Black Canyon

Black Canyon Wilderness

  • Moderate (to Black Canyon Creek)
  • 5 miles round trip
  • 1020 feet elevation loss
  • Open late May to mid-November
  • Use: hikers, horses

  • Difficult (to Second Crossing)
  • 7.8 miles round trip
  • 2300 feet elevation loss

The Black Canyon Wilderness stretches from the Ochoco Mountains’ high forests to the South Fork John Day River’s sagebrush canyonlands. There’s room here for a weekend backpacking trek or horse trip, but hikers have trouble accessing the lower, eastern end of the Wilderness, where an iffy river ford is passable only in late summer’s low water. So here’s an easier, backdoor route to the high country. Just remember to save some energy for the return climb back out of the canyon.

Start by driving to …

If you’d like a longer hike, hop across …

Other Options

Off-trail adventurers with a global positioning device can look for the ruins of a …

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