Tour #4: (7.3 mile Summit loop)
Steep scree down, easy flat, more difficult climb, downhill scree, flat return.
Down the steep scree Chute Trail, cross the bridge, left on the River Trail, straight and up on the switch-backed Summit Trail and down the steep scree Burma Road Trail, back on the flat Wolf Tree Trail. (7.3 miles round trip to the Welcome Center)
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From the Welcome Center, go to the Overlook and descend the paved trail, then bear to the right to go down the short, but steep scree Chute Trail.
Alternate route down: take the left fork down the more gradual gravel Canyon Trail and follow it around until it meets at the bottom of the Chute Trail, adding 500 more feet to your trip.
Once you cross the bridge make a left on to the easy River Trail. Continue ahead until you reach signs for the more difficult Summit Trail.
After a brief stint on marked private land that requires you to not wander from the trail, a long series of switchbacks takes you along the back of another park icon–The Monument. A popular climbing area when golden eagles are not nesting each year in the nearby rock faces, it’s open to hiking the whole time.
The trail continues on BLM land, where you descend on steep scree back into the park via the irrigation service road, or Burma Road Trail.
Connect to the easy Wolf Tree Trail along the river back to the bridge.Then it’s just the final push back up either the Canyon or the Chute Trail to the Overlook and back to the Welcome Center.
Not ready to leave when you reach the Burma Road? Go straight across the Summit Trail and take the easy Gray Butte Trail for 2.5 miles on BLM land and continue on the easy Cole Trail for 2.25 more miles to wind up at the Skull Hollow Campground.
Then shuttle the 8 mile drive back to the park. Here’s what that trail map looks like along with other options in the area.