3 - 4
FATMAP difficulty grade
Serpentine strips of dark, black dirt run through the deep woods of the Umatilla National Forest, breaking out into wildflower-filled mountain top meadows that afford stunning views of the deep gorge formed by the Umatilla River.
With singletrack this sublime and views this stunning, the Umatilla Rim Trail is an instant classic! If it was located in another part of the nation or even in a different part of Oregon, undoubtedly Umatilla Rim would be an ultra-popular hike with nationwide acclaim.
But since it’s hidden in an obscure corner of the state of Oregon, far from any population centers or even any top-tier mountain destinations, the Umatilla Rim flies delightfully below the radar.
In fact, some sections of the trail are downright overgrown! To skip the overgrown sections and hike all of the better-maintained sections of the trail, consider using two cars for a point-to-point hike on this stretch of trail.
While this does increase the logistical complexity of the hike, getting to cover 9.2 miles of trails without any backtracking is a rare treat! True badasses could, of course, hike (or run) an 18.4-mile out-and-back on this portion. For a shorter out-and-back route, head to the end of this trail as mapped, and hike out-and-back from the Ninemile Trailhead.
The Ninemile Trailhead gets you very close to some of the best rim views, offering a delightful quick hike!