Northwest of Bend and Sisters in the Deschutes National Forest, the Metolius-Windigo Trail is a 120 mile hiking trail the Metolius River headwaters west of Sisters and runs south to Windigo Pass near Crescent Lake. The hiking trail was created around 1980 by linking sections of existing trails, primarily to serve long-distance horse riders seeking an alternative to the Pacific Crest Trail (#2000) (PCT). Because of its lower elevation, this trail is snow-free longer and has fewer mosquitoes than the higher elevation PCT. The trail passes through a wide variety of scenic terrain and forest types. Because the Metolius-Windigo trail is made up of segments of various trails, all junctions are marked on either side with yellow diamonds.
NOTE: Small portions of the trail passing through the Three Sisters and Diamond Peak Wildernesses require wilderness permits which are available at trailheads. These Wilderness Permits are required for both day-use and overnight travel in the Wilderness from Memorial Day Weekend until Oct. 31. Wilderness portions of this trail near Lucky Lake, Corral Swamp, Many Lakes, and elsewhere are closed to mountain bikes.
ACCESS: This long-distance horse trail can be accessed from many different trailheads on the Bend/Ft. Rock, Sisters, and Crescent Ranger Districts. The Bend Ranger District section of the trail is best accessed from (north to south): Todd Creek, Lucky Lake, Corral Swamp, and Round Meadow Trailheads. All are along or just off Century Drive, beginning with Todd Creek Horse Camp, 24 miles west of Bend.
Overall, Metolius-Windigo Trail is the 14th most popular hiking trail of all 21 hikes in Oregon.