6.6 miles, Half day
There are two trailheads to this hike. The one to the West is more of a moderate hike, the one to the East is a steeper more difficult hike.
The trail climbs slowly for 0.9 miles, then rises steeply to Rooster Rock. Rooster Rock, an enormous pillar of andesite and basalt, is popular with rock climbers. If you are an adventurous climber, the wooden remains of a Forest Service lookout, abandoned in 1963, can be found by scrambling to the top.
From the top of the trail you can see the entire South Santiam Canyon from Iron Mountain to the Willamette Valley.
You will also get nice views of other rock pillars such as Rabbit Ears.
From Sweet Home, travel east on Highway 20 for 22.3 miles and park in the area next to the state highway cinder stockpile. The trailhead is located just east of the Trout Creek Campground.
Did you bring your rock climbing gear? Rooster Rock is a favorite.