We have focused most of our hikes in the Cascades during our time living in Central Oregon. However, the Ochocos, east of Prinveille, offer wonderful, less traveled hikes with beautiful vistas and interesting geology.
It seems that a year into the Covid-19 pandemic, we are finding ourselves repeating the hikes we took a year ago. Steins Pillar in the Ochocos is a fairly short, fairly easy hike with an impressive end at the 350 foot pillar, a volcanic remnant over 38 million years old. Probably the most concerting issue getting to the trail head is the two mile mostly single lane dirt road (within potholes) which can be somewhat sketchy going around corners, hoping no one else is coming the other way. But if you make it to the actual trail head without incident, the four-mile in and out moderate hike to the pillar has an easy to follow trail with several view points along the way. On our hike, April 17, 2021, there were just a couple of icy patches on the trail in sheltered, northern facing slopes, but once you reached the pillar location, the steps down to the base were dry and easy to navigate.
All in all, we saw several families hiking in as we were leaving, all seeming to be enjoying the day as the weather was wonderful - a true Central Oregon bluebird day. The manzanita was starting to bloom and the wildflowers were making an appearance. Birds were evident as they flew by, with a hawk circling near the pillar on warm updrafts, all of which remind us why we love living where we do. If the wonderful weather continues, we are going to have to remember to bring bug spray with us on our next hiking adventure!
Original post can be read at Bend Premier Real Estate's blog.