This is the Dee Wright Observatory located at the summit of the pass where lots of lava and some Cascade peaks can be viewed. We also drove over the pass on a clear day as we headed for another destination. Notice the difference in the photo of the observatory.
There are three bridges that cross the Crooked River Gorge. The High Bridge was built in 1926 and is now a foot bridge. The views from it are magnificent! The newer Rex T. Barber Veteran’s Memorial Bridge (photo to the right) opened in 2000.
We ran across a young guy walking his dog on this bridge who said he lived nearby. He is a climber and seemed surprised and impressed we hiked at Smith Rock at our ages, although he didn’t say it quite like that. ;) Anyway, he told us since so many people can work remotely now, many (including himself) have moved to this area to be close for climbing and other outdoor activities. Apparently, some even play during the day and work in the evenings.
Looking in the opposite direction from High Bridge is the train bridge. This is a small state park, and there’s a walkway along the gorge over to this bridge.
Looking out from the walking bridge to the highway bridge at sunset. The photo to the right is looking from the walking bridge to the train bridge with Three Sisters in the background. Three Sisters is a trio of volcanic peaks, each rising more than 10,000 feet. They were reportedly named Faith, Hope and Charity in the 1840’s.
It was smokey on our way to this trailhead, but it was much better once we hit the trail. We were happy to clearly see the stunning waterfalls! This "burnt log gator” was watching us as we walked by!
Below are some of our favorite waterfall photos from the area (along with the ones shown above). If the first two look the same, it’s because they are! It was rainy the first time we visited. Another day we were driving very close to that same fall and decided to stop for a prettier view and photo. Only problem…it was late in the day and a little too dark in the canyon. So here are two different photos with no sun in either one.
There were two falls during our visit, but you can see where there could be much more water at times. They are harder to see in the photo on the right, but I love the contrasting pink and white rock against blue sky.
Newberry Volcanic National Monument The Big Obsidian Flow Trail takes you up on the latest lava flow (1300 years ago) where you can explore to your heart’s content.
This flow contains obsidian (black glass) and pumice lava due to different cooling conditions.
This is one of two lakes in the 4 x 50 mile caldera; it's 240' deep.
Below are scenery photos from outlying areas of Bend and Sisters.
Painted Hills is one of three units of the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument.
We had a wonderful time exploring this area ~ some of it is absolutely breathtaking. It’s small so we hiked every trail (6 miles or so), brought subs for dinner and stayed for the sunset. This was a 2 hour drive each way, but totally worth it.
Our last hike at Painted Hills was up to a ridge for some excellent views,
This was our dinner view after the above hike.
Below are some very different sunset photos. They were all taken the same evening looking in various directions.
This was a very memorable day. The temperature was perfect (even in the evening). And who wouldn't love the scenery! I hop you enjoyed what I chose to share. We hiked and explored a lot in this area or OR, and didn't even put a dent in all that we would like to do. Maybe we will return someday.