Pretty area. I thought this would be more desert and dead and maybe my timing right after snowmelt helped but it was green and had a bit of a sub-alpine feel. The E face is impressive.
Excellent weather, great views.
Continuing on my spare tire from the Malheur CoHP and Fields, I looked at my map and realized Steens Mountain was not too far off the beaten path, given the distance I was already looking at to drive on my spare. And all trip reports indicated easy gravel roads here, so I figured why the hell not.
I made it all the way up the roads fine. There were plenty of other vehicles on the road and the roads are in excellent condition besides. There are also great-looking campgrounds on the way in and out. This is a place worth spending more time to be sure.
Several vehicles were parked at the summit lot but most visitors must have taken the Whitehorse Lake Trail from here as I had the summit to myself.
Incredible views greeted me in every direction, even in spite of the towers at the summit. I wandered around the area looking for a benchmark and a register until I figured I was out of luck. Then as I started to walk down, I found the register in a cairn between the road and the first tower. On a hunch I walked the grassy stretch from the towers (which seem to me to be the higher area) to the rocky bump above the parking lot. Here I found not one, not two, but three benchmarks within close proximity of one another. Those who placed these may or may not have had the summit accurately measured, but they were thorough with the benchmarks.
My drive back to pavement was uneventful. As was the slow 45-mph drive to Burns. I even stopped at Malheur NWR to poke around where some ranchers had taken it hostage a couple years back.
Once in Burns, the manager at Les Schwab told me he my tire could not be repaired, and he did not have any in my size, so it would be $950 to replace them all (not including labor).
At this point I finally remembered we had insured our tires for specifically this purpose. A call to the Subaru dealership in Bend and we were hooked up! It was just another slow 45 mph to get there. Subaru closed before I got there, but they left my tire out for me to pick up, and I hastened to a tire center where they put my tire on for me -- NO CHARGE.
Tremendously generous people made my day a whole lot better, even knowing I would be arriving home much later than planned.
SE Face. Approach from Alvord Hot Springs up Wild Horse Canyon to Wild Horse Lake.
I ended up just driving up this thing. very interesting but also very out of the way. the gorges are very impressive
There was bad weather for weeks in WA so Heather and I drove through OR, CA, NV, UT, and ID. We climbed 37 peaks in 19 days and Steens was one of only two peaks we could drive nearly to the top. We really liked this peak for the views despite not having to hike it. We hiked up Strawberry in a rainstorm later that afternoon. trip report
This was the second of three Oregon county highpoints for the day - all of which were 90 to 95 percent jeeping with the last stretch being hiked.
Drove from Frenchglen to both potential HP areas. Drive was easy, hikes were easy. Drove down the south half of the loop in a tiny passenger car. The road was too rough for the car but we were committed to it, and somehow eased our way down to pavement. Got shakes later on in Fields.
The drive from Granite Peak (NV) to Steens Mountain was a long, boring one. Gas prices in northern Nevada were ridiculous. This was an easy CoHP to get, though. Lightning lit up the eastern Oregon sky during the night.
I took my bicycle and (mostly) rode from Jackman Park to the summit gate, then walked from there. The jewels of this mountain are the gorges... those were unreal sights.
Headed through Frenchglen, so figured I might as well do the hour and a half detour up to the top. Pretty cold at the top and couldn't see much due to the smoke, but a nice mountain nonetheless.
A short walk from the Wildhorse Lake TH parking. I saw 11 large propane tanks installed, and more foundation construction underway. Would be interested to learn what is operating up there.
Why not. Kids in the car 6hrs there 6hrs back 6min on top.
Watched the sunset and the moon rise from the summit. The end of a very long but amazing day.
Date is Approximate. Rode my mountain bike until I hit a snowfield to the summit and got off and went from there.
Absolutely beautiful, especially Whitehorse Lake!
Drove most of the way with Jen and Dosha for this one while staying at Malheur Field Station to escape the Fourth of July madness back in the big city. Great views from the ridgetop viewpoints. It was nice to see some familiar SP names in the log at the top. We were treated to the sight of three coyote pups on the return towards Frenchglen
Hiked the 1/2 mile dirt road in a party of four. Route in good condition.
This is a great area. This is the second time to the summit for me. My wife accompanied me this time.
My dad and uncle were headed down to Fields where they grew up for a daytrip, so I tagged along and managed to talk them into swinging up on the ridgeline so I could finally get a load of the view from the top of the Steens. It was really smoky out from all the range fires going on (big hollow road into Fields was a blackended wasteland). Despite the smoke, the viewpoints were really cool, I am definitely coming back here on my own terms to do some hiking and climbing. My dad did the half mile walk up to the summit with me, always like to have him join me for these sorts of adventures.