The interesting thing about the trails that crisscross the Sunriver and Bend region of Oregon is how many of them intersect or meet at some point. The Deschutes River Trail is one of those trails, offering three trails that run parallel to each other, all connecting with the Deschutes River. Accessible from Sunriver as well as the Meadow Day Use Area, this particular trail is a favorite activity of locals and tourists alike and will soon be a favorite of yours as well.
When You Are Feeling Strong
While many of the trails near Sunriver are 10 miles or under, the Deschutes River Trail lasts over 22 miles, so please be sure you really want to hike before attempting it! Having an elevation gain of 1040 feet, the climb is gradual, making it an easy walk for hikers of all skill levels. If you have toddlers or infants, however, the length of the trail guarantees that at some point you will be carrying someone, so being in excellent physical condition is important. As you hike along the river, the views from here will take your breath away. The sun glistens on sparkling waters, with rolling hills and long grasses completing a scene of peace and tranquility.
The Deschutes River Trail starts in the high desert, so if you are planning to hike it in its entirety, you will need to pack in a lot of water; we have found that the Camelback pack is the easiest way to carry a lot of water on any trails. Coming in various sizes, they fit comfortably on your back without adding a lot of weight.
Horseback riders, mountain bikers, and trail runners will be sharing the trail with you. They are friendly people, so don’t be afraid to nod your head and say hello! Accessible year round, your favorite fur baby will have free rein, dashing around and barking his greetings to other hikers, but please try to keep him away from the horses, who may be skittish, and don’t forget to clean up after him.
This particular trail was built to follow the old rail bed and lies not far from the historic Celilo Village. If you aren’t able to visit at this time, you will definitely want to add it to the top of your vacation bucket list for later. Known as Oregon’s oldest town, it was once the home of Indians who farmed, fished, and lived on this land for over 11,000 years.