How Does Nobody Know About This Amazing Mountain in SE Oregon?!

Published 6 years ago -  - 6y ago

Ok… Close your eyes, and think really hard about Oregon. Think about the upper left, the beautiful Portland, the HQ if you will. Think of your favorite coast town, maybe Manzanita?

Now Salem and Eugene; then head over to Bend. Of course, we can’t forget beautiful Southern Oregon which has the only IN-an-Out in Oregon.


But now…Try and think of the bottom right corner… name one city I dare you… anything?

We didn’t know either!

According to the BLM, The SE part of Oregon or, The Steens Mountain, is one of the most desolate places in America!

Seriously, we act like there isn’t even a “Southeast Oregon” (idk if I’ve even said that phrase out loud).

So don’t feel bad, we just found this out too.

And it’s sad because it’s one of the most beautiful places in our state, here’s 5 reason why.



1. It’s one of the most secluded places in America:

Offering 428,156 acres off public land, you will be in pure awe of the massive gorges and ravines cut right out of the glaciers. The Mountain itself is often confused as a Mountain range but it’s simply one huge lengthy summit. They call it a fault block mountain which is created by tectonic fluctuation or rifting.


2. Wild Horse Lake:

At the top of the highest road in elevation in all of Oregon and Washington (8,400 ft) sits Wildhorse Lake. The wildlife here is unreal, wild stallions, huge trout, and hummingbirds galore! You can’t miss this one.

By Bureau of Land Management [CC BY 2.0 or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

3. The Alvord Desert:

This might be considered Oregon’s harshest desert. Full of exotic plants, horn-tailed dragons (watch out) and wild stallions. Over the horizon, you can see Nevada. If you look west and have 20/20 vision you might be able to see the highest peak of the Cascades over 160 miles away. 

Strangely, this is also the site of the Women’s World Record for the fastest land speed vehicle. In 1976 Ms. Kitty Hambleton reaches 524 miles per hour in the SM1 Motivator. That’s a need speed if I’ve ever heard.

By Bureau of Land Management Oregon and Washington


We all know Oregon has the best hot springs, but these are so secluded and unique that it will be like no other Oregon hot springs experience. It sits right on the edge of the Alvord Desert salt flats. The Outdoor Project did a whole expose on these awesome springs check it out here.

The un-sheltered pool shown here was far too hot to enter. The one behind the shelter on the right, however, was lovely.


5. Bragging rights!:

You’ll be saying to yourself, “Mt. Hood, who? ”. This mountant happens to have the largest fault-block geologic formation in North America. It’s actually just one single long mountain peak. This is not a range like the cascades, so it makes it a unique sight. Somewhere you won’t see anywhere else in America. 



6. activities galore!:

It’s an amazing place for privacy, horseback riding, picnicking, hiking, camping and just plain old sightseeing. Head on over to the Steens Campgrounds because you won’t regret seeing this amazing hidden gem right here in our very own Oregon.

Here are some helpful links to get you started:

For the best hikes:

  1. Wildhorse Lake Trail,
  2. Big Indian Gorge Trail
  3. Blitzen River Trail.
  4. Steens Mountain Wilderness Area – *difficult hike
  5. Alvord Desert*difficult hike



  1. Page Springs Campground
  2. Fish Lake
  3. Jackman Park
  4. South Steens Campground

Beware of:

  1. Mosquitoes, ticks, and especially rattlesnakes
  2. Weather – Out here, the weather has its own mind. The mountain changes everything. Sudden lightning storms and blizzards. Beware.
  3. Lack of services. Everything is like 50 miles away at least.
  4. Extremely rugged terrain. Novice hikers take heed.
  5. Cows on the highway – lol!
  6. Most importantly getting lost! Always stay with your group and remember, if you are lost. STAY PUT!




This article was sponsored by Locksmith Plus, Inc. Eugene branch, the number one locksmith in Oregon and the NW. 

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