Hike the West Metolius River Trail



8 miles

Elevation Gain

280 ft

Route Type


Added by Christian Murillo

Take an easy hike along crystal clear waters and enjoy one of the most beautiful river trails in Central Oregon.

The West Metolius River trail is one of the finest river trails in Central Oregon due to its easy terrain, beautiful blue water, volcanic spring fed waterfalls, and forest views.  The hike starts just downstream from the Lower Canyon Creek Campground, where there is a bathroom and some picnic tables.  This part of Deschutes National Forest is open year-round, but may not be accessible after a big snow storm.  

After starting on the narrow trail, you will continue downstream for about half a mile when you will see the waterfall across the stream.  This waterfall is both beautiful and unique, as the water pours out of a volcanic spring, fed by a lake about 20 miles away.  The waterfall is broad and cascading, and releases pristine water into the river.  After you have gotten your waterfall fix in, you will continue along the trail for the next 2 miles.  This stretch will reveal a peaceful forest setting and views of the river along the entire way.  

At 2.5 miles, you will arrive at the Wizard Falls Fish Hatchery.  The trail continues past the Hatchery, and you will find people fly fishing for trout on this scenic section of the river.  The river widens and has fewer rapids in this part of the trail.  After following the meandering river for another 1.5 miles, you will arrive at a no trespassing sign on private property.  This marks the end of the first half of the trail.  

On the return, you will follow the same trail and catch views of the river from a different direction, which is equally beautiful and fascinating.  Although this trail packs a full 8 miles, the vast majority of the trail is flat with good terrain, making it a good easy hike or trail run. 

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Dog Friendly
Family Friendly
Picnic Area



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We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

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