Most hikers in Central Oregon look to the Cascades for a worthy weekend adventure, often overlooking closer, lower elevation charms. Whychus Creek is certainly one of those charms. This tributary of the Deschutes was called Squaw Creek until 2006, when the native name, Why-chus, replaced the derogatory title. The creek begins on the northern flank of Broken Top’s Bend Glacier. Just northeast of Sisters, past Alder Springs, it eventually connects with the Deschutes River. The creek and springs are a quintessential oasis in the hot, sun-drenched landscape of Central Oregon’s high desert, and it makes for an easy hike with little elevation gain. Hikers can get a bit more exercise by going all the way to Boulder Rapids on the Deschutes.
There is a second access point to the creek from the south, off of Oregon Highway 126/Redmond-Sisters Hwy, which is the most direct access to Alder Springs.