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The Trails are Calling: A Hiker’s Paradise

Written by Oregon Media

The Trails are Calling: A Hiker’s Paradise

A hiker’s paradise, Eastern Oregon has trails galore, from easy riverfront strolls to grand journeys through rugged scenery.


Hurricane Creek in the Wallowas

Hiker in Big Indian Gorge The Wallowa Mountains dominate the northeast corner of Oregon, beckoning wilderness lovers into its vast expanses. The Hurricane Creek Trail is an access point to the Eagle Cap Wilderness, past subalpine meadows, massive granite and limestone cliffs, waterfalls, and an abundance of wildflowers. Explorers might glimpse mountain goats, bighorn sheep, deer, elk and other mammals in this hiker’s paradise.


Big Indian Gorge in the Steens

Steens Mountain, a massive fault block mountain, is a dramatic hike with outstanding views. Four gorges were carved over time by snow and glaciers. Hike into Big Indian Gorge from the trailhead at South Steens Campground. Wind through meadows with some creek crossings and continue into the gorge, marked by sagebrush, aspen, juniper and wildflowers in the spring. The entire hike is 17 miles round-trip, but you can always turn around early.

John Day River Territory   

Strawberry Mountain Loop Hike

The Strawberry Mountain Loop Hike passes by scenic lakes and meadows, taking hikers by Strawberry Falls, High Lake and Slide Lake. Short spur trails also lead to Little Strawberry Lake and to Strawberry Mountain’s summit at 9,033 feet. The trail wanders through pine, fir, and larch, and it gets more exposed at higher elevations. Find the trailhead at Strawberry Lake, south of John Day. This hike is best in September or October.

Oregon’s Rugged Country

South Fork Wenaha River Trail

The Blue Mountains were named by early settlers for the blue hue of their pine- and fir-lined slopes. The South Fork Wenaha River Trail is a 6.5-mile out-and-back hike within the Wenaha-Tucannon Wilderness. The hike visits untouched stands of grand fir and provides breathtaking canyon views perfect for observing wildlife.