Bend/Redmond Central Oregon Hiking Oregon Throwback Thursday Trip report

Throwback Thursday – Shevlin Park

On 8/5/2011, during a vacation in Central Oregon, we headed to Shevlin Park on the outskirts of Bend for an easy day hike. The 4.8 mile loop was a perfect break in the midst of a week of longer hikes.

We parked in a large lot at the park entrance and walked across the park’s road to a trail that passed through a meadow for 100 yards before crossing over Tumalo Creek on a footbridge.
Shevlin Park sign

Bridge over Tumalo Creek

The trail climbed just a bit to a rim on the canyon above the creek. A fire in 1990 was stopped at the rim which still showed a few signs of the blaze. Birds and chipmunks were plentiful along this stretch.

Loop Trail in Shevlin Park

Lewis's Woodpecker


Chipping sparrow

Tumalo Creek flowed through the forest in the green canyon below.
Tumalo Creek

At approximately the 1.75 mile mark we forked to the right and followed a trail back down into the canyon and crossed a side creek on another footbridge. We began encountering mosquitoes at that point and having had given enough blood already that week we picked up the pace quickly covering the next .6 miles where yet another bridge led us back over Tumalo Creek.
Tumalo Creek

The trail once again climbed away from the creek which provided relief from the mosquitoes. From the bridge it was 2.2 miles back to the parking lot. At the 1.5 mile mark a side trail led down to the Hixon Crossing covered bridge which we had a nice view of from above.
Hixson Crossing Covered Bridge

The trail passed Ponderosa Pine trees and some interesting rock formations where golden-mantled ground squirrels and gray Douglas squirrels watched us as we passed by.
Rocks along the Loop Trail in Shevlin park

Golden-mantled Ground Squirrel

Douglas Squirrel

With a relatively short distance and only 300′ of elevation gain the Shevlin Park loop was a great choice for a recovery day. It’s proximity to Bend also meant we had plenty of time left in the day to pursue other activities in town. Happy Trails!

Flickr: Shevlin Park

Bend/Redmond Central Oregon Hiking Oregon Throwback Thursday Trip report

Throwback Thursday – Tumalo Falls

On 8/2/2011 during a week of vacation in Central Oregon we did a 6.8 mile loop hike visiting several waterfalls, most notably Tumalo Falls.

We began at an interpretive sign at the end of Tumalo Falls Road (Road 4603) on the North Fork Trail.
Tumalo Falls trailhead

North Fork Trail sign

We kept right at junctions passing the lower viewpoint with its straight ahead look at the falls and continued to the upper viewpoint beside the falls which is less than a quarter mile from the trailhead.
Tumalo Falls

Tumalo Falls

Tumalo Falls

Tumalo Falls

The beauty of the falls and the easy access make it a very popular destination but we were there early and had the view to ourselves. Most people turn back after reaching the upper viewpoint but we continued on the North Fork Trail further into the forest.
North Fork Trail

The trail stuck close to Tumalo Creek passing Double Falls after .8 miles followed by Middle Tumalo Falls .9 miles later.
Double Falls

Middle Tumalo Falls

After passing a spring the trail crossed the Middle Fork Tumalo Creek on a footbridge.
North Fork Trail

Smaller fork of Tumalo Creek

Beyond the footbridge we took a brief detour toward the North Fork Tumalo Creek to see Lower North Fork Tumalo Falls.
Lower North Fork Tumalo Falls

After returning to the North Fork Trail we continued to follow the Middle Fork Tumalo Creek passing several more nice waterfalls. The names of some of which we are not certain of.
Small waterfall on Tumalo Creek

Middle Fork Tumalo Falls

Lower Middle Fork Tumalo Falls

Middle Fork Tumalo Falls
Middle Fork Tumalo Falls

Shortly beyond Middle Fork Tumalo Falls we arrived at a junction with the Swampy Lakes Trail which we turned left on and promptly crossed the creek on a log.
Tumalo Creek Crossing

From this trail we could see part of snowy Tam McArthur Rim where the headwaters of Tumalo Creek originate.
Tam McArthur Rim

We followed the Swampy Lakes Trail just over 2 miles from the creek crossing to a junction with the Bridge Creek Trail where we turned left along Bridge Creek to complete the loop. One final waterfall awaited along this final 1.3 mile section – Bridge Creek Falls.
Bridge Creek Falls

A moderate to easy hike the loop is a great option for waterfall lovers spending time in the Bend area. Happy Trails!

Flickr: Tumalo Falls

High Cascades Hiking Oregon Three Sisters Area Trip report

Tam McArthur Rim

An extra long weekend brought us to Central Oregon for a pair of Labor Day weekend hikes. We had planned the coup de gras of our hiking season for September 1st when we were set to climb the South Sister, but first we decided to take a “warm up” hike on the 31st on our way to Bend, OR. We chose Tam McArthur Rim which is located about 16 miles south of Sisters, OR at Three Creek Lake. The trail offered an up close look at Broken Top and a view of the Three Sisters to help us get excited for the next days climb. We also had the option of making this a short hike of just 5 miles by turning around at the rim viewpoint, but of course we opted to lengthen the trip. 🙂

The trail offered views from the beginning with Tam McArthur Rim and the North & Middle Sister looming over Three Creek Lake.
The trail climbed for the first 3/4 of a mile up a ridge to the rim’s plateau. Along the way views opened up across the lake to the north revealing several Cascade peaks. When we reached the plateau the mountains were temporarily lost as we traveled south across a semi-barren landscape. After a half mile the trail bent right and began gradually climbing along the sloped plateau. Mountains once again were visible, this time to the south. Mt. Bachelor rose above the plateau with Tumalo Mountain to it’s left.

As we gained elevation along the plateau the tops of Broken Top and the South Sister began to peek over the rims edge. The plateau itself was an interesting mix of rocks and sand dotted with clumps of trees. The plants were limited to those capable of surviving windy conditions on little water. Just prior to the final climb to the viewpoint the trail approached the cliff edge where we got our first good look at Little Three Creeks Lake.

Upon reaching the viewpoint we found that it was a nice wide area with a 360 degree view. At an elevation of 7730′ it was high enough to see a good distance. It was a wonderful spot to take a break and have a bite to eat and would have been an acceptable place to declare victory and turn around. While we sat at the viewpoint we were joined by a Red Crossbill who apparently thought it was a good place for a break as well. Although the view here was good enough to call it a day the trail continued on so we would too.

North & Middle Sister, Mt. Washington and Three Fingered Jack from the viewpoint.
North & Middle Sister, Mt. Washington and Three Fingered Jack from the viewpoint.

Continuing on from the viewpoint the trail stayed fairly level as it followed the edge of the rim toward Broken Top. The open landscape of the plateau meant constant views with Mt. Bachelor to the south, a string of Cascade peaks to the NW and Central Oregon to the east. Between the trail and Central Oregon the plateau was dotted with patches of snow that were still melting feeding silver creeks that flowed down toward the Deschutes River far below. The most prominent of these was the North Fork of Tumalo Creek.

North Fork of the Tum
North Fork of Tumalo Creek

The trail skirted around one of these snow fields and climbed a cinder slope where we could see the final mile of our path before us.

The final mile climbed a cinder ridge to the base of Broken Hand. From this ridge the views became even grander. To the south beyond Mt. Bachelor was Diamond Peak, Mt. Thielsen and eventually Mt. Scott which resides on the rim of Crater Lake.
To the north we could see all the way to Mt. Adams in Washington although haze made it difficult to see it well.

We ate lunch at the base of Broken Hand admiring the colors and shapes of the volcanic rocks of Broken Top and the Three Sisters. We spotted a fellow hiker sitting on the rim of the moraine containing Broken Top Lake, a destination we hope to see next year.
We spent quite awhile surveying the landscape around us, and I was especially intrigued by what appeared to be a good sized waterfall to the SE of the Middle Sister. It may have been along the outlet creek of one of the Chambers Lakes (possibly Camp Lake).
We also tried to spot climbers on top of the South Sister since we planned on being up there the next day but couldn’t make anyone out.

On our way back we began running into more hikers and other wildlife too. A silent group of ravens glided by apparently searching for something along the plateau.
We also spotted an impressive spider which had bright red legs and was just a bit larger than a quarter.
This was a great way to start a weekend of hiking and really got us excited about our hike up the South Sister. Happy Trails.

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