (the trail's destination).

backpacking
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

hiking
1 month ago

Solid hike, intense incline, and amazing views!! You can cut the first 1.5 miles through the flat wooded area and start at the actual trailhead. It's about .3 miles up the main Paulina Peak car road, and there's a parking lot on the right. It's 2 miles up with about 1400 incline from this point.

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.

hiking
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.

hiking
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.

Super cool formations and kid friendly! We had a 4 & 6 year old and they did great!

hiking
2 months 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.

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

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful trail; runs through a small patch of lava flow near the beginning, then hits the creek. You have to ford the creek before climbing up to some gorgeous views!

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.

hiking
2 months ago

The trail was absolutely beautiful and the views were great. The only downside was that there were not many signs to the trailhead and it took a bit to find. Other than that, great hike. Would hike again.

hiking
2 months ago

First time on this trail, I will be back, has some steeper grades but then will give you a flatter section, or a spot to stop to take in the views on the way up. The views are amazing. The trail is great for those looking for a fitness hike/run. Good variation in terrain makes for a fun descent from the top. We parked at the lake and crossed the street. Small bit of manageable snow up at the top.

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.

hiking
2 months ago

Amazing views. Very small patches of snow. Can see from Washington to California mountains.

Awesome! I’m ok with the 9 miles of washboard dirt road... I had the place to myself and it was so cool. I’ve never seen formations like this before. Come see it before it gets turned into a natl park or the road gets paved and you have to fight the crowds

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.

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