Peter Skene Ogden Trail Provides Waterfalls and Privacy
Three weeks into the coronavirus pandemic in the United States and one week into the shut down of Oregon's State Parks, we have been searching for options where we can enjoy a hike with plenty of space to keep six feet away from others which is now the norm. Yesterday we traveled 23 miles south of Bend and took the road toward Paulina National Monument, turning off on the dirt road to McKay Crossing. The campground at the crossing was closed, but the Peter Skene Ogden Trail was open and we hiked roughly 3.5 miles up the trail until snow accumulation kept us from going further.
We have hiked this trail before, going all 7 miles up to Paulina Falls at Paulina Lake in the Newberry Crater. However, this early in the season snow is a factor. The weather was cool - no higher than the low 40's - and it started snowing as we returned to our car. However, the chance to take a moderate hike with views of Paulina Creek and waterfalls in an early spring setting was so welcome after days of isolation at home.
During the hike we saw a total of 6 people and one dog - all during our return trip. There were plenty of places on the trail to step aside to keep social distancing in place.