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  • Writer's pictureAmy Hindman

Catherine Creek State Park

Difficulty: Easy

Length: 1-2.5 miles

Elevation Gain: 400 feet if you complete the whole trail. If you only hike between the 2 bridges it is mostly flat.

Season: May 5th-October 19th

Location: 15 minutes from Union, OR

Notes: Camping, picnic areas, flush toilets and water are available. No cell service.

Catherine Creek State Park is one of our favorite places to visit in the summertime! The creek is the perfect place for kids to play and you can combine it with an easy and beautiful hike.

We typically park in the day use area and a trail map is posted before you cross the bridge. I forgot to check, but I believe there is also a map posted at the trailhead in the campground.

For an easy hike with two fun bridges, you can walk the .5 mile Salmon Run trail between the day use area and campground and then return the way you came.

For a longer hike, you can include the North Ridge Loop for a total of 2.5 miles. There are some views from the top of the loop.

Photo from

We hiked part of the loop on a search for cell service during a XC meet and did manage to make a quick phone call. I wouldn't rely on finding service, but you may luck out if you need to get in touch with someone.

The trail has partial shade and meanders above the creek.

For creek play I recommend coming here in July or August when the water is lower and the weather is warm. These photos were taken in early September and the creek was closed to wading for salmon spawning.

This photo is from early August playing the creek by the day use area.

Getting here: Take the Medical Springs highway from either Union or Baker City. Catherine Creek State park is 8 miles from Union and 37 miles from Baker City.

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