57. Coleman Creek Canyon (Coleman Creek Unit)
Suggested Citation: Kerr, Andy. 2000. Oregon Desert Guide: 70 Hikes. Seattle: The Mountaineers Books. pp. 215-216.
What to Expect: A little old-growth Douglas-fir and a beautiful stream canyon with redband trout
Distance: 5.6 miles day hike or 9 miles backpack round trip
Elevation Range: 4,680-5,562 feet
Drinking Water: Yes
Best Times: Spring, summer, fall
USGS 7.5' Maps: Coleman Mountain, Warm Springs Creek
Oregon Map Starting Point: Burns
Proceed 27 miles east on US 20 to Stinkingwater Pass. Take a major BLM road approximately 12 miles south to a major intersection. Go easterly (left) 6.4 miles and park at the intersection of an unimproved way (elevation 5,562 feet). At this point you are headed northeast, and the way takes off to the south.
Walk southerly on unimproved ways 2.4 miles to where a way crosses the uppermost headwaters (probably dry) of Coleman Creek. Hike downstream 0.4 mile to a relic stand of old-growth Douglas-fir interspersed with numerous cool meadows, springs, and ponds. If you're day hiking, return the way you came or walk the northerly side canyon back to your vehicle. If you're backpacking, press onward down the creek (it is slower and lovelier than you can imagine).
Walk down Coleman Creek Canyon as far as you like and camp. You can always bail out back to your vehicle to the north. You may want to plan two days and hike 2 miles down Coleman Creek with its many springs to where the creek turns south and a tributary canyon comes in from the north. Walk 0.7 mile up and out of this canyon to Chicken Flat. Set a 3.5-mile course northwesterly across Coleman Mountain to your vehicle.