DeGarmo Canyon

Easy (to 35-foot falls)
1.4 miles round trip
450 feet elevation gain
Open late April through November
Use: hikers

Moderate (to first pine tree)
2.6-mile loop
850 feet elevation gain

Difficult (to DeGarmo Notch)
9.4 miles round trip
2120 feet elevation gain
Open June to mid-November

Like a secret door in a 2000-foot-tall wall, DeGarmo Canyon’s spectacular slot offers adventurers a route from the Warner Lakes’ valley into the high desert country of the Hart Mountain National Antelope Refuge. For a quick look at the canyon, follow a 0.7-mile trail to an oasis-like grotto at the base of a 35-foot waterfall. If you don’t mind some steepish scrambling, you can return on a 2.6-mile loop trail with far-ranging views. If you want to explore the trailless upper end of the canyon, hike or backpack 5.7 miles to DeGarmo Notch.

Drive Highway ...

... But then keep angling up the canyon’s side 500 feet until you meet a well-built, relatively level trail at a viewpoint overlooking the canyon’s first ponderosa pine tree. You may hear or even see a rattlesnake in this part of the canyon. If you do, stop a moment to let it retreat to safety.

This chapter taken from the book 100 Hikes/Travel Guide: Eastern Oregon.

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