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Visitors Guide

This page contains a guide for visitors to the wild deserts of Central Oregon, which includes the Oregon Badlands Wilderness, Deschutes Canyon, Lower Whychus Creek, Steelhead Falls, Hampton Butte, Cougar Well, Gerry Mountain, South Fork of the Crooked River and Sand Hollow. The guide contains resources such as driving directions to trailheads, safety information, and information about recreational activities like hiking, fishing and camping.

Encompassing rolling plains of sagebrush, dramatic river canyons and dense forests of old growth juniper, the Central Oregon Backcountry provides visitors with a wide-ranging introduction to Oregon’s High Desert.

Have you visited the Central Oregon Backcountry? Share your experience in our High Desert Trip Reports.


There are many wild desert areas to explore within a 1-2 hour drive from the major towns of Central Oregon. Whether you are seeking an easy day-hike or a weekend adventure, use our visitor's guide to the Central Oregon Backcountry to plan your next desert adventure. If you are interested in visiting an area that is not highlighted below, feel free to contact our Central Oregon coordinator for more information.

Places to visit in the Central Oregon Backcountry:

Where to stay: Camping and lodging options in and around the Central Oregon Backcountry.


Where to eat: Some of ONDA's favorite places to kick back after a long day exploring the Central Oregon Backcountry.

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Oregon Natural Desert Association
50 SW Bond Street, Suite 4,
Bend, OR 97702
Tel: (541) 330-2638

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