Big Indian Gorge Trail
ElevationAscent: 2,073' 632 m
Descent: -60' -18 m
High: 7,365' 2,245 m
Low: 5,353' 1,631 m
GradeAvg Grade: 5% (3°)
Max Grade: 25% (14°)
“An out-and-back trail that boasts spectacular waterfalls in the spring and a rainbow of foliage colors in the fall.”— Arthur McMahon
Once you step into the beginnings of the gorge, you'll find a mix of uphill and downhill running leading you at first through a dry juniper forest, and then a lush land filled with aspens. There are several creek crossings, which would be a little difficult in the spring, but are easy to rock-hop across in summer and fall.
Canyon walls tower over either side of you as you run through miles of shimmering aspen and along the sparkling stream. Once a few miles in, you have a clear view of your destination where, at the end of the canyon, the towering walls come together and multiple waterfalls pour down its rocky face during the spring. Summer and fall runners will miss out on the waterfalls, but the stream will likely always be flowing.
The aspen trees flitter in bright yellows, oranges, and reds in early fall seasons, providing their own beauty in the absence of the falls.
At the end of the trail, there is a single route over the north canyon wall, which backpackers will use to venture to the peak of Steens Mountain, Wildhorse Lake, or the Little Blitzen Gorge Trail.
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Land Manager: BLM Oregon - Burns District