Cottonwood Canyon Hike

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John Day River

The pungent smell of sagebrush brought a smile to my face, and conjured up many memories of my youth.

Cottonwood Canyon State Park sits in a deep canyon of the John Day River, one of our nation’s longest free-flowing rivers.

Indra Swallowtail Butterfly

The park has 8,000-plus acres for hiking, fishing and exploring the interesting landscape.

The Pinnacles Trail follows the west side of the John Day River downstream for approximately 4 1/2 miles. But, this day in late April a trail closure occurred at 3 1/2 miles due to nesting activities of golden eagles.

The changing light on the tall, basalt cliffs kept me entertained for the four-hour outing.

A great place to visit.

Fishermen dwarfed by the high cliffs


White-crowned Sparrows

Looking down the John Day River

Monkeyflower, Cluster Lily and Butter-and-eggs

Basalt cliffs

Salsify and Thelypodium

Trail on east side of John Day River

Categories: Central Oregon OutingsTags: , ,

1 comment

  1. Oh how I enjoyed this hike along the John Day River, John. I have never heard of this river, but I found it so beautiful with those majestic basalt cliffs. Lovely to see the white-crowned sparrows and various wildflowers too. Thanks so much.

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