chimneyrockAre you looking for a good hike or a nice scenic drive? Perhaps you should take a drive out to Chimney Rock along the Lower Crooked River located near Prineville, Oregon. There is a nice 2.5 mile hike at Chimney Rock that will give you fantastic views of the Cascade Mountain Range in the distance, and of the valley below and the Lower Crooked River. Sound like fun? Well grab your CamelBak, other Hydration Pack or Hydro Flask, check out these hiking tips, and get in your car and get ready for some beautiful scenery, and a great hike!

The area along the Lower Crooked River where Chimney Rock is located is becoming very popular for a number of reasons. There is incredible fishing (the area is very popular for fly fishing), and great camping available in the area, and it is also a popular place for cycling along the Crooked River Backcountry Byway.

The hiking trail is a nice place for birding as well, and is usually accessible from April until October. For those of you with dogs, you can bring them along as well, but they must be kept on a leash.

The trail starts directly across the road from the Chimney Rock Campground, and the trailhead is very well marked. The trail starts meandering up the hill almost immediately, and while not extremely strenuous, it is a very good workout. As you make your way up the trail you will begin to get fleeting glimpses of the Cascades, and also the very pretty valley below, highlighted by the Lower Cooked River.

Chimney Rock Photo Gallery

View photo gallery of Chimney Rock and driving along the Lower Crooked River located near Prineville, Oregon.

When you get to Chimney Rock there is a nice bench where you can sit and have a snack, and absorb all the beautiful scenery. While you are taking in the view along the trail, make sure you keep an eye out for numerous birds, deer, insects, hawks, and if you are lucky perhaps even some golden and bald eagles.

During the summer months the area can sometimes get very warm, so make sure you take along a lot of water in your CamelBak, other Hydration Pack or Hydro Flask, and check out these hiking tips so you know you will have plenty of water and be prepared.

If you are just out for a scenic drive, make sure and stop at the parking area for Chimney Rock so you can walk over along the river and enjoy the view. It is also fun to watch the folks fishing as well. From the parking area for Chimney Rock you can continue up to Bowman Dam at Prineville Reservoir, which is the upper end of the Wild and Scenic River. The trip from Prineville to Bowman Dam is 22 miles.

How To Get There

From downtown Prineville, go south on Main Street until it turns into State Highway 27 (Crooked River Highway). As you continue on the road will pass through beautiful ranchland in the Crooked River Valley. Approximately 10 miles from town, the river canyon narrows and the Wild and Scenic River stretch of the drive begins. Just continue on until you see the sign for Chimney Rock, and keep going further until you reach Bowman Dam and the Prineville Reservoir.

From Bend, you can travel on Highway 97 to Redmond, and then follow the signs for Prineville. Or you from Bend you can take Reservoir Road until it intersects with State Highway 27 south of Bowman Dam and Prineville Reservoir. To reach the Lower Crooked Wild and Scenic River, go north on State Highway 27, cross over Bowman Dam and descend down into the narrow Crooked River Canyon gorge. The drive from Bend to Bowman Dam is approximately 46 miles.

More Information

You can view a very nice detailed PDF that gives complete details of all the activities available in the area by clicking here.

Chimney Rock and the Crooked River Highway

Hydration Packs, Hydro Flasks & Hiking Tips

Hydration Packs help Outdoor enthusiasts stay hydrated without having to carry a water bottle. and give the hiker hours of hydration. You can find a wide variety of hydration packs at Amazon.com that will suit the need of almost every hiker and outdoor enthusiast.

If you prefer not to carry a hydration pack, but instead prefer to carry a couple water bottles, I recommend purchasing a Hydro Flask from Amazon.com. Hydro Flasks will keep cold drinks cold for up to 24 hours, and hot drinks hot for up to 12 hours. Perfect for hiking.

What do I carry? Well both, because I like having lots of water on a hiking outing. And don’t forget to check out this list of hiking tips for some of the other essential items you should always have when out hiking.