McDermitt Creek Lithium Mine Site Visit

Bryan Andresen

This trip is full and is accepting waitlisted participants.


Connecting Trails

Connecting Trails

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


What defines Oregon’s high desert?

What defines Oregon’s high desert?

Bounded by the Cascade Mountains to the west and the Blue Mountains to the north, Oregon’s high desert covers approximately 24,000 square miles. Annual rainfall in the high desert varies from 5 to 14 inches. The average elevation is 4,000 feet; at 9,733 feet, the summit of Steens Mountain is the highest point in Oregon’s high desert. The terrain of the high desert was mostly formed by a series of lava flows that occurred between 30 and 10 million years ago.

Sources: The Oregon Encyclopedia; Wikipedia  


Tibetan Monks Visit Sutton Mountain

Tibetan Monks Visit Sutton Mountain

Organizer: Renee Patrick & Anne White

Date and Time: June 7 – June 10, 2022

Place:  McDermitt Creek and McDermitt Caldera

Difficulty Rating:  Level 1: Easy

Maximum Group Size: 25 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 opportunities to learn more about the impacts of the potential McDermitt Creek lithium mine to a healthy sagebrush habitat, and volunteers will conduct a variety of monitoring activities to help ONDA document the natural, geological and cultural values in the area. The group will also discuss related advocacy opportunities. This trip is designed for those volunteers wanting to take their public lands advocacy to the next level.

About the stewardship work

The purpose of this project is to learn about and document resources that may be threatened by the potential McDermitt Creek lithium mine in southeastern Oregon, and become informed advocates on the issue.

Shannon Phifer   Website

Trip timeline

  • Tuesday, June 7, 4-7 p.m.: Those interested in camping will meet at a primitive camping site near McDermitt, NV.
  • Wednesday, June 8, 8am: The morning will be filled with educational sessions about the area and the potential lithium mine. The afternoon will involve a variety of monitoring activities to help ONDA document the wildlife values in the area.
  • Thursday, June 9: After breakfast, the morning will be filled with educational sessions about the area and the potential proposed lithium mine, and the afternoon will continue the monitoring activities from the day before.
  • Friday, June 10: After breakfast there will be optional monitoring activities, or volunteers are welcome to head home.

Camp or Stay in Town

We will be car camping on undeveloped public land. Volunteers are welcome to bring a tent, camper van/small RV or stay in McDermitt at one of the two motels and meet us each morning at 7:30am at the project site. Those planning to camp will need to 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 1

Much of this project will be at the project location and won’t include a lot of activity. Monitoring work can be modified for all fitness levels, and participants can work at their own pace and take frequent breaks. This trip is accessible to all people.

Participant responsibilities

Participants are responsible for their own food and water/beverages. Sturdy hiking boots and durable clothing are recommended for the monitoring portion of the work. Each volunteer will need a smart-phone/tablet device capable of taking geolocated photos for the monitoring portion of the trip.

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.