Metolius River

My son and daughter-in-law told us about this beautiful river fifteen miles northwest of Sisters, Oregon, which is 22 miles northwest of Bend. It was fun driving out into the middle of nowhere—not your typical tourist destination, for sure, which is what we like.

First we hiked to Sugar Springs, water bubbling out of a basalt bank into the river about five miles downstream of the headwaters. The water in that area is swift, deep, and an incredible shade of teal blue. Rainbow trout are large and plentiful, grown fat and confident in the comfort of their catch-and-release world.

Then we went in search of the headwaters. The headwaters, also known as Metolius Springs, is actually two sets of springs that surface at the base of Black Butte. They erupt with such force that they quickly broaden to form a wide, swiftly flowing river—one of the largest spring-fed rivers in the United States—that eventually flows into the mighty Deschutes River. Beautiful country, this.

Sugar Springs on the Metolius River

Sugar Springs on the Metolius River

 

the headwaters of the Metolius

the headwaters of the Metolius

 

a rock stuck in tree roots

a rock stuck in tree roots

 

on the banks of the river

on the banks of the river

 

Camp Sherman store near the headwaters

Camp Sherman store near the headwaters

 

cool sculpture just east of Sisters

cool metal sculpture just east of Sisters

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