Okay, the truth is that every time this hike has been posted, we have never actually done the hike. . . . either low attendance or poor weather etc. Sooo, let's try again and hopefully make it happen this time!!
This is a beautiful rim hike that (fingers crossed) on a clear day will deliver panoramic mountain views! The Tam-a-láu Trail involves a mile-long ascent up to a lava plateau called The Peninsula in Cove Palisades State Park. Then it’s about five flat miles around the rim and across the plateau with views of both the Crooked River and Deschutes Arms of Lake Billy Chinook. “Tam-a-láu” is a native phrase meaning “big rocks on the ground.” This hike holds up to its name.
• Starting Point: Cove Palisades Upper Deschutes Trailhead
• Ending Point: same
• Type: Lollipop Loop
• Difficulty Level: Moderate
• Distance: 6.9 mi.
• Elevation Gain: 650' eg
• Pace: Slow - @ 2 mph - with lots of opportunity for enjoying nature & pictures
• Permits or Parking Fees: $5 Oregon Park fee
• Restroom: At the trailhead
• Dogs: Allowed but be aware it is a rim hike and there are cliffs
From the Cove Palisades Upper Deschutes Trailhead, walk into a dry woodland of western juniper with some ponderosa pine. The trail rises gently above Jordan Road and then drops to the day-use area access road. Cross the road and join a trail coming up from the picnic area. Go right here and cross Jordan Road. The trail drops on a short paved section to the information kiosk at the Tam-a-láu Trailhead near the campground.
Switchback immediately and then hike down a vale of juniper and sagebrush with large boulders dotting the landscape. The path rises from here, making four switchbacks. Wide views west to the Cascade volcanoes and the Deschutes Arm of Lake Billy Chinook begin to appear. From here the trail switchbacks up, joining a rubbly old road track to reach the Tam-a-láu Loop Junction on the edge of the plateau. Go left here and walk along the rim, getting views of the Deschutes Arm and the Cascades, including the Three Sisters, Broken Top, and Mount Jefferson.
WHAT TO BRING:
* Pack the Ten Essentials, including a whistle
• Lunch; Trail Snacks; Plenty of Water
• I recommend sturdy hiking boots & poles
• Wear non-cotton layers & bring rain gear**
• Exact change for "gas" money to your driver (see below for computation).
We will meet at the Thriftway in Terrebonne and can consolidate any carpooling to the park
• Passengers, please bring $8 for your driver if coming from Bend; (88 miles RT to the park @ $.10/mile).
• Drivers, please fill up before the trip.
* If this is a dog friendly hike, dog owners must drive their own vehicle.
------------ DRIVING DIRECTIONS -----------------------------
Drive north on Highway 97 for about 32 miles.
Turn left onto SW Culver Highway and drive 4.3 miles.
Turn left onto SW Gem Lane and go 1.5 miles.
Turn left onto SW Frazier Drive and drive 0.3 miles.
Turn right onto SW Peck Road and drive 1.0 miles.
Continue onto SW Jordan Road to enter The Cove Palisades State Park, descend into the Crooked River Canyon, and drive 5.1 miles (After the group camp area, you will pass the petroglyph site, which is worth stopping for).
Turn right for the Upper Deschutes Day-use Area; drive 0.4 miles past the picnic area parking and then the boat ramp to park in a large paved lot. The trailhead is on the north side of the lot.
------------ SIGN-UP TERMS & CONDITIONS ----------------
>> Please read the description & answer any questions to complete your RSVP
>>Your “YES” RSVP is your commitment to attend, as spaces are limited
>> Please RSVP “NO” via Meetup (or contact the event host) if you cannot participate
>> No-Shows & Last-Minute Cancellations (in which you cancel your reservation with less than 48 hours notice, or as stated by the organizer) prevent others from participating in events
------------ PNW WAIVER OF LIABILITY ----------------------
By participating in this event, you agree to the PNW Waiver of Liability (see complete PNW Liability Waiver (https://docs.google.com/document/d/1KmmxbXTZD9j6E1zELkg8P1TA6rJs_yu-DMLsynpczkU/edit?usp=sharing) - that you assume full responsibility for your own health, safety & well-being for the total duration of the event, including all travel.