Desert Naturalist Hike Series

John Schubert

Discover the stories that lie hidden in the desert sagebrush on a hike with the Oregon Natural Desert Association.
All are welcome but hike space is limited and pre-registration is required. See more information below. Complete trip details are provided upon registration.

You can find all of the hikes coordinated by ONDA on the GUIDED HIKE tab of our events calendar.

 

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Sarah Graham, Sage Society Member

Sarah Graham, Sage Society Member

“I contribute to ONDA monthly because it adds up to a larger annual gift than what I’d be able to comfortably afford if I were to do a simple one-time donation annually. I’m able to give more to ONDA this way and have greater impact which is important to me, and my dog Polly.”

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Elisa Cheng, member since 2013

Elisa Cheng, member since 2013

“ONDA stewardship trips inspire me. I get to learn new things and see new places, and in the process perform important work that improves the wildlife habitat.”

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Mary McCord, ONDA Volunteer

Mary McCord, ONDA Volunteer

“I find enjoyment in the peaceful wide open spaces, geology, and rich history of Oregon’s high desert,” says Mary. Reflecting on volunteering, she continues, “If you have the ability and desire, it’s important to do something to contribute. It doesn’t have to be big, because every little bit helps.”

Spring Wildflowers and Magnificent Mountain Views on Gray Butte

Saturday, May 5, 2018 | 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

The Gray Butte Trail winds through the juniper forest and sagebrush slopes of Gray Butte. Hikers will be rewarded with sights of spring wildflowers such as phlox, lupine and balsamroot. And, if the wildflowers are not enough, the views of the Crooked River National Grasslands below and the snow-capped Cascades will be spectacular. Perhaps you will even get a glimpse of Mt. Hood! Charmane Powers, a botanist on the Deschutes National Forest since 1990, will lead the hike.

Difficulty: Moderate – Approximately 5.2 miles roundtrip. The Gray Butte Trail is well graded.

Find more information and register here

Soaring Sights of Smith Rock State Park

Thursday, May 24, 2018 | 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Join Oregon State Park interpretive ranger, OSU Master Naturalist, and ONDA member David Vick for a moderate hike up the Wolf Tree Trail in the always popular Smith Rock State Park. Hikers will view nesting raptors and be treated to the sight of this spring’s eaglets. While the emphasis of the hike will be on the winged denizens of Smith Rock, David will also share his knowledge of native plants and their traditional uses and the Park’s geologic history.

Difficulty: Moderate – about 2 miles. 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.

Find more information and register here

Chimney Rock Family Nature Adventure

Sunday, June 10, 2018 | 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Grab the kids and join author Wendy Gorton for a hike through a juniper doorway, catch views of the Crooked River, holler down below at Echo Bench, and feel the satisfaction of making it all the way up to Chimney Rock. Mini scavenger hunt sheets will be handed out as families join Wendy to spot species, draw in a nature journal, and play a few fun games while hiking to the top of Chimney Rock. A free copy of "50 Hikes with Kids: Oregon and Washington" will be raffled at the end of the hike.

Difficulty: Moderate - At 2.8 miles out and back, 566 feet elevation gain, this is considered a challenging hike for little ones but very do-able with plenty of stops and water!

Find more information and register here

Special thanks to our 2018 Desert Naturalist Hike Series sponsor: 

ONDA Hiker information:

  • Please check your email after registering for more information about the hike.
  • These hikes have a very limited capacities. As such, we ask that you only register for hikes that you are certain you will attend.
  • Expect a phone call the week before the hike confirming your attendance. We will have a waitlist for each hike and will release spots to those on the waitlist if we are unable to confirm attendance.
  • Each hiker is required to sign a liability release form at the beginning of each hike.
  • We love our furry friends, but your pet is not invited on ONDA hikes.
  • Hikers will meet at the Oregon Natural Desert Association office – 50 SW Bond St. Suite 4, Bend, OR – and carpool to the trailheads. Directions will be provided for drivers.

Attendees should bring:

  • A positive attitude and inquisitive mind
  • Small backpack
  • Water
  • Lunch
  • Epi-pen/inhaler/meds, if needed
  • Sturdy shoes/boots
  • Extra clothing layers, high desert temperatures can fluctuate dramatically
  • Raincoat
  • Sunscreen
  • State Park or National Forest Service Parking Pass, as needed
  • 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 hikeseries@onda.org if you have any questions, concerns, or need an accommodation for the hike.