How To Use Our Trip Reports
This website is a collection of hiking, backpacking, snow shoeing, back country skiing and other outdoor adventure trip reports. All trip descriptions, conditions and information are accurate at the time each trip is posted online by Cascade Hiking Adventures. All users should verify current conditions when they plan to follow Cascade Hiking Adventure's trip reports in the field. We find that the National Weather Service has the most reliable weather forecast. Check out our Resources page for more information. Also, the trail descriptions and GPS files are intended as a supplement, and not a substitute, for carrying and knowing how to use a good map and compass. I will post maps for most hikes and you can also visit the USGS Map Store for more free maps. Anyone traveling in the back country should be familiar with wilderness travel and always be properly prepared for the trip they intend to take. And please always follow the Leave No Trace Principles. Be safe and have fun!
How To Choose A Trip
There are several ways you can find the trip that is right for you. On the right side of every page there is a list of trip categories. All trips will fall into one or more "Hike type". Hike types will include difficulty rating, wilderness experience, best season to visit, who we feel the hike is best suited for, among other things. You may also type a query into the search box if you are looking for something specific.
Difficulty ratings are based upon trip length (both mileage and time), elevation gain and loss, exposure to elements (being in the high desert, many hikes spend a lot of time in the sun) and access to water sources (for overnight hikes). Difficulty is based on a 1-10 scale; one being the easiest (flat and short hike) and ten being the most difficult (several days with several thousand feet of elevation gain and significant time exposed to elements). Please know what type hiker you and your group are and never get in over your head.
Hike Types will also be broken down into day trips and overnight backpacking trips both for winter and summer travel.
Trip Example - Tumalo Mountain
- Trip Name: Tumalo Mountain
- Trip Length: 4 Miles
- Difficulty Rating: 3
- Views: 8
- Wilderness Experience: 2 (crowded on nice days)
- Best Time To Visit: Late May - October
- Recommended Activities: Day Hike
- Best For: Hikers, Runners, Families, dogs
- Restroom: Yes, Trailhead
- Permit: Northwest Forest Pass (summer), Sno-Park Pass (winter)
- Recommended Map(s): USGS Quads: Broken Top and Mount Bachelor
- Geo-Graphics Map: Three Sister Wilderness Map
Trip Technical Data:
- Trailhead: Dutchman Flat
- Trailhead Elevation: 6350'
- Summit Elevation: 7775'
- Trip Time: 2 - 2.5 hours
- Shuttle Length: none
The Tumalo Mountain hike is a good half day trip out of Bend, Oregon. On a clear day you can see five of the Cascade Mountains up close: Mount Bachelor to the South and Broken Top, South Sister, Middle Sister, and North Sister to the North. Views of Lava Butte to the Southeast, and the lava flow that relocated the Deschutes River to its current location, are also spectacular.
Drive yourself to the Dutchman Flat sno-park on the North side of the Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway about 19 miles outside of Bend (see map below). There is typically plenty of parking here. I have always been able to find a spot. The trailhead is located near the west end of the parking lot, near the restroom. Almost immediately you will cross over a snowmobile trail that sees heavy use in the winter months. From here the trail ascends somewhat steeply through a relatively open lodgepole and ponderosa pine forest. Enjoy the switchbacks through the forest and at about a half mile into the hike start to look over your shoulder for the first peaks of Mount Bachelor to the south. Also at about this point the trail begins to ascend a bit more gradually and traverses across the slope of Tumalo Mountain heading in an easterly direction. The higher you go the less dense the trees become and the more it seems like you are now walking through a desert landscape. This is the point where you will be exposed for most of the remainder of the hike. Use caution on hot days. There are a few shade spots for breaks if you need. From here, sandy switchbacks bring you to the east slope of the summit where there is a small loop that circles around the old fire tower location. The United States Forest Service discontinued use and removed the tower in the 1970s. Take a right at the split in the trail and the final few hundred yards follow the top of the ancient volcanic rim to the true summit. The trail is marked by a rock path on the summit and this is intended to keep people on the trail as to not damage the small alpine plants that have established themselves up here. Once on the summit you have 360 degree views, and on a clear days can see many Cascade Mountains, as I mentioned above. There are many spots on top for great photo ops and also several rock outcrops that may serve well as a quiet lunch spot.
Once done enjoying the summit, continue along the summit loop trail to its merge with the main trail, and return to your vehicle the way you came.
If time and energy allow, Mount Bachelor Ski Resort offers several summer activities you may enjoy while in the area. In July and August (dates vary by year, check website for this year's information), Friday through Sunday you can ride the Pine Marten lift to mid mountain. From there you can look back north to Tumalo Mountain and enjoy a different view of what you just hiked.
From Dutchman Flat sno-park where you had parked for the Tumalo Mountain hike you take a right out of the parking lot and drive only a few hundred feet before taking a left at the split in the road to the Mount Bachelor parking lot.
The Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway is a fantastic afternoon or evening drive. Take a right out of Dutchamn Flat sno-park and keep right at the fork in the road (left to Mount Bachelor) and follow the Byway for about 40 miles to Route 58. Follow Route 58 Southeast to Highway 97 North which will return you to Bend. Do allow some time for this loop. From Tumalo Mountain back to Bend will be about 105 miles and take you 3 hours or so. This is one of the most scenic drive in all of Central Oregon.