While camping at Smith Rock State Park over the weekend, two friends and I explored the Oregon Badlands Wilderness on a day hike. This was our first time visiting here, and we didn’t know what to expect other than it would be hot. It was sunny and 80 degrees, which was indeed hot. There’s no water anywhere in this wilderness, so we made sure to bring plenty with us. We began our hike at the Flatiron Rock trailhead, turning onto the Ancient Juniper trail.
After two miles, we turned left onto the Flatiron Rock trail, continuing for another 1.5 miles to a junction with the Castle Trail. Instead of taking this trail, we turned left and headed up a small hill to Flatiron Rock. There’s a lot of area to explore here, with rock walls lining both sides of the trail as it circles around the top of this area. At a high point, there are big views out to the horizon.
I had wanted to scout this area for potential backpacking, but due to the lack of water, I’m not sure that I’d do an overnight here. If I do, though, it will not be when it’s 80 degrees! Spring would be a much better time to visit this area, when there are more wildflowers blooming and it’s not scorching hot.