Hey Y'all! So maybe you're halfway through your workweek and wondering what you will do with the upcoming SPRING weekend- well today's "Wisdom Wednesday" can help!
How about an easy day hike/walk along the Metolius River out at Camp Sherman! Afterward, you can pick up a sandwich or snack from the Camp Sherman Store, or plan for dinner at Kokanee Cafe (after 5pm Tu-Su). What an awesome day- now that's some good "wisdom".
This easy walk along the Metolius River in Central Oregon features gushing springs, beautiful flowers and a fish hatchery. The Metolius, most magical of all Oregon rivers, emerges fully grown at 50,000 gallons a minute from the arid base of Black Butte. The trail passes sudden springs, reveals colorful bird life and leads to a wonderfully visit-able fish hatchery.
Difficulty level: An easy, 5.4-mile trip with 100 feet of elevation gain.
Getting There: Start by driving Highway 20 west of Sisters 9 miles (or east of Santiam Pass 10 miles). Just west of Black Butte, near milepost 91, turn north at a sign for the Metolius River. Drive straight on paved Road 1419, ignoring a right-hand fork after 2.5 miles labeled "Campgrounds."
At a stop sign at the 4.8-mile mark, continue straight onto Road 1420. Keep going straight for another 3.3 miles. Then turn right at a sign for Canyon Creek Campground and drive 1 mile to the West Metolius Trailhead, beside the river at the far end of the campground (GPS location N44°30.054' W121°38.466').
In addition to all the beauty surrounding you while walking, the trail also reaches the rustic buildings and countless open-air concrete ponds of the Wizard Falls state fish hatchery. Wizard Falls itself is a humble rapids over a ledge in the river. Though the hatchery has no formal tours, friendly staff members always seem to be on hand to answer questions and show, for example, the indoor tank of two-headed fish. Fish food can be purchased from dispensing machines for 25 cents.
History: The Metolius' name comes from the Warm Springs Indian Mpto-ly-as, "white fish." Although the light-fleshed salmon that prompted this name are gone, introduced kokanee salmon and abundant hatchery trout attract eagles, bears and fly fishermen.
Geology: The Metolius River once had its source high on the slopes of Mt. Washington, but massive lava flows buried that region and Black Butte erupted directly over the Metolius River's route. Now the river percolates underground through the lava and emerges from gigantic springs at the base of Black Butte.
Excerpts and Photos by William Sullivan