Everybody loves options. Whether it's deciding which of the 20+ breweries in Central Oregon to visit or which trail to take, we love having choices.
"There's more to Redmond than most people think," said Bob Gilbert, Central Oregon Trail Alliance Redmond Chapter representative. "It's well worth the drive from Bend."
- Damian Fagan
- A view into the Deschutes River Canyon near Wildcat Canyon.
Of the many worthy multiple-use trails in Redmond's backyard, two areas stand out: Dry Canyon and the Cline Buttes Recreation Area.
Dry Canyon TrailDry Canyon runs north-south through Redmond, and it lives up to its name. Formed thousands of years ago from lava flows from Newberry Volcano and nearby vents, the canyon was originally thought to be carved out of the basalt by glacial streams from Forked Horn Butte. Recent geologic investigations have determined that the Deschutes River coursed through this area over 78,000 years ago before younger lava flows forced the river farther west.
Today, the low basalt walls and wide canyon bottom offer various recreational opportunities from hiking, cycling, disc golf, dog parks and more. Managed by Redmond Area Park and Recreation District, there are multiple entry points into the canyon—such as NW Canyon Drive and Fir Avenue—but the main north and south terminals have parking areas, restrooms and interpretive signs. Out-and-back distances from either end of the paved trail is around 7.5 miles. Dirt trails parallel the paved trail and offer opportunities to explore the nooks and crannies of the basalt cliffs.
Cline Buttes Recreation AreaWithin the 32,000-acre CBRA, the Maston Trail Use Area (4,000 acres) offers several trailheads, accessible from the Cline Falls Highway or Highway 126. According to Chris Tull, interim manager for the Tumalo Irrigation District, the Mastons were early pioneers in the area and long-time patrons of the District. The Cline Buttes are named for Central Oregon pioneer dentist Cass A. Cline (1850-1926).
"COTA adopted the Maston network about 20 years ago and have been working the BLM on the Cascade View project for about the last 12 years since its inception," said Gilbert.
The Maston trailhead, off Newcomb Road, provides access to numerous multiple-use trails for hikers, dog walkers, joggers, mountain bikers and horse riders that form a variety of loops through old-growth juniper woodlands, with some views of the Cascades and into the Deschutes River Canyon. Trail distances vary depending upon which loops or connectors are taken. Hiking the pedestrian/horse trail out Stampede, looping toward the river, then back to the trailhead via the Settlement trail is about a 7.5-mile loop and without much elevation gain.
- Damian Fagan
- Bike riders head out onto the Maston trail system.
Another option in this area is to continue beyond the Maston trailhead on Newcomb Road to the small Wildcat Canyon trailhead. A 1.6-mile loop along the hiker/equestrian Settlement trail takes explorers to the rim of the Deschutes River; the Rockbar segment of this hike is very rewarding.
The Cascade View Trailhead is the newest trail hub in the CBRA. Located off of Eagle Crest Boulevard, the trailhead, like many in the CBRA, can accommodate horse trailers and plenty of parking for vehicles. COTA held Tuesday night Trail Love outings this winter and spring to catch up on some trail maintenance that had been on hold because of the pandemic.
"We're trying to get better signage and better markings on this trail, but we're trying to accomplish that over these warm summer months," said Gilbert. While working on signage, the group is planning more volunteer work parties and trail stewardship projects for when the weather cools off. Currently, trails in the area are marked with flagging, and the trail lives up to its name with outstanding views of Cascade peaks.
West of the Maston area is the Tumalo Canal Historic Area, another Prineville Bureau of Land Management-managed area that offers various multiple-use trails and a pedestrian-only trail that loops through the juniper woodlands. Trail intersections are numbered and parts of the trail follow or cross over historic irrigation canals that were part of a failed irrigation project attempting to satisfy thirsty homesteaders.
Before leaving any trailhead in the CBRA, take a photograph of the trail map or download a map PDF from the COTA or Prineville BLM's website.
No matter which trail you take, these lower elevation hikes may be pretty hot, midday in summer. Local Redmond dog walkers, hikers, horse riders, and mountain bikers sharing these trails known the time to go is either early morning or late afternoon to avoid the midday heat...and the drive to Bend.
Central Oregon Trail Alliance