Dry River Canyon Hike

Central Oregon, Oregon

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Dry River Canyon Hike

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  • - Dry River Canyon Hike
  • Unidentified moss species (help us identify it by providing feedback).- Dry River Canyon Hike
  • Unidentified species (help us identify it by providing feedback).- Dry River Canyon Hike
  • - Dry River Canyon Hike
  • A barkless, weathered, ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa).- Dry River Canyon Hike
  • A barkless, weathered, ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa).- Dry River Canyon Hike
  • - Dry River Canyon Hike
  • Lichens cover the basalt rimrock.- Dry River Canyon Hike
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Solitude. Easily accessible from Bend.
Cons: 
Closed February through August.
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Region:
Central Oregon, OR
Congestion: 
Low
Pets allowed: 
Yes
Net Elevation Gain: 
150.00 ft (45.72 m)
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Fall
Suitable for: 
Hiking
Total Distance: 
6.00 mi (9.66 km)
Trail type: 
There-and-back
Trailhead Elevation: 
3,700.00 ft (1,127.76 m)
Current Local Weather:
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Hike Description

Hike Description

Team

Dry River Canyon is a relatively unvisited area only 16 miles west of Bend in Oregon's high desert.  It is an incredible example of Oregon's rich geological history, and an ideal area to lose yourself in nature's display of a time past.

As the name implies, Dry River Canyon is the carved remnant of an ancient river that once drained Lake Millican (think of the valley where the towns of Millican and Brothers are located).  This area was the drainage for glaciers on the eastern flank of Newberry Volcano and Pine Mountain.  The river flowed north from the canyon and eventually met up with the Crooked River, a tributary of the Deschutes River.  Ponderosa pines remain along the rim of the canyon, with a few fallen trees strewn along the bed of the canyon, all of which hint at the area's formerly cool and  water-rich environment.

Although the 300-foot canyon is just outside of the Oregon Badlands Wilderness boundary, it is no less worthy of our stewardship. The canyon is managed by the Bureau of Land Management, and it is closed through spring and summer to protect nesting birds of prey.

Updates, Tips + Comments

Updates, Tips + Comments

Field Guide + Trail Map

Field Guide + Trail Map

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Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(8 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(51 within a 30 mile radius)

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