Mentor Group Backpack

Field trip: Mentored Backpack Leaders' Course - Foothills

Mentor Group Backpack - Deschutes River Trail

This is a backpack for the mentor group. Hike a beautiful out and back from the east side Columbia River Gorge up the old railroad grade along the Deschutes River This is a great early season trip with lots of really nice pit toilets for rafters, drier weather, beautiful rock formations, river views, and owls in camp!

  • Moderate
  • Moderate
  • Mileage: 22.2 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 400 ft
  • High Point Elevation: 365 ft
  • Pace: 2-2.5 mph

*There will be optional camping at the Deschutes River State Recreation area on Friday night*

Since this is a long drive for most people we will meet at the Deschutes River Trailhead at 10am and aim to arrive at camp by around 4pm. If all participants want to camp we may start earlier. 

Drive east on I-84 to Exit 97 for Highway 206, Celilo Park and Deschutes State Park. Turn right after exiting and then left on Highway 206E for Deschutes Park and Fulton Canyon.

Drive 0.7 miles and, after crossing the bridge over the Deschutes River, turn right into the Deschutes State Park.

Drive all the way to the end of the paved park road and park at the trailhead near the group camping area.

Each car will need a $7 permit.

Because of the railroad grade, we will hike at a moderate 2-2.5 mph pace, taking frequent breaks. We will stop for an extended lunch (~20 minutes). We will break camp and head back to our cars Sunday morning starting around 8am.

There may not be an option for hanging food. I plan to bring my Ursack.

We may encounter bicycles. I have not seen too many backpackers or rafters while hiking this trail in past seasons.


Deschutes River State Recreation Area

  • Green Trails Columbia River Gorge East No. 432S

    BLM Prineville District: Lower Deschutes and John Day Rivers

    see Land Manager
  • See full route/place details.
Required Equipment

Required Equipment

The Ten Essentials plus overnight gear which may include:

  • Tent with footprint/ground tarp
  • Stove and fuel
  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping pad
  • Water treatment and some means of carrying a gallon of water
  • Ursack or food storage/ hanging method.
  • Cooking pot/pan with plate and utensils and sufficient fuel
  • Toilet paper and shovel or blue bag to deal with waste
  • Raincoat 
  • Food for 1 dinners, 1 breakfasts, and 2 lunches/snacks
  • Bugs, especially ticks are certainly possible; bring bug repellent.
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