Day Trip: Camp Sherman and the Metolius River
Who's this trip for?
Great for families with young kids or as a day trip for visiting friends & family.
What's it all about?
It's not every day that you can see a river spring literally from underground.Many destinations in the high Cascades are still inaccessible due to this year's snows, so Camp Sherman and the Metolius River are a lovely, early season getaway. The Metolius forms from underground springs and appears from a rocky, fern-covered hillside before ending its 29-mile course at Lake Billy Chinook. The headwaters are accessed by a short, paved quarter-mile trail that also boasts a killer view of Mt. Jefferson.
As you watch the water trickle, consider that no one seems quite sure of its source. Some say the Metolius springs is a basin on the other side of Black Butte, and that the eruption of the butte is what buried the river's more obvious origin.
Next, go see some fish. The Wizard Falls Fish Hatchery is directly north of the headwaters nearly seven miles. The hatchery is the birthplace of six varieties of fish; a total of 2.5 million fingerlings are distributed around the state from this location each year. A mere 25 cents buys a fistful of fish food kids can toss, sprinkle or hurl into a cement pool to the mouths of hundreds of trout.
Next hit the classic Camp Sherman general store to grab an ice cream or cold beverage, then enjoy your treat on the banks of the Metolius River before heading home.
Camp Sherman is 37 miles northwest of Bend. Travel through Sisters on Highway 20 west and continue past Black Butte to follow signs to Camp Sherman.
Kim Cooper Findling is the editor of Cascade Journal, the author of Bend, Oregon Daycations: Day Trips for Curious Families and the Central Oregon ambassador for Travel Oregon. See more at kimcooperfindling.com.