Return to Deschutes River Trail

I last rode the Lower Deschutes River Trail with Dean back in October of 2016.  I wanted to head back and check it out because of the huge wildfire out there this summer.  Based on other pictures that I had seen online the old railroad cars and farmhouse were completely destroyed which is a HUGE bummer.

Did not take long to see fire damage
Right at the first hike in camping area (outhouse in background)
A bit desolate looking

There were lots of scorched areas and metal poles from livestock fencing that were obviously burned.  Lots of green too which is a good sign that life is coming back to the area quickly.

Old railcar from the 2016 trip
old railcar January 2019

The next thing to check out was the old farm house.  I had seen pictures in 2017 and 2018 that showed a substantial slant to the house compared to when Dean and I ventured out there.  I think it may have even partially collapsed before the fire wiped it all out.

farm house 2016
2016 house and barn
Barn January 2019, house is totally gone
closeup of barn, house would have been in background

I’m really glad that I got to see these things back in 2016.  It was a rather neat way to take a step back in time.  It’s gone now and I don’t know what the State is going to do.  I kind of hope they put up some sort of informational kiosk or something.  It’s a shame to see it all gone.

Old water tower 2016
Old water tower January 2019
Saw several bone piles like this (cow, sheep, elk?)

I hope none of the little critters that I saw suffered during the fire.  I can imagine they were all running west towards the river and away from the fire and got caught behind the barb wire fencing or succumbed to smoke.


I did end up seeing some bighorn sheep on the ride back to the parking lot.  They just all stood there and stared at me while I took some pictures and a video.




Nice camouflage
Still a very pretty ride

So while some of the more peculiar sights along the trail are now gone, it’s still not a bad ride.  Especially when the weather is crap back in PDX metro!  It was apparently foggy and socked in all day back home while I had the chance to ride 37 miles in the sunshine.  Not going to argue with that.

Thanks for reading,



2 Comments Add yours

  1. adventurepdx says:

    Man, so jealous. Seems like a lot of folks had the same idea the past weekend and headed out that way. Yeah, the fog yesterday did not lift at all. I was hoping that it would at some point. I wanted to bike up to Rocky Butte and see if it was above the clouds but all reports indicated that it wasn’t.

    As for the Deschutes Rail Trail, it is sad to see the barn and rail car gone. But I don’t think that barn was going to last much longer. Glad I had the opportunity to see them when they existed.

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