Hiking in Central Oregon tends to take place during the summer and fall months. However, there are some great reasons why winter is a great time to hike our gorgeous landscape! These hiking spots provide awe-inspiring views without overcrowding during warmer weather.
Hikes throughout Central Oregon can vary between easy and expert so make sure to review any type of hike before exploring through the wilderness. During the winter months, hikes can also become more difficult. Check out our parent companies Winter RV Preparedness seminar for more details.
The Tam-A-Lau trail is located at Cove Palisades State Park in Culver, Oregon. With big elevation gains provides spectacular views of the Cascade Mountains and wildlife. This six-mile loop trail is an easy hike for all. In the winter it boasts as one of the least traveled trails in Central Oregon.
6 Mile Loop
Pilot Butte State Park Trail
Pilot Butte stands in the middle of Bend, Oregon. This 490 foot cinder cone butte has two routes to reach its peak. The moderate dirt trail circles the butte to the top. But during the winter time the paved road to the top is closed which makes an easier trek up the cone.
1.8 Mile Out & Back
Smith Rock State Park Trail
At Smith Rock State Park there are 11 trails to venture. Smith Rock can meet everyone’s expectations and hiking ability. Our favorite trail is the Misery Ridge Loop which is a more difficult because of the steepness and narrow trail.
0.1 to 4.0 Mile Out & Back or Loops
Blue Pool (aka Tamolitch)
Blue Pool is one of the most beautiful places you can find in Oregon. This out and back trail has a short climb with a diverse landscape throughout the hike. However, this trail is popular year round.
Suttle Lake Trail
If you have never been to Suttle Lake you are missing out. The lake is just off of Highway 20 west of Black Butte. This serene reflective lake is pretty quiet during winter months and is an easy hike off the shore.
3.6 Mile Loop
The Otter Bench loop is in the Crooked River Canyon. The best part about this hike is that it is lightly trafficked during the winter. There are also a lot of offshoots to give you a variety of views besides the canyon.
Metolius River Trail
The Metolius River Trail is fairly secluded near Camp Sherman and the Wizard Falls Fish Hatchery. On this easy hike you follow along the clear waters of the Metolius River.
6.5 Mile Loop
Deschutes River Trail
The Deschutes River Trail is great because it is right near the Old Mill in Bend, Oregon. However, because the ease and use of access it is very busy and popular year round. Watch for ice and slippery spots in the shadows on the trail.
3.1 Mile Loop
Steelhead Falls Trail
When hiking on this trail the falls sneak up on you and don’t seem like they should be there. The hike is not very difficult, but has some steps down and around the stream. If you get lower to see the front of the falls be cautious of icy conditions on steep sections.
2.0 Mile Out & Back
The Oregon Badlands have a ton of trails allowing a variety of landscapes and views. The Larry Chitwood Trail is an easy 4 and half mile loop giving you great views throughout the hike. The parking area is not far off Dodds Road just east of Bend, Oregon.
4.5 Mile Loop
Enjoy these fantastic local locations to trek through and get outside. Always remember that safety is number one. Be prepared with a compass, map, adequate amount of water, and even food/snacks. Always wear appropriate shoes and clothing for the type of trail and weather conditions. Don’t forget to tell someone where and when you are going in case of emergencies.