Central Deschutes River

  • Easy (to footbridge)
  • 4.8 miles round trip
  • 50 feet elevation gain
  • Open all year
  • Use: hikers, bicycles

  • Moderate (entire trail)
  • 7.6 miles one way
  • 100 feet elevation gain

The Deschutes River winds like a great blue-green snake through a dry rimrock canyon bordering the Warm Springs Indian Reservation. In 1910, when two rival railroad tycoons were racing to build competing lines from The Dalles to Bend, locomotives steamed along the riverbank. Now this portion of the old train route has been converted to a path where you can watch the glassy river glide past.

Both ends of the 7.6-mile river trail are at campgrounds that serve as popular launch sites for whitewater boaters. If you have a shuttle car, you can walk the entire trail one-way. If you don’t have a shuttle, start downstream at the Trout Creek Recreation Area, in a scenic, twisty part of the canyon full of birdsong.

From Madras (43 miles north of Bend), drive …

For an easy hike, make your goal the …

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