DeGarmo Canyon

  • Easy (to 35-foot falls)
  • 1.4 miles round trip
  • 450 feet elevation gain
  • Open late April through November
  • Use: hikers

  • Moderate (to first pine tree)
  • 2.6-mile loop
  • 850 feet elevation gain

  • Difficult (to DeGarmo Notch)
  • 9.4 miles round trip
  • 2120 feet elevation gain
  • Open June to mid-November

Like a secret door in a 2000-foot-tall wall, DeGarmo Canyon’s spectacular slot offers adventurers a route from the Warner Lakes’ valley into the high desert country of the Hart Mountain National Antelope Refuge. For a quick look at the canyon, follow a 0.7-mile trail to an oasis-like grotto at the base of a 35-foot waterfall. If you don’t mind some steepish scrambling, you can return on a 2.6-mile loop trail with far-ranging views. If you want to explore the trailless upper end of the canyon, hike or backpack 5.7 miles to DeGarmo Notch.

Drive Highway …

… But then keep angling up the canyon’s side 500 feet until you meet a well-built, relatively level trail at a viewpoint overlooking the canyon’s first ponderosa pine tree. You may hear or even see a rattlesnake in this part of the canyon. If you do, stop a moment to let it retreat to safety.

This chapter taken from the book 100 Hikes/Travel Guide: Eastern Oregon.