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Metolius River Trail

Allingham to Pine Rest Campground

Mt. Jefferson + Metolius River Area, Oregon

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Metolius River Trail

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  • Metolius River from Smiling River Campground.- Metolius River Trail
  • An angler works the Metolius River near Smiling River Campground.- Metolius River Trail
  • A giant ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) grove at the north end of Smiling River Campground.- Metolius River Trail
  • A giant ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) grove at the north end of Smiling River Campground.- Metolius River Trail
  • Metolius River.- Metolius River Trail
  • Unidentified species (help us identify it by providing feedback).- Metolius River Trail
  • White-leafed phacelia (Phacelia hastata).- Metolius River Trail
  • Unidentified species (help us identify it by providing feedback).- Metolius River Trail
  • Common merganser (Mergus merganser).- Metolius River Trail
  • Cabin along the west side of the Metolius River.- Metolius River Trail
  • Metolius River Trail.- Metolius River Trail
  • Old Civilian Conservation Corps picnic shelter at Pine Rest Campground.- Metolius River Trail
  • Metolius River.- Metolius River Trail
  • Lupine and cow parsnip along the river.- Metolius River Trail
  • One of the Metolius River's small and accessible islands.- Metolius River Trail
  • The Metolius River just north of Allingham Bridge.- Metolius River Trail
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
National Wild and Scenic River. Flyfishing. Old-growth ponderosa pines. Adjacent campgrounds and rentals.
Cons: 
Heavily used area.
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Region:
Mt. Jefferson + Metolius River Area, OR
Congestion: 
High
Pets allowed: 
Yes
Net Elevation Gain: 
20.00 ft (6.10 m)
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
Total Distance: 
0.00 mi (0.00 km)
Trail type: 
Loop
Trailhead Elevation: 
2,880.00 ft (877.82 m)
Current Local Weather:
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Hike Description

Hike Description

Team

The entire length of the Metolius River* is so picturesque and pleasant that choosing the right section of the river to explore can be quite the daunting task.  This short section from Allingham Bridge to Pine Rest Campground is surely one of the best and most accessible.

Starting just north of Camp Sherman/Allingham Bridge loop, this section passes groves of old-growth ponderosa pines and campgrounds on the eastern banks that are subtly contrasted by the numerous rustic cabins and wildflower-filled islands on the western banks.

Further, consider exploring Wizard Falls via a section of the Metolius River Trail that departs from Canyon Creek Campground.

* The Metolius River pops out of nowhere... at least apparently.  Unlike most glacially fed rivers in the region, the river's headwaters emerge from Metolius Springs near Black Butte's northern base.  The Metolius is thus one of the largest spring-fed rivers in the United States. Interestingly, about 4 million years ago the crest of the previous generation of Cascade Mountains sank thousands of feet, forming a giant depression. Since then, constant volcanic activity has given rise to the current generation of peaks such as Mount Washington, Three Fingered Jack and Mount Jefferson. The lava formations from more recent volcanic activity have nearly filled this once giant depression. Green Ridge still stands as the eastern fault line to the depression, and the Metolius River flows down the valley created by this fault line. Black Butte, now a long-extinct volcano, arose right on top of this eastern fault, burying the Metolius River. Although the river appears out of nowhere, the rest of its drainage basin is simply on the other south side of the butte some 300 feet higher in elevation. Black Butte effectively created a sprawling dam, hence the numerous swampy meadows on the butte's south side, such as those around Black Butte Ranch.

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

(49 within a 30 mile radius)

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(107 within a 30 mile radius)

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