The Flatiron Rock trail offers a wonderful introduction to the Badlands, winding through inflated lava and old-growth juniper woodlands for about 2.5 miles to one of the most prominent rock formations in the Badlands. From the trailhead, hikers have the option of taking the Ancient Juniper trail, a short and pleasant route that links up with the Flatiron Rock trail after about 2 miles (adding just under a mile to your total trip). After you reach Flatiron Rock and spend some time scrambling to the top to explore and enjoy view of the Cascade Mountains, you can turn around there, or continue on to Castle Rock and Badlands Rock on the Castle Trail before returning to the trailhead.
Notes and Advice:
- Non-mechanized recreational activities are allowed in the Oregon Badlands Wilderness, such as hiking, in-season hunting, horseback riding, bird watching, and trail running. Dogs are allowed, but are required to be on leash in parking areas and under control of their owners while on the trail. For more information, please see our page about enjoying Wilderness areas.
- Though off-trail hiking and exploration is allowed in the Badlands, it can be easy to get lost in the flat landscape with few defining landmarks. A trail map is located at the trailhead kiosk, or available to download online. Carry a map and compass, a GPS unit, or a GPS smartphone app like Avenza or Gaia, and have the skills to use them before venturing off trail in the Badlands.
- With no potable water or restroom facilities and spotty cell phone service, the Badlands can feel surprisingly remote for being so close to civilization. Be sure to come prepared and practice “leave no trace” principals in this fragile area.