Most of the hikes in the area ascend Sutton Mountain, but this Black Canyon hike offers a nice change of pace. Its relatively flat bottom is perfect for any hiker who wants to experience the serenity of Oregon’s high desert.
Along with the sagebrush and juniper characteristic of the high desert, Sutton Mountain provides vital habitat to the threatened arrowleaf thelypody and Peck’s milkvetch species and was recently proposed as a national monument. As you explore this part of the Sutton Mountain Wilderness Study Area you can be on the lookout for pronghorn antelope, mule deer, bald eagles, ferruginous hawks, pygmy rabbit, and Western toad.
Look for waterfalls, small offshoots from the main canyon and multiple access points to steep grassy hills that lead right to the summit. It’s 3.1 miles round-trip to reach the canyon rim, but plan on hiking roughly 5 miles to take in side trips.
Notes and Advice:
- This trailhead is quite discrete. Look for a small parking area on the west side of the road.