Why We Love Central Oregon

Found 70 blog entries about Why We Love Central Oregon.

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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Broken Top

October 16, 2021 was probably one of the most beautiful fall days in Central Oregon that we have seen for many years.  The cool weather in the morning warmed during the day and the sky was a perfect blue with a few high clouds. The snow that fell on the mountains earlier in the week had melted some and it was a great day to take a long hike in the Cascades. We started off the day deciding to hike the Three Sisters Wilderness loop from Soda Creek around Broken Top to Green Lakes and back via Fall Creek to the trailhead. Broken Top Trailhead We had taken this hike last year in late October and thought it would be good to do again.  However, 4.5 miles into the hike the trail branches northeast to Broken Top and ultimately No Name Lake. This time we elected to take the

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Four in One Cone Hike

On October 9, 2021 we were able to check another Central Oregon hike off the bucket list.  The hike to Four in One Cone off Scott Trail in the Three Sisters Wilderness has been a goal for sometime and we were scheduled to hike this earlier in the summer under the new Wilderness Permit System; however extreme wildfire smoke kept us away on our scheduled day. In early October, the hike started with cool temperatures (in the 20s) but warmed during the day to the 50s. The hike is not long (roughly 9 miles round trip) with elevation gain just over 1400 feet. The hike is called Four in One Cone due to the nature of the 4 cinder cones which are adjacent to each other and have the unique topography of being blown out on one side with the remaining rim flowing

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Belknap Crater Hike

We enjoy hiking the various trails accessed via McKenzie Pass (Hwy 242) while it is open during the warmer months. One trail we attempted the first time a year ago but didn't complete due to freezing temperatures was Belknap Crater. The trailhead is located just past the Observatory and traverses a section of the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT). The unique topography of this hike passes through two wooded "islands" which survived the recent (last 1000 years) volcanic eruption of Little Belknap Crater and provide for shade in this otherwise exposed terrain. Past the last island, the hike climbs onto twisted, rugged lava complete with lava bombs, pressure ridges, lava tubes, and of course, the two peaks which were the origin of the miles of lava the hike

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