Make no bones about it, four-pawed fitness freaks looking for a challenge are sure to find one on the Badger Creek Trail! The trailhead is located 45 minutes from the town of Dufur, Oregon, and runs through some of the most spectacular scenery that the state has to offer. The eleven-mile out-and-back route can be done in a day, as long as you hike in summer when the day is longest and you really push it.
If you’d like to take some time to take in the surroundings, though, don’t worry -- there's a campsite about a third of the way in, and dispersed camping is permitted. You can also pitch your tent at the Badger Lake Campground at the end of the trail, or Bonney Crossing Campground at the beginning. You’ll find four parking spaces at the trailhead, and more parking at Bonney Crossing Campground. The trail is one of the more popular in the Badger Creek Wilderness, so those looking for solitude might want to search elsewhere, but you’re unlikely to need to deal with crowds.
The route winds its way along the banks of the creek itself, passing under a canopy of oak, Douglas fir, and sweet-smelling cedar. Badger Creek is a nice hike at any time of the year, but it’s extra special in spring, when the strawberry flowers, lupine, and violet starcups carpet burst into bloom. You don’t need to think that geology rocks to appreciate the striking rock formations, and at the top, you’ll be greeted by the stunning sight of serene Badger Lake.
With its steep inclines and loose terrain, Badger Creek is not a trail for the unfit of heart or the unsure of foot! There are no restrooms along the trail itself, but you’ll find pit toilets at the campgrounds at either end and at Pine Creek Campground, about three-and-a-half miles into the trail. Remember to bring waste bags for your buddy, and have a furrific hike!