Steelhead Falls – Deschutes River

Where: Crooked River Ranch
Mileage: 1.2 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation gain: Little to none
Type: Out-and-back


To get to the trailhead: From Terrebonne on Hwy 97 North, turn left onto Lower Bridge Road. In 2.1 miles turn right on 43rd St. 1.8 miles later to left onto Chinook Drive. 1.1 miles, make a left on Badger Rd. 1.8 miles, turn right on Quail Rd. 1.2 miles left on River Rd. River Rd will end after .9 miles at the Steelhead Falls trailhead.

When we went to Steelhead Falls it was the dead of summer. I think that that’s one of the most perfect times of year to go, but I suspect on the weekends it would get busy. We had gone on a Friday mid-day and saw a couple groups hiking the area as well, but still felt as though we were in our own world.

The trail itself is a hike down on the way in, therefor making the way back an uphill trek. This doesn’t matter, because the surrounding area and canyon you are hiking in is quite beautiful.

The trail goes another mile past the falls and offers a ton of swimming holes, fishing and picnic sports and canyon walls similar to high desert. The falls are about .6 miles in from the trailhead and the sight of the Deschutes River plummeting down 20 feet was riveting.

Just past the falls there is a perfect spot to do some cliff jumping with the falls in sight. The jump itself is a mere 25 feet above the water and providing a perfect cool off the short summer hike. The water felt amazing as it was 80 degrees outside. We even jumped in a few times for the fun of it. Of course I put up my hammock to relax a little before heading back to the trailhead.

Note to self: Bring fishing poles as down the stream and up stream from the waterfall the river offers very nice swimming holes.

3 thoughts on “Steelhead Falls – Deschutes River

  1. I think I’d find even a 25ft ‘base jump’ pretty scary. I’d love to have a go though. We have a few river bridges around our way which people use. Unbelievably, the authorities have said it’s illegal and anyone caught doing it will be prosecuted – talk about ‘nanny state’!

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