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Desert Naturalist Hike Series

Desert Naturalist Hike Series

Discover stories that lie hidden in the desert sagebrush on a FREE hike with Oregon Natural Desert Association. The 2017 Desert Naturalist Hike Series includes three hikes. Registration will open one month prior to each hike.

Hike space is limited so pre-registration is required. Complete trip details are provided upon registration.

Eagles Over Smith Rock Hike

Thursday, June 8, 9:30 am – 3 pm

Join Oregon State Park interpretive ranger, OSU Master Naturalist, and ONDA member David Vick for an inside view of the rich natural and cultural history of Smith Rock State Park.  During a moderate two mile hike up the Wolf Tree Trail we will explore the park's dramatic geologic history, identify native plants and their traditional uses, and perhaps catch a glimpse of nesting raptors!


Difficulty: Moderate about 2 miles. The trail is steep and rocky in places, with moderate elevation gain. Some hikers find the use of poles or walking sticks useful for balancing on steeper sections of the trail.

Picnic lunch provided by: Bethlyn's Global Fusion

Thanks for a great hike!


Life Among the Rocks: Lava Habitats for Wildlife Hike

Friday, June 23, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Devil’s Garden is a rugged landscape of lava interspersed with sagebrush and wildflowers, which provides important wildlife habitat. Species like the American pika find cool refuge in lava flows at lower elevations than where they are typically found and sightings have been reported around Devil’s Garden. Join OSU Cascades Natural Resources Professor Matt Shinderman on a hike to discover the importance of these desert habitats and learn about local wildlife.

Difficulty: Moderate up to 3 miles. The trail is rocky in places, with some scrambling over rough, broken lava rocks. Some hikers find the use of poles or walking sticks useful for balancing on uneven sections of the trail.

Picnic lunch provided by: A Broken Angel

Thanks for a great hike!


The Unusual Flora of Pine Mountain Hike

Sunday, July 23, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Savor the views along the open crest of Pine Mountain while exploring the mountain's distinctive flora, which is more closely affiliated with the Blue Mountain region than Central Oregon's typical volcanic soils. Charmane Powers, who has worked as a botanist on the Deschutes National Forest since 1990, and LeeAnn Kriegh, author of “The Nature of Bend,” will lead the hike. Along with taking a close look at the remarkable adaptations of species like mountain mahogany that line the trail, we'll have fun scouting for the rare green-tinged paintbrush (Castilleja chlorotica).

Register here for the hike.

Difficulty: Moderate 2-3 miles. The trail is rocky in places, with moderate elevation gain. Some off-trail excursions may be included.

Picnic lunch provided by: El Sancho Taco Shop

ONDA Hiker information:

  • Hikes have a very limited capacity. As such, we ask that you only register for hikes that you are certain you will attend.
  • Expect a phone call from us the week before the hike confirming your attendance. We will have a wait-list for each hike and will release your spot to someone on the wait-list if we are unable to confirm your attendance.
  • Each hiker is required to sign a liability release form at the beginning of the hike.
  • We love our furry friends, but your pet is not invited on this hike.
  • Hikers will meet at the Oregon Natural Desert Association office – 50 SW Bond St. Suite 4, Bend, OR – and carpool to the trailhead.

Attendees should bring:

  • A positive attitude and inquisitive mind
  • Small backpack
  • Water
  • Lunch will be provided by a generous local restaurant
  • Epi-pen/inhaler/meds, if needed
  • Sturdy shoes/boots
  • Extra clothing layers, high desert temperatures can fluctuate dramatically
  • Raincoat
  • Sunscreen
  • Binoculars (Optional)
  • Camera (Optional)
  • Hat (Optional)
  • Trekking poles (Optional)
  • We will do our best to make accommodations for those with special needs, but please let us know well in advance. The nature of these hikes involves hiking over rocky, rough, and often steep terrain that may be unsuitable for some.

Please call our office at (541) 330-2638 or email if you have any questions, concerns, or need an accommodation for the hike.

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Oregon Natural Desert Association
50 SW Bond Street, Suite 4,
Bend, OR 97702
Tel: (541) 330-2638

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