Steens Mountain Summit

Renee Patrick

  • Distance

    1 mile roundtrip

  • Best Times To Visit

    July to November

  • Dificulty


  • Closest Town

    Frenchglen, Oregon

  • Drive Time

    2.5 hours from Burns, Oregon


On your way to the top of Steens Mountain Summit trailhead, you’ll pass by two amazing viewpoints that involve short walks—Kiger Gorge and the East Rim—and we recommend stopping at both of these viewpoints and hiking up to the summit as well.

The first stop along the drive is the Kiger Gorge Viewpoint parking area. Walk 100 yards to a cliff-edge panorama of Kiger Creek’s gorge.

Next, drive back to the loop’s main gravel road and continue 2.7 miles. First turn left for a 0.3-mile side trip up to the East Rim Viewpoint and a look down to the Alvord Desert, which is thousands of feet below.

Finally, drive onward and upward to a parking area that serves as the trailhead for both the Steens Mountain summit and to Wildhorse Lake.

To reach the summit of Steens Mountain, hike past a barricade and up a steep, rocky road for less than half a mile to a crest. Check out the view to the right, but the actual summit is 100 feet to the left. You’re now standing atop the largest fault block mountain in North America.

Notes and Advice:

  • There are no trailhead amenities.
  • Snow can remain on the Steens Mountain Loop Road into the summer, delaying the opening of the full loop. Before heading out, contact the Bureau of Land Management in Burns at 541-573-4400 or check their website for more information.

Driving Directions

From Burns, take State Highway 78 southeast for approximately 2 miles. Turn right onto State Highway 205 and travel south for 60 miles to Frenchglen. Just past Frenchglen, turn left onto the Steens Mountain Loop Road. Travel approximately 22 miles on the loop road before turning left onto the Kiger Gorge Overlook access road.