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Little Blitzen Gorge Trail

Intermediate/Difficult
 4.2 (5)

This alpine trail checks all the boxes for a great day hike or overnight excursion.


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Map Key

10.0

Miles

16.1

KM

Point to Point

7,883' 2,403 m

High

5,322' 1,622 m

Low

2,684' 818 m

Up

122' 37 m

Down

5%

Avg Grade (3°)

23%

Max Grade (13°)

Dogs Unknown

Features River/Creek · Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Description

The Little Blitzen Gorge Trail is a perfect alpine trail brimming with wildlife, flowers, groves of aspen, and beautiful waterfalls, all making for a truly unique desert experience. As it travels through a deep gorge, the trail hugs the banks of the charming Little Blitzen River. The trail makes a great day hike for the determined or a pleasant overnight trip.

The trail starts at the parking area near the turn for South Steens Campground and casually descends to reach the river crossing. With a little study and careful footwork, hikers should be able to keep their feet dry. On the other side, turn to the right and parallel the river upstream as it meanders through the center of the glacier-carved valley.

The going can be faint and a bit brushy, but hikers should make good progress to 4-Mile Camp, a backpacking spot with welcoming cottonwoods shading a streamside meadow. The pleasant clearing makes a good spot to pitch a tent or the turnaround point for a shorter hike.

Farther up the valley, the trail forks at a rimrock knoll. The left fork splits to a steep scramble up to the Steens Mountain Loop Road above, and the main trail heads right along a faint path that ends upriver at a beautiful waterfall view and the end of the gorge.

Contacts

Shared By:

Eric Ashley

Trail Ratings

  4.2 from 5 votes

#9784

Overall
  4.2 from 5 votes
5 Star
20%
4 Star
80%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Trail Rankings

#293

in Oregon

#9,784

Overall
6 Views Last Month
2,005 Since Feb 1, 2017
Intermediate/Difficult

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Photos

Snow being blown off the ridge above Little Blitzen Canyon
Dec 27, 2017 near Hines, OR
Crossing Little Blitzen Creek
Dec 27, 2017 near Hines, OR
Little Blitzen trail (09-12-2018)
Feb 25, 2021 near Hines, OR
Looking up-canyon from the old corral
Dec 27, 2017 near Hines, OR
Looking down-canyon in Little Blitzen
Dec 27, 2017 near Hines, OR
In-coming weather at Little Blitzen Canyon
Dec 27, 2017 near Hines, OR

Weather


Current Trail Conditions

Update Conditions
Unknown See History
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Check-Ins

May 15, 2015
Bruce Hope
A late Spring snow storm had covered parts of the trail with soft snow.