The Malheur River Trail is a 7.6-mile moderately difficult trail that can be found near Seneca, Oregon. This hike is known for being incredibly rugged and remote, but it rewards visitors with unparalleled views of the Malheur National Forest. The Malheur River Trail is only lightly trafficked by an estimated 15-20 parties a year, so be advised that many areas aren't well-maintained. Bring your dog along to hike with you, but be sure to keep them on a leash on the trail.
Rather than a loop hike, this trail is best hiked from one end to the other and taking a shuttle back. Some visitors also leave a vehicle at either end of the path instead of using the shuttle. Most visitors begin their hike from the south end of the trail, where you'll hike down into a canyon and then north along the river. If you start your trek from the other way, you're in for a much more difficult journey.
During your hike, you'll get to see a variety of wildlife and plant species. It's not uncommon to spot eagles and osprey, deer and elk. Cattle are also sometimes spotted in shady areas along the river. Many hikers choose to bring fishing gear as well because there are prime fishing spots where red band, rainbow, and bull trout can be caught. If you do plan on fishing, be advised that bull trout must be released back into the water.
About 2.7 miles into your hike, you'll come to beautiful meadows that make for a great place to stop for lunch. If you'd like to make a more extended trip, there are a few camping spots along the trail as well where you'll find vault toilets but no potable water supply.Be sure to bring lots of water for you and Sparky when you hike the Malheur River Trail, and don't forget to clean up after your pets along the way!