Steins Pillar

Prinneville, Oregon 97638

Steins Pillar

Steins Pillar Professional Review and Guide

"If peace and solitude are what you need, this uncrowded trail through the heart of central Oregon’s Ochoco National Forest is your answer.

The trail starts out fairly flat as it winds its way through a Douglas fir and ponderosa pine forest. It then descends an open high-desert ridge covered with juniper and sagebrush, eventually arriving at the base of 350-foot-tall Steins Pillar. The hike can be completed in a couple hours and is a great introduction to the diverse landscapes present in this part of the state."

More Steins Pillar Professional Reviews and Guides

"Steins Pillar is a fascinating rock formation located in the heart of the Ochoco National forest in the Ochoco Mountains. The 350-foot pillar is an important geologic remnant of the area's rich volcanic history.

The trail starts out fairly flat through a dry, open forest of ponderosa pine Douglas fir and then transitions into an open, rocky landscape filled with sagebrush and western juniper trees. The small, fragrant, bluish berries of the juniper are a favorite food of small birds and mammals. In spring and summer, wildflowers are scattered along the trail— bright red Indian paintbrush, bluish-purple lupine, and bright yellow mule’s ears are just a few of the varieties you’ll see."

Steins Pillar Reviews

4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars
icon1 Total
4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars
Steins Pillar, about 30 minutes east of Prineville, is exactly what the guidebook promises: a very peaceful trail with almost guaranteed solitude--if you've hiked Gray Butte, you'll find a similar atmosphere. Steins is definitely more of a fitness hike though, with the altitude peak at the halfway point of the trail, meaning that you will make two sturdy climbs and two descents during the entirety of the round-trip. The Pillar itself is impressive and there are plenty of good scenic spots to stop and take pictures at, and the almost constant shade keeps the trail relatively cool. Make sure you start early enough; allow for 2.5 hours of hiking time and remember it will get dark earlier with the high tree cover to the west--and this is not a place to be when it gets dark. There is signage added in recent years at the fork between the viewpoint diversion (worth a few minutes) and the continuing trail. Definitely a recommended trail for fitness hikers and those who love geological oddities.

Steins Pillar Photos

Trail Information

Nearby City
Trail Type
Skill Level
2 hours
June through Oct
Chocobo National Forest
Local Contacts
Maptech CD: Hermiston/Prineville/ Canyon City, OR; USGS: Salt Butte, OR; Steins Pillar, OR
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Oct 2018