The first day of fall saw our time in Sumpter come to an end. We left town at 7am and started our long drive back to Salem. We had a couple of stops to make along the way, one to visit our Son in Bend and the other a short hike in the Crooked River’s canyon.
We took Highway 26 into Prineville and after a bit of confusion located Main St. and headed south. Main Street becomes Highway 27 and follows the Crooked River through a canyon to Prineville Reservoir.
Our planned hike was a 2.6 mile round trip to visit Chimney Rock along the rim of the canyon. We parked at the signed trailhead on the NE side of the road 16.6 miles from Prineville.
The weather systems that had provided rain and snow for the previous 5 days were breaking up creating a lot of different scenes in the sky as we set off on the trail.
The trail gains approximately 500′ in the 1.3 miles to Chimney Rock so it’s a pretty good climb at times but the views of the Crooked River Canyon are worth it.
The sound of songbirds added to the relaxing scene.
Chimney Rock was hidden for most of the hike but as the trail leveled out on the rim the unique pillar came into view.
The trail leads right to the pillar and a nearby bench.
From Chimney Rock we had a nice view of the Crooked River as it wound through the rimrock canyon.
It was a pretty quick up and down taking us just over an hour but it gave us an opportunity to stretch our legs and enjoy some impressive views at the same time.
After visiting our Son we drove home over Santiam Pass. Clouds obscured many of the mountains but both Three Fingered Jack and Mt. Washington were brilliantly white with snow which was such a welcome sight. Just 7 days earlier when we passed by going the other way they were hidden by thick smoke from wildfires. Happy Trails!
Flickr: Chimney Rock