Oregon Desert Trail Impact Monitoring

Jim Davis   Website

fact

Connecting Trails

Connecting Trails

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

watch

The Last Darkness

The Last Darkness

voices

Ryan “Dirtmonger” Sylva, ODT thru-hiker 2017

Ryan “Dirtmonger” Sylva, ODT thru-hiker 2017

“To me, it’s a thru-hike in an isolated place that promotes a conversation in land management, ethics and usage. Hiking across a vast and remote landscape and having a random and chance encounter with cowboys and hunters to discuss how ‘all of us’ should treat the land, how we all have a responsibility, no matter our political leanings, really showed me the pulse of the people in rural areas, especially here out west.”

Organizer: Stewardship Team

Project Timeline: 4/01/2022 through 11/30/2022

Region: Eastern Oregon

Difficulty Rating: Level 5: Extreme

Volunteers Needed: No limit

About the place

This project takes place on the traditional lands of the Northern Paiute, Wasco and Warm Springs people. 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.

An ONDA initiative since 2011, the 750-mile Oregon Desert Trail traverses some of the most spectacular natural areas of the state’s dry side, including Hart Mountain National Antelope Refuge, Steens Mountain, and the Owyhee Canyonlands.

About the project

About 35% of the 750 miles of the Oregon Desert Trail involve cross country travel in the sagebrush sea; hikers will navigate these sections with map and compass or gps devices. We direct hikers to avoid making impacts on cross country sections, and instead of following footprints, to hike in a similar bearing. The goal is to avoid creating “trail” by having people on the landscape walking in the same alignment over and over; we want intact habitats and ecosystems to be the primary importance out there…and to help hikers understand how to travel without creating impacts.

This is a photo monitoring project that will help us gauge hiker-related impacts, and help us to get in front of any issues that might occur in areas of cross country travel in “pinch points” on the landscape that might funnel hiker traffic.

This is a photo monitoring project

Volunteers will take geolocated photos with their smartphones or devices along pre-determined photo points on the Oregon Desert Trail.

Timing:

This project will involve multiple volunteers during the year, however shoulder seasons (April-June & September-October) are the most suitable to backpacking the Oregon Desert Trail. You can hike as much of the ODT as you like or as many times as you like. We ask volunteers who sign up for this project to make at least one monitoring trip in 2022 for a minimum of four hours.

Difficulty

Level 5

Volunteers will need to be comfortable with off-trail navigation and hiking long distances. Some photo monitoring points could be visited as a day trip, others will involved a multi-day backpacking trip. You can monitor one photo point, or all of them; multiple photos taken throughout the year taken by different volunteers are encouraged.

Registration

An ONDA registration application and medical form are required for this project. You will also have the option to volunteer for other projects that become available throughout the year.

Project Details

All the information you will need to know about this independent project will be emailed to you after your registration is complete. Each project page has extensive information about access, technology, tools, maps and more. Please be prepared to spend 1-2 hours reviewing this information prior to heading out on your project, the good news is that time spent reviewing and preparing for your trip all counts towards your volunteer hours.

 Apply Now

Oregon Desert Trail Impact Monitoring

Read More

Wonders by Day and Night

Author: Scott Bowler  |  Published: January 14, 2022  |  Category: Where-to    A  month-by-month guide to appreciating Oregon’s high desert As the tenth largest state in the union, Oregon offers […]

Read More

Stories from the Oregon Desert Trail

Author: Renee Patrick  |  Published: November 1, 2021  |  Category: Where-to Getting ready to go on a day-long, week-long or month-long adventure on the Oregon Desert Trail? You can learn […]

Read More

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Read More