We got out the hiking books again! This time we were looking for anything tagged as easy and under two miles. We found this hike! We had never done this one before. I'm not sure exactly why, but probably because it was only a mile long and we didn't have enough to bundle it with to make the drive worth it. So this is at exit 153 on Hwy 97. We were headed south from Bend, so we took the exit and then your veer to the left and then turn left. There's an intersection where you go straight and then you just follow the signs to the trailhead. It's mostly dirt, but it was decent dirt. There was some annoying washboard stuff, but it wasn't horrible. The road ends up getting more narrow as you go. After awhile, you'll see a hiker sign, but that's not for this hike. Keep going and you'll get to a trailhead. You can't really miss it because there are big signs on where to park and there's a bathroom. Oddly enough, there's also a PokeStop and a Gym for Pokemon Go in the parking lot. We had cell service the entire way and there were a ton of Pokemon. There were several PokeStops along the trail. I got my second Ditto here! It was great because I needed a Ditto for my special research quest. Okay enough about Pokemon.
So the trail was paved the whole way. It started off wide enough for two people across. After awhile, it got more narrow and it indicated that it was no longer handicap accessible. The path was decently maintained. There were some cracks, but they did circle some potential hazards circled in yellow paint to draw attention to them.
So the background of this place is that a long time ago there was a volcanic eruption. The lava flowed through the area. As the lava surrounded the trees, it hardened before. When the trees rotted away, there were all of these tree molds in the lava. There are a bunch of big circles that look kind of like fire pits to me. It's where the trees were when the lave hardened. There are also some other geological things that I don't know the technical names for, but the place is cool. We went in May. It was a bit chilly in the morning, but it warmed up as we walked around. There was still snow in a couple of the holes. The path is mostly flat, but there was a part that dipped down and then went up and then down and then up again as you made it to the parking lot. There was also a second Pokemon Go gym in the middle of the trail. I think I drove my husband crazy with all of my Pokemon go catches.
I'm really rambling at this point. I'm waiting on my pictures to upload so I can add some pictures. Oh back to the whole we went in May topic. There was still snow in some of the holes and nothing had really bloomed yet. I think the next time we go, we'll try in June or even early July and see if we can get some flower pictures. We love wild flowers! We did see some really pretty birds. One was a really nice blue. It was at the top of a dead tree. My husband pointed it out to me and I was totally oblivious to it. I just couldn't see this bright blue bird on top of this red tree. Not sure exactly what was going on, but I wasn't expecting blue when he mentioned the bird. I'm used to drab colored birds around here. Although, I have been noticing more and more pretty birds. We also so one bird taking a bath in a puddle. I tried to get a video, but I wasn't fast enough. Hubby took over the camera at one point and started experimenting with B&W pics. I've included some of them so you can appreciate his creativity.
Overall, this was a good experience. We only saw one other couple while we where there. It's not something that I would make a really long driver to go see, but there are other things in the area to see while you're there. There's an Obsidian Flow trail. We did that one before, but it was before I had the blog, so I can't remember much about it and I don't have anything to link back to in order to remember. There's also Paulina Falls and all the other Paulina stuff. We've done some of that too, but before the blog. We've also done the walk around the top of Lava Butte, but again that was before the blog so I can't link to anything. We were going to do another .3 mile hike to the top of some other butte I can't remember the name of it. Maybe it was Wake Butte. I'm not sure. All I remember is there is some interesting geology stuff there, but we opted to put it off. We also found out that there's another mile long hike in this area. The trail sign that I mentioned before is for Hoffman Island Trail. I don't know much about it, but it's supposedly a mile and 100 feet in elevation.
I'm still waiting on the pics to load, but it will be awhile, so I'm going to go eat lunch.