Hiking and Back Packing in Central Oregon

Those who love hiking and backpacking will find plenty to satisfy the soul in Prineville. One of the most scenic areas of Central Oregon is along the Lower Crooked Wild and Scenic River. One of the treasures  is the Chimney Rock hiking trail just over 16 miles up the road. The trail is managed by BLM and starts directly across the road from the Chimney Rock Campground. The higher up you go the more glimpses of the Cascade Mountain Range you’ll see off in the distance. As you get to the top and along the trail a bit you will come to area inset from the edge. It’s always wise to stick to the trail, but if you venture out a bit you can overlook the rim edge and see a long expanse of the Crooked River below. Just be mindful of wildlife and careful not to trample the vegetation along the way. The trek up to the pinnacle may be only slightly longer than a mile, but by the time you get back to your vehicle you will have hiked 2.6 miles.

Other Great Hikes:

  • Steins Pillar: Steins Pillar is a 5.2 mile out and back trail located near Prineville, Oregon and is good for all skill levels. This is a great trail for anyone who loves geological oddities, or for fitness hikers. This out-and-back travels 2.3 miles through thin forest, arriving at a beautiful viewpoint of Steins Pillar, and then descends rapidly (mostly on stairs) for a final 0.3 miles to the base on the pillar. The altitude peak of the trail is in the middle, so there are two sturdy climbs involved. The trail is primarily used for trail running and is accessible from May until October.
  • Mill Creek Wilderness Area: Mill Creek Wilderness Area Trails is a 11 mile multiple route trail located near Prineville, Oregon and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is accessible from May until November.
  • Green Mountain Trail: The Green Mountain trail lies northeast of Prineville in the Ochoco National Forest. The 8.5-mile trail winds along open ridge tops, which offer spectacular views, and passes through beautiful old growth ponderosa pine stands. This trail offers a wide range of scenic views and riding experiences. In the spring, there is a beautiful array of wildflowers. The trail travels through a modified forest setting. There are some steep sideslopes with unlevel tread. Due to multiple users, please be cautious and courteous. Cattle may be encountered.