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Pinnacles Trail

Easy

Trail

4.8 mile 7.8 kilometer point to point
Easy

Elevation

Ascent: 35' 11 m
Descent: -75' -23 m
High: 553' 169 m
Low: 506' 154 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 0% (0°)
Max Grade: 2% (1°)

Dogs

Leashed
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Trail shared by Cameron Booth

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Easy walking trail along a dry but scenic stretch of the John Day River.

Cameron Booth

Features Geological Significance · River/Creek · Views · Wildflowers

Need to Know

Water and toilets are only available in the day use area of Cottonwood Canyon State Park at the start of the trail. No day use fee is required, but there is a fee-required camp site at the park. There's very little shade along the trail, and it can get brutally hot during the summer months.

Description

This easy, wide gravel/sand trail starts at the day-use parking lot just above the aptly-named Lone Tree Campground (which has very little shade available) and runs approximately 4.5 miles along the banks of the scenic John Day River. There are no other intersecting trails, and it's an out-and-back journey only.

The ostensible end goal is the pinnacles from which the trail gets its name -- an interesting, if not entirely spectacular rock formation high above the trail near its end. I say "near" the end, because there's no definite end to the trail ... it just sort of peters out eventually. Basically, once you get a good view of the pinnacles, there's not a lot of point in going much further. The canyon itself is very scenic in that Oregon high desert sort of way, so the journey has some interest.

Flora & Fauna

Elk, deer, antelope, coyotes, jackrabbits. Northern harrier, Swainson's hawk, rough-legged hawk, red-tailed hawk, prairie falcon, merlin, American kestrel, golden eagle, bald eagle. Rattlesnakes, other snakes, lizards, frogs.

Wildflowers generally bloom in May/early June. Balsam roots and monkey flowers in early May. Sagebrush blooms in October.

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Family Friendly, ADA Accessible

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Check-Ins

Mar 10, 2018
Alice Pence
Apr 16, 2016
Cameron Booth
Hot and dry, even in April. This was a brand new State Park when I visited. 9mi

Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 2 votes

#10075

Overall
  4.0 from 2 votes
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Trail Rankings

#313

in Oregon

#10,075

Overall
5 Views Last Month
34 Since Jul 22, 2019
Easy

100%
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Photos

sunset walk along the tail and river
Oct 26, 2019 near Moro, OR
About halfway along the Pinnacles Trail.
Jul 25, 2019 near Moro, OR

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