Wizard Falls Hatchery
Wizard Falls Hatchery
With viewing ponds and a park-like setting, Wizard Falls Hatchery is in itself a great destination for a family outing, but when paired with this short jaunt along the Metolius River, it becomes an adventure.
The trail along the Metolius River has many points of entry; our route begins at Lower Canyon Creek Campground and travels an easy 2.5 miles to the hatchery on nearly flat trail along the river.
From the trailhead, walk through recovering pine forest on a flat track, enjoying views of the Metolius River on your right. At 0.65 miles, reach a massive spring pouring from the opposite hillside. This spring is one of many hidden rivers of water that run under layers of basalt near Black Butte and feed the river.
Continuing on, the trail begins to roll over small hills, pulling away from, and then returning to, the river's edge. About 1.75 miles in, the trail leaves the river's side for higher ground (although it stays within a couple hundred yards).
At 2.5 miles, arrive at the parking lot for the hatchery (yes, you can drive right to it). Named after a nearby waterfall, Wizard Falls Hatchery offers several viewing ponds in a park-like setting that is perfect for a lunch break. Walking around the concrete spillways, you will see fish in every stage of development. Rainbow trout, brown trout, and sturgeon are all common occupants of the holding tanks. Be sure to make it all the way through the hatchery to the lake – the enormous trout are a sight to behold!
Permits & Tips
No permits required for parking. Toilet available at both Canyon Creek Campground and Wizard Falls Hatchery. Bring quarters to buy fish food out of vending machines. Group tours of the hatchery are available by advance arrangement. Information on Canyon Creek Camping here.
How to get there
(To Canyon Creek Campground): From Hwy 20, about 10 miles north of Sisters, Oregon, turn north onto SW Camp Sherman Road near milepost 91. Follow for 5.0 miles on paved road to a stop sign. Continue straight on FS-Road 1420 for another 3.25 miles, and then make a right onto a signed gravel road for Canyon Creek Campground. Parking is at the far end of the campground.