A Scenic Desert Hike to Stag Point

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Criterion Ranch

It’s always fun trying a new hike especially on a sunny spring day.

The trail head is at a summit 3,200 feet above sea level and about 10 miles south of Maupin. The Deschutes River snakes through the desert far below.

In the latter part of the 19th century, the route over the summit was a wagon road linking The Dalles on the Columbia River to California.

The flat top of the ridge is the tallest land for many miles in any direction. It is sagebrush country, with a few scattered juniper trees.

As I started hiking north the crown jewels of the Cascade Mountains were easily visible, beginning with Broken Top, the Three Sisters, Mt. Jefferson, Olallie Butte, Mt. Hood and going all the way to Mt. Adams. What a display!

After four miles of following an old jeep track, I dropped off the crest to some open meadows culminating in a short climb to Stag Point. The views extended all the way down to a sharp bend in the Deschutes River. Is there any place else in Oregon that provides as scenic spot for lunch?

Blue Racer

Magnificent view from Stag Point

Anise Swallowtail Butterfly

Mt. Hood

Western Bluebird

Large-headed Clover

Orange Sulphur Butterfly


Mt. Jefferson

Stag Point

Western Bluebird


Ochre Ringlet Butterfly

Broken Top and the Three Sisters

Cushion Phlox

Blue Racer



Categories: Central Oregon OutingsTags: , , ,


  1. Wonderful photos! The blue racer takes me back on this Mom’s Day to the boas my sons would catch. They were yellowish as I recall. Sandy

    Sent from my iPhone


  2. Jon what wonderful pictures.

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