Your Next Autumn Activity:
Volunteering

Rick Samco

listen

South Fork Crooked River and Birds

South Fork Crooked River and Birds

fact

Young Horny Toad Lizard

Young Horny Toad Lizard

In the summer these lizards begin foraging for food as soon as their body temperature rises as the heat of the day increases. They feed on slow-moving, ground-dwelling insects. In the fall they hibernate by burying themselves in the sand.

Latin name: Phrysonoma platyrhinos

listen

Great Horned Owls and Western Screech Owls

Great Horned Owls and Western Screech Owls

California bighorn sheep

Wildlife Monitoring Opportunity

For this effort, independent stewards will collect important data about 72 different strategically chosen species throughout the northern Basin and Range ecosystem, to fill a gap in observations in this important region east of the Cascade Mountains.

Fremont National Recreation Trail

ONDA launched an “adopt-a-mile” effort covering 38 miles where the Oregon Desert Trail and Fremont National Recreation Trail overlap. A few volunteers were able to start their work in the short window between snow melt and the start of the heartbreaking Bootleg Fire in the Fremont-Winema National Forest in early July. Now that the forest has reopened to the public, ONDA is eager to get volunteers back out to this section of trail to perform much needed maintenance work.

Steens Mountain Wilderness Trails

Fall is a spectacular time to visit Steens Mountain, where ONDA is also inviting volunteers to “adopt-a-mile” of trail to monitor and maintain. In addition to performing light trail-work, volunteers are using a new Recreation Impact Monitoring System application developed in partnership with Bureau of Land Management staff to catalog and inventory habitat or recreation management needs Recreation planners can access the data that volunteers collect in real-time and adjust maintenance plans accordingly.

Alvord Desert

This iconic Wilderness Study Area in the rain-shadow of Steens Mountain saw unprecedented use in 2020, largely due to the Coronavirus pandemic, and the trash accumulation and impacts on the surrounding landscape reached critical levels. ONDA’s independent stewards are documenting impacts using the Recreation Impact Monitoring System application and dispersing fire rings, picking up trash, monitoring for negative wildlife interactions, and handing out wag bags and responsible recreation information.

We welcome you to join us on any of the above projects. If you have already filled out our volunteer interest form this year, please email monitoring@onda.org with the project you are interested in. If you have not yet filled out our volunteer interest form, apply now and, in the project preference field, type in “Alvord, “Steens” “Fremont” or “wildlife monitoring.”

Volunteer today!

Your Next Autumn Activity:
Volunteering

As golden aspen leaves and frosty mornings mark the arrival of fall in Oregon’s high desert, welcomed rains are bringing fire danger down and allowing volunteers to resume work on needed monitoring and restoration projects throughout desert public lands. If you’re craving an adventure to experience the beauty of Oregon’s high desert in the...

Read More

Return to the Oregon Desert Trail

Carly “Quill” Swisher started a thru-hike of the Oregon Desert Trail in the late spring of 2020, but had to get off in McDermitt, Nevada. Undeterred, she went back June 21, 2021 and finished the complete route at Lake Owyhee State Park eight days later. The story below recounts these days on the trail,...

Read More

How To: Go from Desert Hiker
to Desert Steward

Hello, you! Did you know that the Oregon Desert Trail was made for you? ONDA crafted this route connecting all the most beautiful places in the high desert with this sincere hope: that you would enjoy a lifetime of adventure and become a strong, lifelong advocate for high desert places in need of care. ...

Read More

18 Trail Towns
Along the Oregon Desert Trail

Author: Renee Patrick  | Updated: August 24, 2021  |  Category: Where-To Curious about where to find a shower, meal, or museum while you are exploring the high desert? The extensive Town & Services Guide was created to help hikers find the businesses and services they need in the 18 different communities along or near...

Read More

21 Day Hikes
Along the Oregon Desert Trail

Author: Renee Patrick  | Updated: August 17, 2021  |  Category: Where-to Intrigued by the Oregon Desert Trail but don’t have the time or inclination to hike all 750 miles? These day hike options provide excellent opportunities to sample short sections of the full route. Refer to each section to in the Oregon Desert Trail...

Read More

Multi-Sport Adventures
Along the Oregon Desert Trail

Author: Renee Patrick  | Updated: August 17, 2021  |  Category: How-to Hiking may be the most common way to approach the 750-mile Oregon Desert Trail, but there are many other ways to experience the remote beauty of the high desert along the route. The Oregon Desert Trail Guidebook highlights multi-sport options in each of...

Read More

Multi-Day Loop Hikes
Along the Oregon Desert Trail

Author: Renee Patrick  | Updated: August 17, 2021  |  Category: How-to Longing for an adventure that will have you away from home for several nights? In this post, we are offering up some ideas for multi-day trips you can take along the Oregon Desert Trail route. And, all of these trips are loops —...

Read More

Meet Legacy Donors John Bauman
and Jenny Zimmerman

Author: Corinne Handelman  |  Published: August 2, 2021  |  Category: Profile Exploring creative ways to advance desert conservation For John Bauman and Jenny Zimmerman, retiring to Central Oregon felt like a perfect fit: a diversity of landscapes within a quick drive and, best of all, easy access to the high desert. “We really love...

Read More

Oregon Desert Trail Register

Read More

Behind the Lens

Do you appreciate the beauty of Oregon’s high desert and wish your photos matched up with what you experience? Meet a few of the photographers who make ONDA’s Wild Desert Calendar so damn beautiful each year and learn tips and tricks for shooting in the desert from them. You’ll learn how you can contribute...

Read More