The Whychus Canyon Preserve includes nearly 1,000 acres of stunning canyon and stream terrain where the pine trees stubbornly give way to the unforgiving High Desert just northeast of Sisters. The Deschutes Land Trust has protected 8 miles of Whychus Creek and more than 2,200 acres of adjacent flood plains, wetlands and forests. The 930-acre Whychus Canyon Preserve was established in 2010, and it now includes several miles of hiking-only trails that parallel the creek and the canyon rim.
Getting there: From Bend, drive northwest on U.S. Highway 20 for about 13 miles. Turn north on Fryrear Road and continue 5.5 miles to the intersection with state Highway 126. Turn left on Highway 126, travel 1 mile, then turn right on Goodrich Road. Follow Goodrich Road for about 1.5 miles until the paved road turns sharply right. Instead of following the curve, go straight onto the gravel road, following it for about 1.3 miles to a split in the road. Keep going straight north for another 0.4 miles to the trailhead parking area.
Difficulty: Easy if you stay on the canyon rim, intermediate to difficult if you follow the 5-mile loop down into the canyon. Trails are open to hikers only, and dogs must be on leash at all times.
Contact: deschuteslandtrust.org or 541-330-0017.
By Mark Morical
The Bend BulletinSeptember 01, 2016