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Paulina Lake Out and Back

Intermediate
 4.0 (1) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

A hike along Paulina Creek with close-up views of many waterfalls.


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Map Key

11.8

Miles

19.0

KM

Out and Back

6,344' 1,934 m

High

4,775' 1,455 m

Low

1,593' 486 m

Up

1,592' 485 m

Down

5%

Avg Grade (3°)

17%

Max Grade (10°)

Dogs Off-leash

Features River/Creek · Waterfall

Family Friendly Opportunities to wade and rock slide

Overview

A great hike for the entire family, this trail follows the Paulina Creek closely. The creek changes personality as it winds down the valley; sometimes it a gentle stream and other times it is a crashing waterfall. There are some opportunities to dip your feet in the water or slide down a natural water slide.

Need to Know

There is a 2.3 mile gravel road to reach the trailhead but it's well-maintained -- no SUV required. There is a far amount of parking but it does fill up during the summer.

Description

This hike starts at McKay crossing campground and takes the Peter Skene Ogden Trail #3956 east. It is a gradual uphill climb that closely follows Paulina Creek. The creek is quite picturesque and there are several nice waterfalls along the way. In many places, you can dip your toes in the creek or get up close to a small waterfall. Most of the hike is through sparse forest but there there are some more open areas including an area that burned several years ago.

The best (most scenic) part of the hike is between miles two and three. Near mile two is a water slide area. Many hikers will choose to turn around at the junction a little before mile three where there is a bridge over the creek. The remaining three miles are less interesting but culminate at the impressive 80 foot Paulina Falls.

The good: The creek is endlessly entertaining; the trail is well-maintained and the incline is continuous but gradual; the area seems to be mosquito-free (at least by early summer).

The less good: The trail goes through sparse forest (especially in an area that burned several years ago), making it hot and dusty; there are no long distance views of the surrounding mountains.

Contacts

Shared By:

Jonathan P

Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 1 vote

#3412

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  4.0 from 1 vote
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Recommended Route Rankings

#98

in Oregon

#3,412

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Photos

Paulina Creek
Aug 6, 2018 near La Pine, OR
Paulina Creek
Aug 6, 2018 near La Pine, OR
Paulina Creek double waterfall
Aug 6, 2018 near La Pine, OR

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