Where-To:
See Aspen in Eastern Oregon

voices

Aaron Tani, Sage Society Member

Aaron Tani, Sage Society Member

“It feels good to support ONDA on a monthly basis, because I know they never stop supporting our public lands. ONDA works to help make our lands a better place for the future, and I feel like I’m a part of that every month with my support.”

watch

Wildflower Poetry Reading

Wildflower Poetry Reading

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John Cunningham, ONDA member and volunteer

John Cunningham, ONDA member and volunteer

Restoration is hard slow work. It takes hold, or it doesn’t, in fits and starts. The immensity of the need can be discouraging, but we must carry on. I am so thankful ONDA carries on.

Steens Mountain

Big Indian Gorge

Big Indian Creek cuts a wide U-shaped gorge into the west side of Steens Mountain. This 8-mile trail goes all the way to the headwall of the gorge, but you can opt for a shorter journey if planning a day trip. Plan on hiking at least a few miles up the trail to get to the aspen groves and wear appropriate footwear for water crossings. The trailhead is located at the South Steens campground, so you can roll right out of your tent on to the trail for a full-day of leaf peeping.

Photo: James Parsons

Hike Info

Pike Creek

The Pike Creek trail is the only developed route up the east side of Steens Mountain.

Along this trail, you’ll see remnants of Oregon’s mining history as well as incredible geologic formations. Cottonwood, aspen and juniper provide shade and color. Note the red tape and fees required before heading out for this beautiful hike.

Hike Info

Warner Peak

Climbing towards Hart Mountain Antelope Refuge’s highpoint takes you through stunning aspen groves. You don’t even have to complete the entire route to bask in their autumnal glory. From the hot springs campground, begin exploring up Barnhardy road and choose your own adventure from there. Be aware that autumn is also a popular time for hunters to use the refuge, so wear orange and keep your dogs on leash.

Hike Info

Degarmo Canyon

DeGarmo Canyon

If you’d like to pair your aspen with waterfalls, try this hike up DeGarmo Canyon.

You’ll find fall colors almost immediately, with options for longer and more rugged adventures from there. Camp Hart Mountain, a free public campground just 5 miles away, can serve as a base for this adventure. Explore the colorful trees by day and relax under a sky filled with stars at night.

Photo: Barb Rumer

Hike Info

About the Author

Jess Beauchemin is an outdoor explorer who loves hiking, climbing, poring over maps and poking wildflowers. She has hiked on every calendar day of the year, across the Pacific Northwest and beyond. On any weekend, you'll likely find her wandering towards an obscure highpoint with a watercolor set in her backpack. She is a personal trainer living in Bend, Oregon. Her first book is called Hike366: A Woman’s Tales of Hiking Adventures All Year Round.

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Where-To:
See Aspen in Eastern Oregon

Author: Jess Beauchemin  |  Published: September 12, 2022  |  Category: Where-To Four amazing hikes with fall colors on Steens Mountain and Hart Mountain I grew up in New England, where […]

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Where-To:
See Wildflowers on Steens Mountain

Over 1,000 vascular plant species have been recorded at Steens Mountain. And, in mid-summer, you can expect wildflowers to be reaching their peak, with paintbrush, balsamroot, fireweed, stonecrop (uplands and […]

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Protected: Bridge Creek Allotments Monitoring

There is no excerpt because this is a protected post.

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Steens Mountain Wilderness Rehab Project

In partnership with the Bureau of Land Management’s Burns District, ONDA will lead several days of rehabilitation on Burnt Car Road in the Steens Mountain Wilderness. The Steens Mountain Cooperative […]

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Seven Steps to Save Sage-Grouse

Author: Mark Salvo  |  Published: April 5, 2022  |  Category: Deep Dive After three and half decades of monitoring sage-grouse habitat, sorting through the science, engaging in innumerable federal, state […]

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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 […]

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Small Splendors, Vast Landscapes

Continuing ONDA’s High Desert Speaker Series, Ellen Bishop will present “Small Splendors, Vast Landscapes.” Oregon’s deserts offer serene and yet provocative landscapes that invite contemplation. Yet sometimes, in viewing their […]

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10 Ways to Immerse
Yourself in the Desert

Author: Corinne Handelman |  Published: November 17, 2021  |  Category: Look Back Choose your desert immersion adventure  It’s officially “shoulder season.” Autumn is past its prime; winter hasn’t fully […]

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