The Whychus Creek Trail is one of Central Oregon's best trail runs. Accessible, low traffic and pristine, trail 4070 is sure to satisfy your outdoor itch. While the mountain views are limited the humming creek soothes the soul as the sinuous path charms you at each canyon vista.
Three miles due South of Sisters down Three Creek Road on the right is the unsuspecting trail head of Whychus Creek Trail 4070. Look for a small brown hiking sign pointing to the free parking area on the right with space for five cars.
Trail 4070 hugs the meandering Whychus Creek for three miles, most of it with the creek in direct view. Beloved by both day hikers and trail runners, this family friendly, dog friendly lightly ascending trail is perfect for a quick six mile in out jog or a reflective afternoon stroll.
Bouldering crags ranging from moderate to easy dot the path with two predominate sites near the 1/2 mile and one mile markers, with several more advanced bouldering crags surrounding mile 1.5 as you descend the canyon.
The main attraction of the trail is a series of waterfalls around mile 1.75 following a quick drop from the trail line into the canyon. The descent is relatively short and mild but rocky and warrants care from younger hikers.
What the falls lacks in stature it quickly makes up with charm. Tucked away in the deepest section of the canyon, there are several picturesque view points suitable for a picnic, yoga or a passing peek.
At mile two the trail forks. Left brings you up to the Whychus Creek Trail Viewpoint, which connects to the upper end of the PRT (Peterson Ridge Trail) system. The view point offers some of the best views of the Three Sisters Wilderness, including the three sister peaks, Mt. Washington, Three Finger Jack and Mt. Jefferson, making the the 1/2 mile upward jaunt a real treat if you have time and a sunny sky.
To the right, mile three is my personal favorite for trail running as the path narrows traversing a steep forested section of the canyon until it levels off for the final quarter-mile of trail at creek level.
At mile 2.75 the trail ends in a bit of a confusing manner. Signs to trail head 880 are well marked (which is challenging to find by car but a blast if you are up for some bumpy forest service road exploring) and ends at about 2.95 miles from trail head 4070.
The trail also connects at mile three to the Whychus Indigo Trail (horse and bike friendly) though can be a bit tricky to find the first time around (hint, you have the cross the creek if you want to continue North). Expect to take a few wrong turns to find your way, but once you do the trail is obvious and a lovely continuation albeit not along the creek.
In short, if you haven't explored Trail 4070, snap to! It's some incredible trail and beautiful country. Happy trails!
Check out the full photo album from this adventure here.
If you need to grab snacks for the trail swing into Melvin's Market in Sisters. After your outing, swing by Sisters Coffee, Suttle Tea or Three Creeks Brewing for drinks or The Open Door ($$$) or the The Depot ($$) for food.
Parking Fee: None
Mountain Views: Limited
Water: Creek side trail
Climbing: Limited bouldering