Southwest Steelhead Falls Drive

Crooked River National Grassland, Oregon

Elevation Gain105ft
Trailhead Elevation2,432ft
Elevation Min/Max2428/2503ft
Elevation Start/End2432/2432ft

Southwest Steelhead Falls Drive

Southwest Steelhead Falls Drive is a hiking, biking, and horse trail in Jefferson County, Oregon. It is within Deschutes Canyon-Steelhead Falls Wilderness Study Area and Crooked River National Grassland. It is 1.6 miles long and begins at 2,432 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 3.3 miles with a total elevation gain of 105 feet.

Southwest Steelhead Falls Drive Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

Hiking Waterfalls in Oregon (Falcon Guides)
Adam Sawyer
View more trails from this guide book
"This hike showcases classic central Oregon landscape dotted with sagebrush and guarded by hoodoos. A deep basalt canyon carved out by the Deschutes River plays home to the 1-mile round-trip trek to Steelhead Falls. Not known for cascades that exceed little more than glorified rapids, the Deschutes tumbles over 18-foot Steelhead Falls in a three-pronged plunge that is as noteworthy as 18 feet can get."
Day Hiking Bend and Central Oregon (The Mountaineers Books)
Brittany Manwill
View more trails from this guide book
"The high desert can be awfully hot, dry, and dusty in the summer. What better way to cool off than a peaceful swimming hole at the bottom of a pretty waterfall? If that sounds like the perfect day, and if you don’t mind sharing the space with cliff-jumping daredevils, look no further than Steelhead Falls."

Southwest Steelhead Falls Drive Trip Reports

4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars
icon3 Total
5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars
4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars
Easy trail. Can be very crowded.
4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars
What a beautiful, relaxing little hike. The falls are simply gorgeous and there are plenty of spots to stop, have a picnic, read, chill, and enjoy the views. The hike itself is pretty mellow but it can be a little tricky due to the cliff (with sheer drop-offs) that the path travels along. Be sure to have a pair of shoes with good tread for your hike, because the uneven trail is covered with dirt, tree roots, and rock which can get very slick. The falls are half moon-shaped and create a gorgeous open pool in the Deschutes River. Although the falls themselves are not really that tall, they are really picturesque. It's also a pretty popular place for fishing and for swimming. My dogs really enjoyed the water and, while I did see some kids having fun along the trail, I can understand some folks hesitating or feeling nervous about bringing little children simply because of the slipperiness and drop-offs. I love birds and was super happy to see red-winged blackbirds, hawks and eagles soaring overhead in this peaceful place.


Southwest Steelhead Falls Drive Photos

Trail Information

Crooked River National Grassland
Nearby City
Crooked River National Grassland
Skill Level
Additional Use
BLM Prineville District
Local Contacts
USGS Steelhead Falls
Local Maps

Trail Log