Volunteer on the ODT

Sarah Imholt

voices

Ryan “Dirtmonger” Sylva, ODT thru-hiker 2017

Ryan “Dirtmonger” Sylva, ODT thru-hiker 2017

“To me, it’s a thru-hike in an isolated place that promotes a conversation in land management, ethics and usage. Hiking across a vast and remote landscape and having a random and chance encounter with cowboys and hunters to discuss how ‘all of us’ should treat the land, how we all have a responsibility, no matter our political leanings, really showed me the pulse of the people in rural areas, especially here out west.”

listen

Western Meadowlark Dawn Chorus

Western Meadowlark Dawn Chorus

watch

The Last Darkness

The Last Darkness

Hard-working ONDA volunteers have planted thousands of trees, restored dozens of miles of streams, decommissioned old roads, and removed enough barbed wire to stretch from one end of Oregon to the other. They’ve also toiled endlessly in our offices, written letters, attended meetings and events, all toward one goal: giving our deserts a voice. View ONDA volunteer opportunities here.

2017 marked the first time ONDA led trail-specific volunteer trips that included building new trail in the Oregon Badlands Wilderness, maintaining existing trail along the Fremont National Recreation Trail, and two trail maintenance projects in the Steens Mountain Wilderness.

The next round of Oregon Desert Trail stewardship projects opened for registration on February 19, 2018.

Recap of volunteer projects on the Oregon Desert Trail in 2017

  • Oregon Badlands Wilderness: ONDA partnered with the Prineville BLM District to build a new trail in the Badlands Wilderness, not only expanding the trail network in this important desert landscape close to Bend, but replacing a short cross country section of the ODT with a cairn-marked route. Two miles of new trail were built, .5 miles along the Oregon Desert Trail Corridor. View photos here
  • Fremont National Forest: Volunteers cleared all down trees from an 11-mile section of shared trail corridor along the Fremont National Recreation Trail in partnership with the Fremont Forest Service. Three and a half miles of trail were brushed and maintained including building 7 new drainage structures. View photos here
  • Steens Mountain Wilderness (Big Indian Gorge): ONDA volunteers backpacked into the scenic Big Indian Gorge to partner with the Burns BLM District in this project. Over 5 days volunteers cleared all down trees from the Big Indian Gorge Trail by hand, and brushed 2 miles of the shared trail corridor near the entrance to the gorge. View photos here
  • Steens Mountain Wilderness (Blitzen River Trail): Volunteers backpacked along the Donner und Blitzen River out of Page Springs Campground to build a half-mile high water alternate route to an eroded section of trail. View photos here

OTHER VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

From time to time volunteer assistance is needed to support Oregon Desert Trail presentations and events, future opportunties will be posted here and will also be listed on our events page.

Jeremy Fox

About the ODT

  An ONDA initiative since 2011, the 750-mile Oregon Desert Trail traverses some of the most spectacular natural areas of the state’s dry side, including Hart Mountain National Antelope Refuge, Steens Mountain, and the Owyhee Canyonlands. While we have surveyed every inch of the route in crafting the Oregon Desert Trail, it remains a...

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Renee Patrick

Community

Connect with other hikers, share your trip reports, explore the trail towns along the route, or plan to attend a future trail presentation. As we build our network of supporters and hikers, we would love to involve you as much as possible. Do you have a service you would like to offer hikers along...

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Renee Patrick

Plan A Trip

  To make planning easier, ONDA divided the full 750-mile trail route into four regions and a total of 25 sections of 20 to 40 miles each, all of varying difficulty. Be advised! It is critical to read the guide descriptions in detail and seriously consider any notes on water scarcity or challenging terrain...

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