Andy Kerr

Conservationist, Writer, Analyst, Operative, Agitator, Strategist, Tactitian, Schmoozer, Raconteur

47. Pickett Canyon (South Fork Unit)

Suggested Citation: Kerr, Andy. 2000. Oregon Desert Guide: 70 Hikes. Seattle: The Mountaineers Books. p. 191.

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What to Expect: River canyon, steep walls, and gentle benches

Distance: 13-mile loop

Elevation Change: 3,940-4,700 feet

Drinking Water: In river

Best Times: Spring, fall

USGS 7.5' Map: Sand Hollow

Oregon Map Starting Point: Post

From Post drive 18 miles east on the Post-Paulina Road to milepost 43.4. Turn south on Camp Creek Road and drive 11.4 miles to the intersection with another county road. Continue south 5.3 miles on Buck Creek Road to a dirt road (BLM Road 6575) to northeast (you're driving southeast). Drive 0.2 mile to public land and park.

This is the road BLM is proposing to close to make a larger wilderness unit. Walk north 2.6 miles to Furnace Waterhole. Follow the fence line east-northeast and then drop into the head of Pickett Canyon. After 1.4 miles you'll reach the South Fork Crooked River with a nice camp spot.

It's easy walking downriver 2.4 miles to Soda Spring, with numerous camp spots along the way. The easiest canyon exit is an unnamed tributary canyon entering from the west 0.7 mile downstream of Soda Spring. Climb westerly and upwardly out of the canyon 1.3 miles, where you break out of the juniper into the open flat. Set a southwesterly course 2 miles back to Furnace Waterhole. Return the same 2.6 miles to your start.