Fremont National Forest

Corinne Handelman


Sage-grouse Mating Dance

Sage-grouse Mating Dance


Helen Harbin on Wildlife

Helen Harbin on Wildlife


Wildflower Poetry Reading

Wildflower Poetry Reading


Improve access to the section of the Fremont National Recreation Trail that overlaps with the Oregon Desert Trail, address critical safety concerns and promote conservation of the region, in partnership with the Forest Service and other local community groups


Project Start Year: 2017
Anticipated Completion: 2040


The Oregon Desert Trail overlaps with the Fremont National Recreation Trail for 62.2 miles of the 135-mile trail system.

About this place

The Fremont National Forest offers a setting of classic Western beauty derived from the land’s volcanic legacy. The ecosystem ranges from towering snow-capped peaks to wide-open sage basins. The Fremont National Recreation Trail (Fremont NRT) traverses most of the length of the forest from north to south and was designated as a National Recreation Trail in 1979.

Two long-distance routes tie into the Fremont NRT: the Oregon Desert Trail and the Oregon Timber Trail. These challenging trails are helping to introduce Oregonians to the drier side of the Cascade Range through immersive hiking and biking experiences. Equestrian groups played a pivotal role in designing, building and maintaining the trail, and even skiers and snowshoers can find fun adventures in this high desert forest when the snow starts to fall.

Our efforts

Through work with the Fremont-Winema National Forest, ONDA volunteers have been able to help the Forest Service complete deferred trail maintenance and open up a stunning section of trail for all forms of quiet recreation.

The goal is to work with the Forest Service and other local community groups to steward this trail by addressing critical safety concerns and improving access while promoting the conservation value of Oregon’s high desert public land and improving a unique recreational asset.

Project history

ONDA began working on the Fremont National Recreation Trail in 2017.

2017: ONDA maintained approximately two miles of trail from Avery Pass to just north of Morgan Butte.

2017: ONDA partnered with the Lakeview Alternative High School to steward approximately two miles of trail around Moss Pass.

2018: ONDA partnered with the Paisley Youth Conservation Corps to steward approximately two miles of trail up and over Morgan Butte, and with the Oregon Timber Trail to cut out down trees from 50 miles of trail.

2019: ONDA again worked with the Paisley Youth Conservation Corps to maintain about 1.5 miles of trail south of Morgan Butte, and assisted an Oregon Timber Trail project to clear trail in the 2018 Waston Fire burn area.

2019: ONDA partnered with the Fremont-Winema National Forest and Lakeview BLM District to hold a joint National Public Lands Day event. Members of ONDA and the Lakeview community worked side-by-side to maintain about 4 miles of trail north from Cox Pass Trailhead and together raised $170 for the Lake County Search and Rescue.