Hike Steelhead Falls Trail – Bend, OR

January 5, 2016

After a crazy few months of travel we decided to slow down. Way down. We booked a month in Bend, OR. A place that has been in the back of our minds since the summer. With the rumor of mild winters with sunshine, we thought it would be the perfect place to be before our next trip. During this time we wanted to come up with something fun for the new year. So, we decided to do the 52 Hike Challenge. We did not officially sign up, we are just doing it on our own. We will be writing about all of them, so hopefully a few can be put on your list!


The snow wouldn’t stop. We had at least 3 feet and it was growing. We didn’t have any winter gear with us since we didn’t know how long we were really going to be here. The thought of buying a bunch of gear to only use for a month seemed silly.  It had gotten really cold and we had been stuck inside for a few days. CABIN FEVER! We finally just decided to go. We read that Steelhead Falls Trail was an easy hike and to a beautiful waterfall, so we packed the dogs up and headed north on 97 towards Terrebonne.

After a quick 40 minute drive we made it to the trailhead. We would not have made it if we didn’t have a 4×4 vehicle.


This was the parking lot.

There was a certain spot in the road that you could park and walk down, but don’t attempt if it’s not plowed or if you don’t have a 4×4. There was a small trail made in the snow to the look out point, but after that there was nothing. When you reach the look out point head right, with the river running on your left. From this point there are little markers that you can follow if there isn’t a trail. This hike is probably easier in the summer, it’s just a short 1 mile hike to the falls. In the winter with no trail and no shoes it was a bit more difficult but that is what made it fun!



No trail ahead.



Ramey loved find the path for us. He lead us the entire way!


Summit loves the snow. He jumps around and buries his head down looking for pine cones.


There were a few spots along the way with sun, otherwise, even though it was mid afternoon it was dark.


You will be able to tell when you are close, it will look like the river is taking a sharp left and you will wonder if you can make it. Just keep going and you will finally make it to a spot to see the falls.


If you keep walking you get to this little spot. It was flat and in the summer would be perfect for a picnic and people come here to jump in!


So glad that this was our first hike of the year. The snow was a perfect powder and having time to explore allows us to find places like this.


I am sure this hike is great in the summer, but we thought it was worth doing it in the winter too!

Extra Info:

  • There is service the entire time so you can follow maps to get to the trail head.
  • Summer: bring a swimsuit, towel, water and snacks.
  • Winter: Use good boots or hiking shoes. Snow shoes would be good if you have them.
  • Dog Friendly!
  • Water hole and waterfall at the end.
  • This trail is a short 2 miles RT, but it is not flat. About 300′ in elevation change.

Love to pin? Here is a pin and we appreciate the share!




12 thoughts on “Hike Steelhead Falls Trail – Bend, OR

  1. What a lovely hike. Beautiful scenery, lovely photos. Thanks for sharing and hope you enjoy and get the most out of the other hikes planned this year.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This looks like such a fun winter hike! I bet you had the trail all to yourselves. I would love to do it in the summer, but I have a feeling it would be a crowded hike with that awesome swimming hole at the end.

    Liked by 1 person

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