Pets allowed
Elevation Gain
20.00 ft (6.10 m)
Trail type
2.10 mi (3.38 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 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.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

Not Required


National Wild and Scenic River. Flyfishing. Old-growth ponderosa pines. Adjacent campgrounds and rentals.


Heavily used area.

Trailhead Elevation

2,880.00 ft (877.82 m)


Historically significant
Old-growth forest

Typically multi-day




Hiked the Metolius from Canyon Creek campground to The Wizard Falls Fish Hatchery on October 9, 2015. The fall colors were amazing and very near peak colors. The clear waters of the surging Metolius along this stretch is amazing. About 3 tenths of a mile from the campground a huge spring gushes out the side of the hill across the river from the trail. Roughly thirty feet wide. Pretty incredible to see this much water surging out the side of a hill. The first mile closely follows the water among mature Pondeosa Pines. The next 1.5 mikes climbs a bit above a little bit away from the river before arriving at the fish hatchery. About a five mike round trip ( unless you do a lot of exploring around the fish hatchery).
The pale blue flower in picture #8 is forget me not
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Death Valley National Park, California
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