Steelhead Falls is located along the Deschutes River just west of Crooked River Ranch near Terrebonne, Oregon. The hike from the parking area to Steelhead Falls is a short one, and not particularly difficult, but there are a couple steep sections of the trail. Sound good? Well grab your CamelBak, other Hydration Pack or Hydro Flask, check out some hiking tips, and get ready for a nice hike, and beautiful scenery!

This hike is located near the Crooked River Ranch, and it is a little difficult to find the parking area. However, if you follow these directions, and view the map below you shouldn’t have too much trouble finding it. And recently they have finally added signs to point you to Steelhead Falls once you turn onto 43rd Street. From northbound Highway 97, turn left onto Lower Bridge Road, just north of Terrebonne. Turn right on 43rd Street after 2.1 miles. Travel 1.8 miles and turn left onto Chinook Drive for 1.1 miles and then left again onto Badger Road for another 1.8 miles. Turn right onto Quail Road, and then about 1.2 miles to a left onto River Road, which ends 0.9 miles later at the Steelhead Falls trailhead.

The trail to the falls is open most of the year, however I recommend that you don’t try it if there is snow and ice on the ground.

While Steelhead Falls is not the most stunning waterfall in Central Oregon, it is well worth the trip, and the time and effort to hike down to. And the surrounding canyon is quite beautiful, and they contain a rich geological and cultural history.

Before dams were built along the Deschutes and Columbia rivers, thousands of salmon and steelhead would travel upriver to the falls, and they would take the time to rest in the large pool below the 15-foot falls before continuing their trip upriver. Native Americans would also fish at the falls with nets and spears, and there are even some petroglyphs carved into some of the higher rock walls.

The hike from the parking area to the falls is about a half-mile hike, and you can hear the roar of the river from the canyon rim. When you reach the falls, you will probably notice an old fish ladder that was built in 1922 to help fish get over the falls during the irrigation season when the level of the river is lessened.

Steelhead Falls Photo Gallery

View photo gallery of hike to Steelhead Falls, and the surrounding area.

After hiking to and around the falls, you can also hike upstream from the parking area. Just walk along the road that leads to the camping area to where it dead ends, and you will see a trail that is shared with horses and cyclists. As you make your way along the trail you will see a sign pointing to a trail that will take you down to the bottom of the canyon, where you can have a nice picnic along the river. This trail dead ends at the river at a pile of rocks, so you will have to climb up the trail and continue on the trail above if you want to continue upstream.

Steelhead Falls

The map shows the hike from the parking area to Steelhead falls, and a track upstream from the falls, and another track from Terrebonne that shows you how to navigate the Crooked River Ranch area.