100 Hikes in the Central Oregon Cascades by William Sullivan is a great book that outlines some of the better hikes in a given area. This book covers the area between Salem to Highway 97 all the way south to Eugene and Diamond Peak. Some of the key areas areas are hikes in the Santiam Foothills, Mount Jefferson, the Bend Area, The Three Sisters, the McKenzie Foothills and Willamette Pass.
One of my favorite aspects of Sullivan’s books is the fact that he lists the distance of each hike in terms of round-trip, or a loop. This makes it very convenient for weekend warriors to just get out there and hike, as you don’t need to coordinate two cars or a pickup at the end of a trail. Trails that do require a second pickup are clearly noted.
Another element that I enjoy is the additional options sections on many hikes. There can be side trails off main trails that can make an otherwise short hike longer or more scenic. Paula and I have been known to hike some of the longer, easy trails and then get to a point where we can extend it onto a moderate section, using the hiking options section. It is a convenient size to stuff into my day pack and reference while on the trail.
For each of the hikes, Sullivan rates the hikes as Easy, Moderate and Difficult, depending on different criteria:
- Easy Hikes are generally between 2 and 7 miles round trip and gain less than 1000 feet in elevation. They are generally not extremely steep or remote and are good hikes for novices. These hikes are also very good day trip, or half-day trips, as the weekend warrior can just put on their boots and go without planning well in advance. These hikes are generally extremely well marked.
- Moderate Hikes are generally between 4 and 10 miles round-trip. Some of the longer hikes are flatter, but the shorter trails are steeper, about 2000 feet of elevation increase. Sometimes, you even need to search for trailheads and turnoffs, so you want to be aware. Lastly, Sullivan recommends hikers be in generally good physical condition to do these hikes.
- Difficult Hikes are 8 to 15 miles round trip and can vary 3000 or more feet. These are pretty demanding hikes.
Each hike also lists the elevation gains on the hikes, the time of year the trail is open (some Oregon hikes are closed for the winter) and the Map that the trail can be found in. In addition, details about whether the hike is suitable for children, mountain bikes and horses are also disclosed
For the Top 100 Hikes, Sullivan also includes a hand-drawn map of the area and the hike, with key points and landmarks on the hike outlined. While they are informal, they are very accurate, and Paula and I have done many hikes following Sullivan’s books and lived to tell about it.
Finally, at the very end of the book, there is a section for some handicapped-accessible hikes in the area, as well as 100 MORE hikes in the area. These hikes have short descriptions on where they are located, the difficulty rating and other important details, but no hand-drawn maps.
Paula and I actually met William Sullivan at the Oregon State Fair in 2007, and have two autographed books by him.
Some of the hikes from this book that Paula and I have done are:
- Silver Creek Falls
- Opal Creek
- Iron Mountain
- Cascadia Park
- Metolius River
- Bend Lava Caves
- Lava Cast Forest and Cave
- Paulina Creek Falls
- Obsidian Flow and the Dome
- Smith Rock
- Sahalie and Koosah Falls
- Mount Pisgah
- Salt Creek Falls
If you have read or used this book, please feel free to write some commentary below.
100 Hikes in the Central Oregon Cascades by William Sullivan can be purchased at the retailers listed below.