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Pets allowed
Allowed
Elevation Gain
?
Trail type
There-and-back
Distance
2.60 mi (4.18 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

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.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Winter
Spring
Summer
Fall

Congestion

Moderate

Parking Pass

Not Required

Pros

Short distance. Expansive views. Wildflowers. Year-round access.

Cons

Hot weather in summer months. Sometimes crowded.

Trailhead Elevation

3,044.00 ft (927.81 m)

Net Elevation Gain

520.00 ft (158.50 m)

Features

Big vistas
Wildflowers
Geologically significant

Location

Field Guide + Map

Comments

Bitterroot blooming all over the rocky bench below the final ascent to the viewpoint.
04/18/2015
perfect hike today, 60s, numerous wildflowers scattered through out the hike!
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