About the place
Located just 15 miles east of Bend, the Oregon Badlands Wilderness is a 30,000 acre area containing fascinating lava flows and ancient junipers. This area was designated as wilderness in 2009, and was named for its harsh terrain and fantastic rock formations. Within this landscape, one can find incredible displays of desert wildflowers, dry river canyons, castle-like rock formations, and Native American pictographs.
About the stewardship work
ONDA created Oregon Desert Trail (ODT) a few years ago to link existing trails, old two-track roads, and cross country travel as a way to introduce hikers to the stunning landscapes found in Oregon’s high desert. The western terminus of the trail is found in the Oregon Badlands Wilderness (OBW), and the first nine miles of the 750-mile route traverses this area.
Saturday June 2 is National Trails Day and we will celebrate with trail work! The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) plans to convert old two-track roads to trail. This work continues the implementation of the OBW Wilderness Management Plan. Volunteers will assist the BLM in road-to-trail conversions to help create a wider network of trails within the Wilderness area overlapping with Oregon Desert Trail.
We typically head to the work site at 8 a.m. and stop work by 4 p.m. in order to leave time in the afternoon to clean-up, relax and cook a well-deserved dinner. The primary work will involve using a variety of hand tools, collecting natural materials, and camouflaging the group’s traces once the work is done to adhere to a natural method of designating the trails to fit with the wilderness character of this high desert landscape. ONDA and the BLM will provide all instruction and necessary tools to do the job. No previous trail building experience is needed to attend this trip. All that is required is a love of the high desert, a big smile and a willingness to learn.
- Friday, June 1, 5 -7 p.m.: We will meet at Reynolds Pond Trailhead to set up our basecamp.
- Saturday, June 2: It’s National Trails Day! After breakfast, we will drive to the trailhead. Volunteers will receive tools training, and should plan to be out all day and prepared for a day of hiking and doing physical work in full sun.
- Sunday, June 3: Volunteers will have the option to head home or spend an immersive morning learning about a unique aspect of the high desert environment. (Do you have specialized knowledge of the high desert you would like to share with your fellow volunteers? Our morning session could cover information about the local geology, plant or animal life, cultural history, or it could even involve a session creating artwork or a piece of writing. Contact Renee for more information about this new educational opportunity on this volunteer trip). We should be finished with this optional morning activity around lunchtime.
We will be car camping at Reynolds Pond Trail Head on the north side of Badlands Wilderness. There is no running water or bathroom facilities, so please be prepared for primitive camping.
This trip will require volunteers to be hiking in sandy soils in potentially hot daytime temperatures.
Participants are responsible for their own food and camping gear as well as transportation to and from the trip (don’t forget your camp chair!). ONDA will bring water, but it is a good idea to supplement our supply with a few gallons from home. In the event of sunny and hot weather, please bring up to four liters of water capacity for the day, and consider an electrolyte replacement drink or mix to help you stay hydrated. Sturdy off-trail ankle-high boots, long pants, and eye protection are required for this trip (sunglasses or prescription eyeglasses are suitable eye protection). Long sleeve shirts may be required depending on the work performed (a lightweight sun shirt is a great option); Participants should be prepared to be away from camp all day and bring a day pack for lunch, snacksn and water.
ONDA will provide tools for the work, work gloves, sunscreen, and hardhats. We will bring some group camping equipment (shade tent, tables for cooking, wash bins for kitchen cleanup, a privy), some potable water, expert leadership, and we can talk about long distance hiking on the Oregon Desert Trail.
An ONDA registration application and medical form are required for this trip.
You only need to fill this form out once per year and can join additional trips this year by emailing the trip leader directly. You will receive a confirmation email within 10 working days of submitting your form. The confirmation email 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, carpooling options, 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.