Scout Camp Trail Loop
Scout Camp Trail Loop
Scout Camp Trail Loop is short, but packed full of adventure: you'll drop 700' from the canyon rim down a steep gorge and travel alongside the roaring Deschutes River before climbing back out. Throw in a small scramble, the possibility of rattlesnakes, and some serious geological features, and you've got one heck of a hike.
That said, be prepared to be underwhelmed at the trailhead. The dirt lot at the end of the gravel road (which took countless turns in the car to get to) certainly leaves much to be desired, but lace up those boots and head out; the hike quickly takes a turn for the better.
From the trailhead, head west along the high plateau on a nearly flat and dusty path for about 0.4 miles. It's here that the canyon is first revealed, and also here that you'll come to a signed junction. Stay left as the sign suggests (the route is better accomplished in this direction). The path narrows and exposure increases as the trail carves a thin track along the canyon wall on its way down to the river.
At 0.75 miles, the trail changes direction to the northwest at the base of the canyon, following the flow of the water in the Deschutes River. In the middle of the summer, vegetation can grow over the path along the river, covering rocks and critters, so it's a good place to take your time and watch your step.
As the path bends east around a blind turn in the river at 1.25 miles (and near the convergence with Whychus Creek), there is a small 10' tall scramble over a large rock. The holds are easy enough, and danger is minimal if you take your time and exercise caution. Soon after, the trail begins to climb out of the canyon, going past large walls of mixed layers of sedimentary rock. Halfway up the canyon, at just under 1.5 miles, the trail turns south and soon after back east for another quarter-mile to the signed junction and the end of the loop. Follow the trail back to the parking lot.
Permits & Tips
No permits required to park or hike. No water or toilets available. We recommend plenty of water and sun protection for the summer months as there are very few trees or other sources of shade on the trail in and out of the canyon. Rattlesnakes are local to this area, keep an eye and ear out and steer clear. Stay on the trail at all times.
How to get there
From Highway 97, just north of Terrebonne, head west onto Lower Bridge Road (signed for Crooked River Ranch). Drive 2.2 miles and turn right on 43rd Street. After 1.8 miles, turn left on Chinook Drive and follow for 2.4 miles, then turn left onto Mustang Road. Travel 1.1 miles and turn right on Shad Road and drive 1.4 miles to Peninsula Drive. Turn right and go 3.2 miles and turn left onto Meadow Drive. Another half-mile and turn right onto Scout Camp Trail. Parking lot is at the end of the gravel road another 0.3 miles further.