Hiking Project Logo

An out-and-back trail that boasts spectacular waterfalls in the spring and a rainbow of foliage colors in the fall.


Your Rating: Rating Rating Rating Rating Rating      Clear Rating
Your Difficulty:
Your Favorites: Add To-Do · Your List
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

8.4

Miles

13.5

KM

Point to Point

7,365' 2,245 m

High

5,353' 1,631 m

Low

2,073' 632 m

Up

60' 18 m

Down

5%

Avg Grade (3°)

25%

Max Grade (14°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Birding · Fall Colors · River/Creek · Spring · Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Family Friendly Campground at trailhead. The trail crosses a creek several times for children to play in.

Road access and campground closes in winter conditions.

Need to Know

The campground at the trailhead has restrooms and overnight camping. No parking fee at trailhead.

Description

The trail begins in the grassland hills below Steens Mountain. You'll cross over a few of these hills and have spectacular views of the mountain before you, and the lower desert landscape behind you.

Once you step into the beginnings of the gorge, you'll find a mix of uphill and downhill hiking leading you at first through a dry juniper forest, and then a lush land filled with aspens. There are several creek crossings, which would be a little difficult in the spring, but are easy to rock-hop across in summer and fall.

Canyon walls tower over either side of you as you hike through miles of shimmering aspen and along the sparkling stream. Once a few miles in, you have a clear view of your destination where, at the end of the canyon, the towering walls come together and multiple waterfalls pour down its rocky face during the spring. Summer and fall hikers will miss out on the waterfalls, but the stream will likely always be flowing.

The aspen trees flitter in bright yellows, oranges, and reds in early fall seasons, providing their own beauty in the absence of the falls.

At the end of the trail, there is a single route over the north canyon wall, which backpackers will use to venture to the peak of Steens Mountain, Wildhorse Lake, or the Little Blitzen Gorge Trail.

Flora & Fauna

Coyote, deer, antelope, aspen, juniper, trout, bobcat, elk

Contacts

Shared By:

Arthur McMahon

Trail Ratings

  4.4 from 5 votes

#8530

Overall
  4.4 from 5 votes
5 Star
40%
4 Star
60%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Trail Rankings

#244

in Oregon

#8,530

Overall
5 Views Last Month
718 Since Sep 26, 2018
Intermediate/Difficult Intermediate/Difficult

0%
0%
75%
0%
25%
0%

Photos

Walking toward the face of Big India Gorge in the fall.
Sep 26, 2018 near Hines, OR
View from rim looking down into Big Indian Gorge (07-12-2010)
Feb 25, 2021 near Hines, OR
Waterfall in Big Indian Gorge (07-10-2010)
Feb 25, 2021 near Hines, OR
Big Indian Gorge (07-11-2010)
Feb 25, 2021 near Hines, OR
End of Big Indian Gorge. Rim can be attained though climb is steep with no trail (07-12-2010)
Feb 25, 2021 near Hines, OR
loading

Weather


Current Trail Conditions

Unknown
Add Your Check-In

Check-Ins

none
Welcome

Join the Community

Create your FREE account today!
Already have an account? Login to close this notice.

Get Started