Before getting chased out of Steens Mountain by the weather, we did a day hike into Big Indian Gorge. Although it was a cloudy day and we got rained on about half of the hike, it was a beautiful hike. The Big Indian Gorge is accessed by Big Indian Trail, which begins at the east end of South Steens Campground.
The trail leads us through open grasslands that provide a great view of the wilderness around Steens Mountain. As we approached the mouth of the glacial-carved gorge, the trail descended to Big Indian Creek. It crossed streams three times. A signage at the trailhead warned about dangerous stream crossings especially in spring and early summer. We brought footgears with us to change so that we could wade into the creek.
Some aspen trees started changing colors. There were some wildflowers still bloomimg this time of the year. It started raining after our lunch break. We hiked into the canyon for a little while before heading out. I think if we had time and energy to hike another mile or so further, we would have seen even better view of the canyon. Oh well, maybe some other times when we ‘re back in the area.
- Date hiked: September 21, 2016
- Hiking time: 4h 30m
- Distance: Approx. 8.6 mi round-trip (out and back)
- Elevation change: 1031 ft