Hiking is a great summer activity, but some tend to enjoy the adventure and exercise from a hike in the late summer or early fall. By late September the heat has lifted and the colors in the sky and of the Earth are rich. It’s easy to feel a bit more connected to the beauty around when hiking during this time. If you’re looking for beautiful fall hikes near Sunriver, you won’t want to miss exploring these areas!
The Fall River is a tributary of the Deschutes River. It is a large spring creek that flows for eight miles into the Deschutes River. Grass and willow trees border the clear river as you hike through a beautiful forest with leaves and grass changing to orange and yellow in the fall.
To get here, drive out of Sunriver and at the traffic circle and take the 1st exit onto S. Century Drive. Turn left onto S. Century Drive after .6 miles. After 3.1 miles, turn right to stay on S. Century Drive. Drive up this road for 10 miles and you will see a gravel road on the left. Turn there and follow the gravel for about ¾ of a mile until you see parking near a bridge.
From here, you will find an inviting and well-maintained trail that weaves along the Fall River; a beautiful and crystal-clear river. Fed by a series of springs, the river is quite cold and you will enjoy snapping photos more than jumping in. Walk up the trail and you will be rewarded with a view of the beautiful and clear falls. This is one of our favorite hikes near Sunriver.
The Deschutes River Trail extends over 15 miles from Sunriver at Benham Falls to Bend at Meadow Picnic Area. As you weave through the shaded forest trail, you will be rewarded with sunny breaks that offer bursts of color from aspen groves and grassy meadows. You may choose any starting point and any distance for your hike as there are at least 8 trailheads along the route. The closest to Sunriver is the Benham Falls area. This is a great place to start, as it is located at the south end of the trail and you can walk the trail as far north as you wish. Find a detailed map of the trail and trailheads here.
Dog-loving hikers, be sure to bring your leash along, as the trail does require your fur-babies to be leashed at all times. The trail is open to hikers and mountain bikers alike, so be aware of speedy adventurers on two-wheels. Some of the most colorful fall hikes near Sunriver are along the Deschutes River Trail near the Slough Trailhead, Dillon Falls, and the Aspen Trailhead. The colors in this area are not to be missed, especially in October, so don’t forget your camera.
For those interested in a longer but equally breathtaking day hike, this is one you’ll want to check out. A round trip hike of 8.4 miles will weave you along Fall Creek through a lush forest and stunning views. You will be rewarded with an obsidian flow before you end at the Green Lakes, located at the saddle between South Sister and Broken Top.
To get there, follow signs to Mt. Bachelor. Once there, drive right on past Mt. Bachelor, past Sparks and Todd Lakes until you see a sign for Green Lakes and Soda Creek Trailheads.
Whatever hike you choose to do be sure to stay hydrated, wear comfortable shoes, and have fun!