New trail system at Whychus Canyon Preserve

Dec 06, 2017
The Land Trust is pleased to share a new trail system with you at Whychus Canyon Preserve!

The Land Trust is pleased to share a new trail system with you at Whychus Canyon Preserve! Staff has been working for several years to update all of our signs at all of our Preserves. A better navigation system for Whychus Canyon Preserve and the Metolius Preserve were top priorities.

Whychus Canyon Preserve's new trail system is divided into four sections. Each section contains trails named for a prominent feature:

  • Wagon Road Trail: This trail follows a portion of the historic Santiam Wagon Road. Interpretive signs along the way share the story of the Wagon Road east of the Cascades and the role it played in the settlement of Central Oregon. This fairly flat trail is lovely in spring when the tiny desert wildflowers begin to bloom. The Wagon Road Trail can be accessed via the Meadow Trails.

  • Rim Trails: These trails follow the canyon rim, providing stunning views of the canyon and the Three Sisters. Rim Trails offer three scenic overlooks for visitors to enjoy the views and can be a great way to see the canyon without dropping all the way down to the canyon floor. In spring, Rim Trails are dotted with the brightly colored blooms of balsamroot, paintbrush, and lupine. Rim Trails connect to Creek Trails (via a steep section) and Meadow Trails.

  • Meadow Trails: These trails provide access to the juniper and sagebrush meadows at the top of the canyon. The Meadow Trails are excellent for flat, easy walking. Visitors can enjoy a bounty of early spring wildflowers like goldfields, sand lilies, and phlox. Meadow Trails connect to the Wagon Road Trail and the Rim Trails.

  • Creek Trails: These trails are accessed via the Rim Trails and follow Whychus Creek along the canyon floor. Visitors can enjoy the lush, green vegetation that lines the creek offering shade and quiet places to rest. In the fall and winter, the Creek Trail can be a great place to see the brightly colored stems of willow and dogwood. Creek Trails are connected to Rim Trails via steep descents and ascents so be ready for a workout!


We hope you enjoy our new trail system! Let us know what you think next time you visit. As a reminder, Whychus Canyon Preserve trails are open to non-motorized activities year-round with limited access due to snow in the winter. Please keep your dogs on leash at all times.

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