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Steens Mountain Wilderness

General Location Maps Contacts Area Management Wilderness Laws Trip Planning Images

General Trip Planning Information

To obtain a map of the area, you can pick one up at the BLM Burns District or call 541-573-4400. A trail map will be forth coming in the future.

Also check out BLM's website at www.blm.gov/or/districts/burns/recreation/steens-mtn.php

Recreational Opportunities

Opportunites for recreation on Steens Mountain are on Steens Mountain are as plentiful as they are widespread. Popular activities include camping, picnicking, sightseeing, and exploring the open country on foot and horseback. Hiking is available in all areas and trailheads exist near Paige Springs and South Steens Campgrounds, as well as Wild Horse Overlook and Pike Creek. Visitors bike on rugged mountain roads, photograph landscapes, wildlife and wildflowers, and catch redband trout in the Donner und Blitzen River. Other enjoy hunting for wild game and visiting special places such as Riddle Brothers Ranch, the Kiger Wild Horse Viewing Area, and the nearby historic P-Ranch. Cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and limited snowmobiling are winter favorites. Several private outfitters and guides offer opportunities for personalized tours or other activities. Some activities within the Cooperative Management and Protection Area, such as motorized access for winter recreation and organized group functions, may require a special-use permit from BLM

Climate and Special Equipment Needs

For current conditions please contact the BLM Burns District at 541-573-4400.

Safety and Current Conditions

Your safety and enjoyment are important. Please be aware of:

Limited water sources – carry enough water and food to last your entire trip, and do not drink from untested water sources.

Ticks, mosquitoes, and rattlesnakes in certain areas during spring and summer.

Weather conditions – the mountain’s high elevation can cause rapid temperature changes. Blustery, 100-degree days are common and snow can fall year-round. Be prepared for sudden lightning storms, snow, rain, and high winds. Long distances between services – including gas stations, phones, and cell phone reception. Let someone at home know where you plan to go and when you plan to return. Phone service should not be relied on for emergency communication. Always start your trip with a full tank of fuel and call ahead for current information about fuel availability in the Steens Mountain area. Fuel may be available in the towns of Fields, Frenchglen, Crane, or the Narrows.

Rough terrain – deep canyons and rocky slopes are a natural part of the rugged mountain territory. Elevation can change from less than 4,000 feet to over 9,000 feet in just a few miles. We recommend high clearance or 4x4 vehicles for primitive roads, including the steep and rocky portion of the Steens Mountain Loop Road near South Steens Campground. The rest of the Steens Mountain Loop Road can accommodate passenger cars at lower speeds. High quality tires are a must for all vehicles, even when traveling on maintained routes.

Livestock and wildlife on roadways – much of southeast Oregon is open range. Be alert, drive with caution, and plan to share roadways with cattle, deer, elk, antelope, wild horses, and rabbits!

Getting lost – the remote nature and vast landscape of the Steens Mountain area may leave even the most experienced traveler directionally confused or just plain lost. Traveling with a current map of the area is essential! Don’t hesitate to talk to locals - area landowners and Federal employees are generally visible in the Steens Mountain area. We welcome your visit and have information to help you.

The Steens Mountain Cooperative Management and Protection Area contains a mixture of public and private lands and specially designated areas where particular regulations may apply. Obey road closure signs and stay on designated open routes – driving off road is prohibited. Please respect landowners in the area and always get permission to go onto private property.

For current conditions please contact the BLM Burns District at 541-573-4400.




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