Deschutes River south (upstream) of Tumalo State Park

Yesterday, we hiked along the Deschutes River from Tumalo State Park Day Use Area to the confluence of the Deschutes River and Tumalo Creek. The trail was well-trod until we reached a rockfall of large basaltic boulders. The park ranger we talked to the previous day mentioned the boulders and said it was a “scramble” and “worth it.” The “scramble” turned out to be a boulder crawl of a hundred yards or so of complicated maneuvering with no good options for going around. After the boulders the trail was less traveled, sometimes quite faint on the steep forested sidehill above the river. But when we reached the place where Tumalo Creek emerged from a canyon there were a couple of table-top flat boulders at the edge of the river—a good picnic place, and the warmest day so far this spring.

Birds we saw along the way:

Brewer's Blackbird on Deschutes River

Brewer’s Blackbird

Red-tailed hawk

Yellow rumped warblers

White-breasted nuthatches—one pounding inside a hole in a juniper at the parking lot.


Swallows nesting in the cliffs across the river—some discussion as to which swallows. We traded binoculars and looked some more, finally deciding maybe there were both cliff and violet-green swallows. (Should have brought the scope.)

Turkey vultures in the vicinity of the cliff-side swallow nests.

Also butterflies: swallowtail, mourning cloak, and a white butterfly with red wing tips.

At the edge of the boulders

Negotiating the boulders

Photos by Katie Eberhart; “negotiating the boulders” from Chuck’s cell phone.