While some of our favorite hiking trails here in Bend and Central Oregon are still covered in snow, and will be for quite some time, there are some fantastic hiking trails that are perfect for a sunny spring or early summer day. Some of the trails listed here are also good trails to hike on a nice warm summer day as well, and some will not be because of the summer heat, and lack of tree cover, or in the case of many of the trails along the Deschutes River the mosquitoes make hiking a little less enjoyable.
Below you will see some hikes along the Deschutes River, the McKenzie River, the Oregon Badlands Wilderness, Smith Rock, the John Day Fossil Beds and more.
If this sounds good to you, grab your favorite Hydration Pack or Hydroflask and get out on the trail! And to be safer out there, here is a list of hiking tips and some of the essential items you should always have when out hiking.
Tamolitch or “Blue Pool” hike
If you want to see one of Oregon’s most beautiful places try hiking along the McKenzie River Trail to the Tamolitch, or “Blue Pool” as it is commonly known to many. The hike along the Mckenzie River to the Blue Pool from the parking area near the Trail Bridge Reservoir is as breathtaking as the pool itself, and is a hike you definitely need to try. Find out more about the Tamolitch or Blue Pool hike …
Hike in the Oregon Badlands Wilderness
Are you looking for someplace to hike in the Bend and Central Oregon area that doesn’t put you by a lake or river? But at the same time you want to explore and see an area that has a long volcanic history?
Well, the Oregon Badlands Wilderness just might be what you are looking for.
Check out some of the hiking trails in the Oregon Badlands Wilderness …
Hiking at beautiful Smith Rock
Smith Rock State Park is probably one of my favorite places in Central Oregon. I have been there several times, and it never seems to look the same. Different lighting, different seasons make Smith Rock a great place to visit.
If you enjoy scenic views of deep river canyons or rock climbing, Smith Rock State Park is the place for you. Find out more about hiking at Smith Rock …
Hiking at the John Day Fossil Bend National Monument
If you are looking for someplace to visit in Central and east-central Oregon to hike and do some sightseeing, then the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument may just be what you are seeking. The Painted Hills which are located in the monument, are one of Oregon’s most visited places.
John Day Fossil Beds National Monument located in east-central Oregon, is located within the John Day River basin and is managed by the National Park Service.
Find out more about hiking in the John Day Fossil Bend National Monument …
Hike along the Deschutes River
The Deschutes River Trail is an extensive trail system that follows the Deschutes River in the Bend, Oregon area. Spring and early summer are some of the best times to hike along the Deschutes River as the mosquitoes can make it uncomfortable once the weather really warms up.
The Deschutes River Trail is a series of three parallel trails that wind through pine forests, lava flows and riparian zones along the waters of the Deschutes River, located in Central Oregon.
Find out more about hiking along the Deschutes River Trail …
Waterfalls Loop Trail along the McKenzie River
The Waterfalls Loop Trail hike along the McKenzie River to Sahalie and Koosah Falls is about 3 miles long, and is available to hikers and mountain bikers. You access this trail where Sahalie Falls and Koosah Falls mark the end of two flows of basaltic andesite lava that dammed Clear Lake and moved into the McKenzie River area over 3,000 years ago.
Find out more about the Waterfalls Loop Trail …