This intriguing rail-to-trail conversion travels through the Lower Deschutes River Canyon. Designated as both an Oregon Scenic Waterway and a federal Wild and Scenic River, the Deschutes flows through a colorful rimrock canyon here, a favorite recreational spot for hikers, mountain bikers, anglers, and rafters. This route takes the steep climbers' trail to the base of Trout Creek Bluffs. The trail up to the bluffs is subject to seasonal closure to protect nesting golden eagles. The closure doesn't affect the lower trail, though, so you'll have options for exploring year-round.
Start off on the wide and flat trail on the south side of the river, crossing over a cattle guard almost immediately as you head upstream. The entire stretch of the canyon is gorgeous, but this hike is particularly scenic.
© 2016 Brittany Manwill /The Mountaineers Books. All Rights Reserved.