Flatiron Rock Trail

Oregon Badlands Wilderness

Central Oregon, Oregon

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Flatiron Rock Trail


  • The parking lot and trailhead are surrounded by mature juniper trees.- Flatiron Rock Trail
  • Juniperus communis berries. They're used to give gin it's signature flavor, and they give the air a fresh scent after a rain.- Flatiron Rock Trail
  • The silhouette of a dead juniper tree.- Flatiron Rock Trail
  • One of the many interestingly shaped lava rocks.- Flatiron Rock Trail
  • A mysterious black tar found in one of the lava caves.- Flatiron Rock Trail
  • The vibrant lichen that calls these rocks home.- Flatiron Rock Trail
  • One of the many cracked volcanic pressure ridges. - Flatiron Rock Trail
  • Walking in the "U" shaped moat of Flatiron Rock.- Flatiron Rock Trail
  • Lava that dried in pillars atop Flatiron Rock.- Flatiron Rock Trail
  • The panoramic view from Flatiron Rock. Three Fingered Jack, Black Butte, Mount Jefferson, and Olallie Butte seen in the distance. - Flatiron Rock Trail
Overview + Weather
Fascinating lava rocks. Well-marked trails. Great for dogs.
Dry. Repetitve scenery.
Central Oregon, OR
Pets allowed: 
Net Elevation Gain: 
60.00 ft (18.29 m)
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
Suitable for:
Hiking, Horseback
Total Distance: 
6.00 mi (9.66 km)
Trail type: 
Trailhead Elevation: 
3,680.00 ft (1,121.66 m)
Current Local Weather:
Hike Description

Hike Description


When you venture out to the Badlands just 16 miles east of Bend, you'll be treated to a harmonious blend of ancient juniper trees, vibrant lichen growing on contorted lava rocks, and a geological history that makes even the dirt under your feet seem interesting. Roughly 80,000 years ago, lava from the main vent in Newberry Volcano traveled underground through the ancient Arnold tube system (Arnold Ice Cave and Lava River Cave being remnants of the tube). When the lava reached the area now known as the Badlands, it spewed to the surface in every direction creating a 360-degree spread that covered the landscape. The craggy and unforgiving terrain was further impacted by another geologic event: 7,700 years ago, Mount Mazama (Crater Lake) erupted and violently expelled plumes of ash that drifted toward central Oregon. Much of this ash settled on the ground to become the Badlands soil.

The Oregon Badlands officially became a BLM protected wilderness area in 2008, and a plethora of hiking and horseback riding trails were added. The Flatiron Rock Trail is an easy, 6-mile there-and-back hike (with loop options) that leads to the origin of the lava flow: Flatiron Rock. Accessible any time of year, Flatiron offers small caves to explore, great views of the cascades, and a chance to travel back in time to see how Native Americans called the Badlands home; their old fire pits and drawings are evident under some the rocky overhangs.

Note the abundance of juniper berries, which are used to give gin its signature flavor!


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Field Guide + Trail Map

Field Guide + Trail Map

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Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(10 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(61 within a 30 mile radius)

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