The Wild and Scenic section of the Lower Crooked River is a truly remarkable slice of Eastern Oregon geology, and it has much to offer in the way of recreation. In addition to the climbing and hiking in the area, you'll also find excellent camping and fly-fishing. This 8-mile section along the federally protected Lower Crooked River displays a diverse array of wildlife and desert flora. The trail's rugged beauty features 600-foot high basalt cliffs and unique rock formations carved away by the narrow Crooked River.
The hike proceeds along a dry creek canyon with an initially gradual incline that gives way to switchbacks toward the top of the plateau. As the trail levels you’ll be rewarded with expansive views of both the Crooked River Canyon and Cascade peaks in the distance. In spring you’ll notice a wide variety of desert wildflowers, and you’ll likewise pass old-growth western juniper trees. Further down the plateau trail you'll find a bench with an excellent view. Just past this bench you’ll reach Chimney Rock, a 40-foot tower of crumbling basalt (because of the rock's instability, it’s not advisable to climb the pillar). At this point, you’ll be rewarded with 180-degree views of the Crooked River and the expansive high-desert area.