Mill Creek and Twin Pillars
Deschutes-Ochoco National Forest
Mill Creek Wilderness Area
Distance: 11.6 miles (round trip)
Elevation Gain: 1,900 feet
Best time to go: May-November
About this Hike
Hike to the dramatic 200-foot tall volcanic plugs that overlook the Mill Creek Wilderness. This hike will travel along Mill Creek, passing douglas fir, ponderosa pines, snowberry, and bunchgrass along the way. There will be several creek fords to cross, and you will ascend nearly 1,900-feet to just below the magnificent twin pillars.
About the Area
A volcanic plug begins as a chunk of magma is preserved inside a volcano, and is exposed when the volcano stops erupting and eventually erodes away. In addition to the 200-foot Twin Pillars, the Ochoco National Forest is home to Steins Pillar, a 350-foot volcanic spire. Mill Creek and Twin Pillars are within the Mill Creek Wilderness, which The United States Congress designated in 1984. It now has a total of 17,173 acres. Shortly after becoming designated Wilderness, the area was affected by a burn in the 1990s.