Places to See in Central Oregon

Found 74 blog entries about Places to See in Central Oregon.

Paulina Creek in Late Fall Worth Seeing

Paulina Creek Fall 2022

We have hiked the Peter Skene Ogden trail many times, but we never tire of doing this when the weather turns cold.  Paulina Creek freezes and the multiple waterfalls along the trail turn into beautiful works of art with ice sculpted into interesting shapes. The sounds of the running water are also muffled when the ice gets deeper and the quiet and isolation of the hike will amaze. On November 26, 2022 we hiked Peter Skene Ogden trail from McKay Crossing campground up Paulina Creek planning on going as far as the early snow permitted.  We we pleased to find we could trek the entire way to Paulina Falls using our micro spikes as the trail was icy; the deepest snow was roughly a foot in a shadowed gully roughly

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Green Lakes is One of Central Oregon's Most Beautiful Hiking Destinations

Green Lakes 2022

We have hiked to Green Lakes many times over the years, with each visit unique and special.  However, the hike we experienced 10-29-22 has to have been among the very best, something we would call magical. The first snow of the season had fallen earlier in the week, but the day was brilliant with clean, clear air (all summer forest fires finally out due to the snow). The trail was a bit icy, but with microspikes, the packed snow was easy to manage.

Green Lakes 2022 2 Green Lakes 3

The early snow covered a lot of the fall foliage, but Fall Creek with its numerous waterfalls was full and beautiful. And every now and then some lovely fall color could be seen.

Green Lakes 4 Green Lakes 5

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Lots of Sun and Exposure on Little Belknap Crater Hike

Belknap Crater

Wear a hat and have good shoes if you decide to hike to Little Belknap Crater. With little shade, summertime temperatures can be high, so a fall hike is recommended. This was the second time we hiked to Little Belknap, so we knew what to expect.  We took this hike on October 15, 2022, the last day for the required 2022 Central Cascades Wilderness Permits and we saw a total of 10 other people the entire time. It was a beautiful fall day with temperatures reaching the 60's, and despite some haze from the Cedar Creek fire which has been burning in the Willamette National Forest since early August, the views were good.  After taking in the sights from the top of Little Belknap, we elected to

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Canyon Meadow Loop and Three Fingered Jack is a Beautiful Summer Hike

Three Fingered Jack

Hiking to Three Fingered Jack via Jack Lake and Canyon Meadow Loop is an annual event for us. Located in the Mt. Jefferson Wilderness, access to the trailhead is outside of Camp Sherman off Hwy 20 via several paved and dirt roads. But once hikers arrive at the trailhead, the path is obvious. 

Jack Lake Three Fingered Jack

The trail starts next to Jack Lake, which reflects the burned trees of the 2003 B&B Complex Fire, but also the new growth that has come back since. It is evident that the new Wilderness Permits are required to take this hike.

Three Fingered Jack

 The trail opens at Canyon Meadow, which survived the 2003 fire unscathed. Canyon Creek runs through the meadow and during the summer,

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Green Lakes

The hardest tickets to get in Bend are not to the great acts at the Hayden Homes Amphitheater,  but rather the trail pass required to hike the Green Lakes trail. These tickets literally sell out in 60 seconds once posted on the Forest Service website.

Green Lakes Green Lakes

The trail largely runs alongside Fall Creek, which you will cross three times.

Green Lakes Green Lakes

And there is simply no shortage of beautiful waterfalls, wildlife, wildflowers, and amazing views along the way.

Green Lakes Green Lakes

This trail is considered moderate due to it’s length of 9.1 miles round trip and 1200 feet elevation gain, but it is pretty gradual almost the entire way and a very enjoyable adventure.  For the adventurous, taking the path past the last lake

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Fabulous Cascade Views Await Those Who Climb the Cones

Four in One Cone

We climbed Four in One Cone for the first time in the middle of October, 2021. A moderate in and out hike with just over 1400 feet of elevation gain in 9 miles from the Scott Trailhead in the Three Sisters Wilderness, we looked forward to revisiting the area during the summer.  The early spring snow we had in 2022 delayed access to the higher reaches of the Cascades with patches of snow evident above 6200 feet. But the trip up to the cones was fairly straight forward with little snow along the trail. Mosquitos were the worst thing we had to deal with - along with over 30 fallen trees to get around or over. But once we reached the lava flows, the mosquitos mostly disappeared and our hike to the

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Black Crater is a Challenging Hike

Black Crater

We have hiked Black Crater yearly since 2020 and although not the longest hike, it is challenging. The full hike is 7.5 miles up and back, but each hiker gains 2322 feet in the 3.75 miles up. And hiking through the burned forest from the 2017 Millie Fire can be hot and dusty during summer months.  On July 15, 2022 sufficient snow had melted from the higher elevations to allow hikers to avoid slippery snow patches and reach the summit. When we arrived, we were alone at the top until we began our trip down.Black Crater Hike The Cascade views from the summit of Black Crater were fabulous from Broken Top to Mt. Hood. And the cold wind we have felt in earlier visits was not blowing, keeping us comfortable and able to fully enjoy the

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Iron Mountain is a Yearly Favorite for Wildflowers

Bend Oregon Real Estate

We try to hike the Cone Mountain Loop including Iron Mountain on a yearly basis, timing our hike to summer when the wildflowers are blooming. Located in the Willamette National Forest 20 miles east of Sweet Home on Hwy 20, this hike can be done multiple ways, but we opt for the longest route, parking at the Tombstone Summit parking lot (be sure to bring your National Forest Pass) and walking through the nearby nature trail and across the highway to the Cone Peak Trail. This trail switchbacks up the hillside in beautiful forest over several miles before it opens at the meadow at the base of Cone Peak which is filled with wildflowers (experts say there are over 300 varieties of blooming plants in the

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Great Central Oregon Hike in the Cascades

Central Oregon Hike

The late spring snow experienced in Central Oregon in 2022 resulted in a delayed opening of the trails in the higher elevations of the national forests and wilderness areas.  But in early July, warmer temperatures have melted some of the snow and enabled hikers to access some of the lower trails. Last Saturday we hiked from Santiam Summit to Square and Round Lakes, a hike we had never done before in the Mt. Jefferson Wilderness.  During this moderate 10.51 mile in and out hike we experienced 1056 feet of elevation gain - mostly easy downs to the lakes and ups out of the lake basins. The beargrass was blooming and among the most beautiful we have ever seen.  The results of the 2003 90,000 acre B & B Complex

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Tam McArthur Rim Trail

One of Central Oregon's more popular summer hikes in the Three Sisters Wilderness, we decided to hike Tam McArthur Rim 11-27-21 a few days after the first snow of autumn had fallen.  Three Creeks Lake had icy sections and only one other couple started the hike just a few minutes before us. 

We began our hike utilizing microspikes as the trail was icy and the added gripping security microspikes offer enabled us to quickly climb the initial miles of the hike. The snow deepened as we climbed and the trail became less obvious.  However, we were able to follow the tracks of the couple who started the hike just before us, trusting that they knew where they were going.  

The hike to Tam McArthur Rim levels out near the summit into an open meadow.  On

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