West Metolius River hike

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West Metolius River hike

Distance: 5.4mi
Elevation: 256ft
Time: 1.5-2.5h

Difficulty Rating:

User Ratings:
8.8 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
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It’s a postcard-perfect river walk: simple as that. The Metolius River is unbelievably beautiful and the easy hike along its flank is worth the relatively long drive from Bend. The water is clear and flecked with stunning whitewater rapids. This truly is a trek worth taking.

West Metolius River hike Map

Getting there

From Bend drive north along US-97 and then turn onto US-20 west towards Sisters for 32.0mi.  After Black Butte Ranch turn right onto Camp Sherman Road and follow it for just under 3.0mi.  Veer left to stay on Camp Sherman Road, which turns into NF-1419.  After 5.5mi, turn right onto NF-1420 towards the Lower Canyon Creek Campground.

I’ve done this 8 people have done this
I want to do this 11 want to do this route


When to do

Year Round

Backcountry Campsites



At trailhead

Family friendly


Route Signage


Crowd Levels


Route Type

Out and back

West Metolius River
Elevation Graph

Route Description for West Metolius River hike

The trailhead is beside the small campground, where you’ll also find pit toilets. From the trailhead, descend down to the slow moving Metolius River. You will be shocked at how clear the river is! You will be able to see right down to the rocky bottom in the very center of the river. Begin hiking along the riverside, along the well-kept, flat trail.

You will pass a small tributary waterfall, called Gushing Springs. This wide, short, gentle waterfall cascades slowly down to the river, creating a beautiful scene.

Continue hiking as the river veers left. You will pass by several sections of whitewater sets as you continue following the flow of the river. Approximately two-thirds of the way through, the trail will begin to ascend and you will traverse through a sparse forest. Soon you will arrive at the Wizard Fall Fish Hatchery, where you can feed the fish and is an interesting stop. Here there is a bridge and a parking area. This is also the turnaround point of the hike.

Return following your path you came out on.

Insider Hints

  • You can also start the hike at the Wizard Falls Fish Hatchery, reached by going along NF-14 from Camp Sherman.

  • An option to extend the hike is to continue past the hatchery. You can go another 3.2mi to Pioneer Ford and the Lower Bridge.


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Charlie T 1 month ago

A nice and easy stroll along the river.

8.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
BlueMountains 2 months ago

Nice hike. No elevation gain, no need to work too hard for the nice views.

9.0 Overall Rating
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Physical Difficulty
Kristina Norm 2 months ago

I agree, a really nice river walk. Great landscape to experience.

9.0 Overall Rating
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Physical Difficulty
Gianna 3 months ago

It's not the hike just a nice walk. Loved it

10.0 Overall Rating
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Physical Difficulty
Ronny 3 months ago

The West Metolius river hike was great. Good views. A bit short so we decided to continue and went to the Pioneer Ford. Got some great pictures from this trip.

8.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
2h 00m Time Taken

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