McDermitt Creek Lithium Mine Site Visit

Bryan Andresen

This trip is full and accepting volunteers for the waitlist.


Scott Bowler, ONDA member from Portland

Scott Bowler, ONDA member from Portland

The desert speaks for itself, but very softly. I support ONDA to promote and enable discovery of the amazing beauty and recreational opportunities of the high desert by much broader groups of people; and most especially to protect forever the full and diverse landscape of the Owyhee Canyonlands, a place without parallel or equal in our country.”


Discover Desert Pronghorn

Discover Desert Pronghorn


Connecting Trails

Connecting Trails

The Oregon Desert Trail ties into two National Recreation Trails: the Fremont National Recreation Trail and Desert Trail.

Organizer: Anne White & Karly Foster

Date and Time: June 6 – June 9, 2023

Place:  McDermitt Creek and McDermitt Caldera

Difficulty Rating:  Level 3: Challenging

Maximum Group Size: 10 participants

About the place

This project takes place on the traditional lands of the Northern Paiute and Shoshone people whose descendants are part of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, Burns Paiute Tribe, Fort McDermitt Paiute and Shoshone Tribes, and the Shoshone-Paiute Tribes of the Duck Valley Indian Reservation. Many Indigenous peoples live in Oregon’s high desert region today, including members of the Burns Paiute Tribe, the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs (Wasco, Warm Springs and Paiute), the Klamath Tribes (Klamath, Modoc and Yahooskin) and the Fort McDermitt Paiute and Shoshone Tribe.

This trip will provide an opportunity to visit the northern extent of the McDermitt Caldera in the McDermitt Creek watershed. A multinational company conducting lithium exploration throughout the area poses great threats to streams occupied by the federally threatened Lahontan cutthroat trout and healthy sagebrush habitat hosting some of the densest populations of imperiled greater sage-grouse.

About the stewardship work

The purpose of this project is to document resources that may be threatened by a potential McDermitt Creek lithium mine. The primary focus of the trip will be documenting the landscape where overland routes are proposed before disturbance. Additional documentation of flora, fauna, geologic and other resources in the area will also be included.

Shannon Phifer   Website

Trip timeline

  • Tuesday, June 6, 4-7 pm: We will meet at a primitive campsite in the McDermitt Caldera.
  • Wednesday-Thursday, June 7-8, 8 am-4 pm: A full day of monitoring activities at assigned locations documenting the intact landscape and flora and fauna in the area.
  • Friday, June 9, 8 am: After breakfast, we will pack up camp and head home.

Camp or Stay in Town

We will be car camping on undeveloped public land. Please be prepared for primitive camping; you will need to bring your own water for the duration of the trip. ONDA will provide a pop-up toilet system.


Level 3

The physical demands of this trip are moderate. Work involves driving on maintained and unmaintained roads and hiking for up to six miles a day on uneven ground in remote areas with limited cell reception and no shade.

Participant responsibilities

Participants are responsible for their own food, water and camping gear as well as transportation to and from the trip. Sturdy hiking boots and durable clothing are recommended for this trip. Each volunteer will need a smartphone/tablet device capable of taking geolocated photos.

Gear provided

ONDA will provide the instruction, camping toilet and excellent guidance in the field.


An ONDA registration application and medical form are required for this trip.

Apply Now

You will receive a confirmation e-mail within two weeks of submitting your form. The confirmation e-mail will provide information regarding which trips you are on the “participant list” for, and which trips are full, and therefore you have been placed on the “wait list.”

Six weeks before the start of the trip, the trip leader will send out an RSVP to make sure everyone is still able to participate. Based on RSVPs, open spaces will be backfilled with people from the waitlist.

Three weeks before the trip start date, registered and confirmed participants will receive driving instructions, maps, and additional information in an email sent by the trip leader

If you have any questions in the meantime, please don’t hesitate to contact the trip leader.