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  • Writer's pictureAmy Hindman

Indian Rock trail #1648

Difficulty: Moderate

Length: 2.7 miles RT

Elevation Gain: 460 feet

Season: Spring-Fall

Location: Wallowa-Whitman National Forest near Phillip's Lake

Notes: There are no services at this trailhead. The Union Creek Campground is across the highway and has day use area with running water & bathrooms if you need them.

The Indian Rock Trail is just minutes away from the Union Creek Campground at Phillip's Lake, which makes it the perfect family-friendly hike to combine with a camping trip or visit to the lake. It's a relatively easy hike with beautiful views from the top!

The trailhead sign has unfortunately fallen off the tree, but there is a rock cairn marking the start of the trail on the right side of Union Creek Road.

The trail is fairly narrow, but easy to follow. There were a few downed trees, but nothing difficult to go around or over. Don't forget your bug spray and to check for ticks afterwards- they love the long grass. We did brush a few off when we visited in July, but I didn't notice any mosquitos. I recommend visiting in the morning when the trail is mostly shaded. The tree cover here isn't quite thick enough to provide much shade midday.

The wildflowers were abundant in July! We spotted lots of sunflowers, lupine, asters, Indian paintbrush to name a few.

Just short of the 1 mile mark, you'll turn onto the one switch back on the trail and then it's just over 1/4 mile to the top. When you see this large rocky outcropping, you've made it!

There's plenty of room at the top for a nice snack break.

Getting There: Turn onto Union Creek Road (FS Road 2225) off Highway 7. If you are coming from Baker City, the turn will be on your right and is just before Union Creek Campground. Continue along Union Creek Road for about 1/4 mile. I recommend checking the car odometer when you start on Union Creek Road to help you find the start of the trail. Our odometer was just past .2 when we reached the parking. Park in the gravel pullout on the left side of the road; there's room for several cars in the pullout. Look for the rock cairn on the opposite side of the street marking the start of the trail. You will also see a tree with a couple of bolts in it where the original sign has fallen off.

Pullout parking across from the trail. Note this photo was taken from the start of the trail looking down Union Creek Road. As you drive up the road, the parking will be on your LEFT.

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