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It was a beautiful sunny spring day. I parked at the Criterion Ranch 3,200-foot trailhead about 10 miles south of Maupin.
The Deschutes River snakes through the desert far below.
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! Although, I was about two weeks too early for the big wildflower show.
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?
Large-head Clover, Balsamroot and Locoweed
Microseris, Lupine/Balsamroot, and Cushion Phlox