This peak isn’t officially named anything, but is referred to as both KigerMann is reference to the creeks that flow on the east and west sides of the summit, and as North Steens to differentiate it from it’s more lofty neighbor located 7 miles to the south called Steens Mountain.
KigerMann is a fitting name since it sits on the eastern edge of the spectacular Kiger Gorge that was formed by glaciers thousands of years ago. KigerMann is ranked 20th on the list of highest 100 mountains in Oregon at Peakbagger.com.
The Steens Mountains are a 30 mile fault scarp that runs north and south. The eastern side drops dramatically to a valley floor and the Alvord Desert (the driest area in Oregon) and about 5,800 ft below the highpoint on the ridge. The Steens are volcanic in origin and the multiple layers of volcanic deposits can be clearly seen in the canyons, gorges, and on the eastern escarpment. In the year 2000 the entire Steens area comprising 900,000 acres were set aside to be managed by the BLM as the Steens Mountain Cooperative Management and Protection Area.
The Steens are home to a variety of wildlife including bighorn sheep, mule deer, elk, and antelope. Wild horses called Kigers
that are descendants of the horses brought over by the Spanish Conquistadors. The Steens Mountains have a rich history in the development of the west and this area of Oregon. Because of their height and prominence, the Steens are visible from over a hundred miles away in all directions. The Steens are the 7th most prominent
peak in Oregon
The Steens Mountains are about as far away from civilization as you can get in Oregon. Make sure you have plenty of gas in your tank before you head to this area. You have to go to the small community of Frenchglen on State Highway 205. Highway 205 connects Burns to Denio, NV. The only thing that is still open in Frnchglen is the historic hotel. If you go another 40 miles south of Frenchglen you find the smaller town of Fields, but it has gas and a café. Try the “world famous” burgers and milk shakes at the café and you won’t be disappointed.
Near the historic hotel in Frenchglen is the turnoff that goes to the Steens Mountain area. The turn-off is well marked. Head up this wide gravel road known as the Steens Mountain National Back Country Byway
. It is about 20 miles to the “trailhead”. There is no formal trail, so continue up the road until you see the turnoff for the Kiger Gorge Overlook. You can go to the parking area at the end of the Overlook road, or continue up the main road for another .4 mile and just park as much off the road as you can. Either way you should go to the Overlook first to see where you will be climbing. As you look down into the Kiger Gorge, notice the eastern edge of the gorge and the big U notch about half way down the ridge. The highpoint you want is just before the U notch. The easiest route to the highpoint is to follow the ridge from the south.
No permits required unless you want a campfire.
BLM Burns District
BLM Steens Information
There are plenty of camping areas in and around the Steens Mountain area. We camped at the small Jackman Park CG. The Fish Lake CG is nicer.
BLM Camping Areas
Steens Mountain Resort
Harney County Info
You could make a bivy site at the summit if you wish since the summit area is relatively flat. It is rocky and could be windy and cold.
When to Climb
This mountain is not accessible in the winter unless you ski to the trailhead..
Winter snow closes the road, call the BLM in Burns for road conditions. This year (2007) the road opened in mid-June.
This mountain is accessible until the first good snow storm of the winter covers the road. The road is not plowed and you have to wait for the springtime melt to get up the road.
For current weather conditions in the area follow these links: