Black Canyon Trail (#820)


This scenic trail parallels Owl Creek and Black Canyon Creek for the length of the Black Canyon Wilderness, descending from near the summit of Wolf Mountain to the South Fork of the John Day River.

Black Canyon Trail connects with South Prong Trail #821 and Kelsey Trail.

Black Canyon Trail can be accessed from these trailheads: South Prong, Black Canyon West, Boeing Field, Coffeepot, Kelsey, Payten, Cottonwood, and Black Canyon East

View a Black Canyon Wilderness area trails map

At a Glance

Current Conditions: Trails are intermittently maintained and downed trees and route finding challenges may be expected. 
Restrictions: Mountain bikes & motorized use prohibited.
Closest Towns: Paulina, OR
Operated By: Forest Service
Information Center: Paulina Ranger Station, Ochoco National Forest

General Information


Black Canyon trailhead:

  • From Dayville, Oregon take County Road 42 south for about 13 miles to the Black Canyon Trailhead located near South Fork John Day River.

Black Canyon Trail access via South Prong Trail:

Dusty Camp trailhead:

  • Take Forest Service Road 5840 for 3.7 miles past Mud Springs Campground to reach this trailhead which accesses Black Canyon Trail #820.  ALERT- Forest Service Road 5840 beyond Mud Springs Campground is unsuitable for two-wheel drive vehicles when wet, and is not recommended for low clearance vehicles or trailers at any time.



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  Area/Length : 
11.7 miles

  Elevation : 
2850 - 6350