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Need-to-know on the Oregon Desert Trail

A warning for those interested in traversing any or all sections of the Oregon Natural Desert Association's Oregon Desert Trail.

Please read and understand the following before using this guide:


The Oregon Desert Trail (ODT) is conceptual in nature; it is largely unmarked, does not verifiably exist in the field and is in essence a name we’ve given to a plausible route on public land and legal rights of way across the high desert.

The information on this website describes a route ranging from existing hiking trails clearly marked on federal agency maps; roads in varying states, including some that are exceedingly rough and unpassable by vehicles; and cross-country travel that absolutely requires skill with a map, compass and GPS unit. Travelers on the ODT need to be aware of its remoteness, lack of cell service and environmental hazards. Seasonal variability, such as heat or snow, can make the route dangerous. There are several dry stretches that regularly lack reliable water, and water caching ahead of time is necessary.

Some towns along the ODT are sparse places with one business and possibly irregular hours – it’s necessary to make calls in advance before counting on these locales for help and supplies. Those traveling any portion of the route also need to be fully prepared and aware of the existing and potential challenges. It is critical before heading out anywhere on the ODT to read the Essential Planning Info that describes how the guide material is set up in addition to the relevant section description.

Conditions in the field can change, sometimes quickly. Property boundaries and private landowner relationships can shift without warning to exclude public access. (People with information or concerns are encouraged to contact us at Hiking, backpacking, horseback riding, paddling and mountain biking inherently involve a certain amount of risk. Therefore, know that if you agree to use this guide, you’re also agreeing to take proper safety precautions, to use sound judgment in the backcountry and to not assume that the guide material is an endorsement of the safety of a particular road, trail, creek crossing or the like. All information is offered in a noncommercial capacity.

In short, use this guide and all the website information at your own risk. In using the information, you agree to hold ONDA free from any and all liability.

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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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