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Eastern Oregon input?


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#1 HappyCampers

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Posted 25 May 2022 - 03:35 AM

Our postponed Eastern Oregon trip is kicking off at the end of this week. I have managed to negotiate a 'loose' itenerary with wifey - who generally prefers to have things 100% nailed down. I thought I'd reach out to you all for favorites or 'must do' hikes, vistas, food, etc... given our proposed destinations.

Since it's Memorial Day weekend, and camp sites will be busy, we're kicking things off with a stay with family in Wallowa. Next it's on to Owyhee Canyon and Succor Creek. Steens Mountains/Malheur and Hart Mountain are the final proposed stop(s) before we turn north again with a likely short family visit in the Bend.

I've been to all of these places previously, but am not convinced I have hit the primo destinations. If you have any place special you're willimg to share with us, I'd love to hear from you.

Thanks,

Chris

Edited by HappyCampers, 25 May 2022 - 03:36 AM.

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#2 Wandering Sagebrush

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Posted 25 May 2022 - 05:03 AM

Chris, I like to stop at the BLM Virgin Valley CG west of Denio on HWY 140.   It has a shower house and a swimming pool to wash the dust off after a desert trip.  There is also a historic ranch/stage stop nearby.  Hot and dusty, but still a gem.  On the topic of gems, there are nearby opal mines.

 

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Are you going to visit Leslie Gulch,  too?

 

On my list of places to visit are the Birch Creek Ranch, and the Shirk Ranch.

 

At Hart Mt, if the road to Blue Sky is open, that’s interesting.  A pocket of ponderosa near the headwaters of Guano Crk.  The graves at Camp Warner need a visit as well.

 

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#3 searching for nowhere

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Posted 25 May 2022 - 01:41 PM

Here are a few places I like:

 

Crack in the Ground.  Nothing with a wow factor, but different.

 

Summer Lake:  You can spend the night or spend an hour driving through the refuge viewing the birds.  

 

Kenny Camp:  The road/walk to Kenny Camp is a bit west of the Hwy 140 turn off to Virgin Valley.  The road is gated. Walk the road. It is about a 1/2-mile walk.  

 

Riddle Brother's Ranch.  On the south end of the Steen's loop.  The gate may be closed but you can walk in.

 

Thousand Creek Gorge:  By Virgin Valley campground.  You can walk in the canyon or drive to the overlook and look down.

 

Leslie Gulch:  I second that suggestion.


Edited by searching for nowhere, 25 May 2022 - 01:48 PM.

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#4 AWG_Pics

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Posted 25 May 2022 - 02:48 PM

Many good spots have been mentioned. We liked Summer lake on our last return from Death Valley. You can 'boondock/dry camp' at the south end of the lake, north of Paisley, at Summer Lake hot springs. Great soaking pools at a nice clean place with an old hippie vibe. And if you have not seen Paulina Lake from the viewpoint on top, which you can drive to, you are in for a treat. Check out Big Obsidian Flow while you are at it.


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#5 Wandering Sagebrush

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Posted 25 May 2022 - 07:39 PM

The second photo in my post is of Kinney Camp, and yes, do walk up to Thousand Springs. 
 

Don’t forget your birdoculars, or as Mrs 3Pin calls them, the seemores.


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#6 HappyCampers

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Posted 25 May 2022 - 07:51 PM

Thanks for the great suggestions everyone. Familiar with some of these spots and will definitely add a few of these to the list of possibilities.

Access into the upper Steens was limited by snow when I was there a couple years ago. It was about the same time of year, so hopefully better this time around, but not counting on it.

I had the impression that the Summer Lake got pretty torched by wildfire. Maybe not too bad?

We were considering visiting Crane hot springs, but perhaps Summer Lake is a better fit
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#7 AWG_Pics

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Posted 25 May 2022 - 08:10 PM

We were in Summer Lake area 2 months ago, including the northern wildlife area. No sign of wildfire effects. 

 

Have a grand trip! 


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#8 Wandering Sagebrush

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Posted 25 May 2022 - 08:46 PM

Crystal Crane hot springs doesn't have the old hippie vibe, but it’s clean, kept family friendly, and you can swim/soak under the stars.


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#9 eyemgh

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Posted 26 May 2022 - 02:17 PM

Certainly drive the Steens Loop if you haven’t planned that. If it’s dry you can camp right on the Alvord playa. There’s a hot springs there, although if you’re not that into them, I’d defer for the one in Heart. Be mindful of fuel. French Glen isn’t open on Sunday. I doubt Fields Station is either. Bring your binocs. In addition to birds, there’s feral/wild mustangs and big horn sheep at The Steens and pronghorn at Heart. Have fun! 


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#10 Lighthawk

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Posted 26 May 2022 - 03:24 PM

Crystal Crane hot springs doesn't have the old hippie vibe, but it’s clean, kept family friendly, and you can swim/soak under the stars.

 

Can you park in the tent or overflow sites instead of the RV full-hookup sites?   We like a little more room when we camp.


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