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Looking for deserts in Oregon

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by optrixs, Aug 29, 2011.

  1. optrixs

    optrixs SW Oregon Member

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    Hi:
    So I've lived in Oregon since 2000 and I'm looking for deserts.I live in Grants Pass
    and I have no problem traveling.I want to see cactus sand dunes and any desert
    wildlife.Where in Oregon can I find a full blown desert? I don't want to go to the coast
    where people with Quads/Sand 4X4 are running around I have no problem with those
    people.I just want a peaceful place to see some thing I've never seen before.



    Thanks
    Scott Hannah
     
  2. PaulZ

    PaulZ Oregon City Active Member

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    Arizona
     
  3. ogre

    ogre Vancouver, WA Well-Known Member

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    Well shoot, the Oregon high desert pretty much encompasses the entire southeast portion of the state. I would like to take a fossil hunting trip out there someday if I can ever get away from work.
     
  4. coop44

    coop44 Tacoma ,WA Well-Known Member

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    lotsa desert fun in Yuma, had my fill years ago. good luck, enjoy.
     
  5. jimwsea

    jimwsea Vancouver, Washington state Active Member

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    Minus the sand dunes, you'll find everything else desert-y in the far southeast corner of the state. Cactus, tumbleweeds, rattlesnakes, scorpions, antelope, jackrabbits, hot springs. This area includes Frenchglen, Fields, and Alvord Lake. For real dunes, here's a place I never quite reached (too much time soaking in hot springs)... North Lake County Sand Dunes
     
  6. optrixs

    optrixs SW Oregon Member

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  7. riverrat373

    riverrat373 Washington State Member

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    The Alvord desert in SE Oregon.
     
    SquackDaddy and (deleted member) like this.
  8. Gunner3456

    Gunner3456 Salem Well-Known Member

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    Your first link sucks, LOL. Way out of the way places, much of which isn't relevant.

    You're in S. Oregon? Take Hwy 140 out of White City and just stay on it. It will take you to the Nevada line which is still desert. You won't see much for cactus in Oregon - not like the type in Arizona (saguaro) but the small rounder (barrel) ones and the occasional prickly pear.

    You should see antelope and jackrabbits and lots of sage and other plants.

    Once you reach Denio, Nev. on 140, go N. on 395 to Burns, OR, then take 20 back to Lakeview and then 140 back home.
     
  9. chariot13

    chariot13 Near Eugene/Springfield Well-Known Member

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    Christmas Valley has dunes and lots of Desert. No cactus that I remember but it is alot of fun & not many people out that way.
     
  10. drew

    drew OR Well-Known Member

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    It's OR-205(forgot the NV road) that goes from Burns to Denio, isn't it? That route takes you close to the Steens which is worth checking out too.
     
  11. Gunner3456

    Gunner3456 Salem Well-Known Member

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    Could be now that you mention it. Denio is just a store on a corner, so you just turn left at the store and go N. It's maybe 2 1/2 hours to Burns, and some really nice scenery.

    Yes, you can turn off and drive up into the Steens Mts. if you have lots of time. We used to do that to hunt deer.
     
  12. CleverName

    CleverName Southern Oregon Active Member

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    I love the desert. Some of my fondest childhood memories are from a family trip to Death Valley. We stayed at the Stovepipe Wells Hotel. Can anyone recommend some good campgrounds out in the deserts of E. Oregon?
     
  13. coosbaycreep

    coosbaycreep 9 miles South of Roseburg Active Member

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    +1 on Steens Mtn/Alvord desert, both very cool places

    There's a campground over by Vale/Ontario called Twin Springs that's pretty cool. The turn off is just a little bit west of Vale IIRC. It's a real rough road, but if you like back country driving, that's one of the better areas.

    Other than E.Oregon and Utah, one of my favorite desert areas is Inyo county in CA off of 395. I go camping there almost every year, and other than the redwood coast, it's about the only decent place in CA. Lots of awesome dirt roads, very low population, great hiking trails, and both the lowest place (Bad Water Basin in Death Valley) and the highest point in the lower 48 (Mt.Whitney) are in the same county. The Alabama Hills is where a lot of car commercials and old school westerns were filmed at. Heck, even Tremors was filmed there, which is hard to forget when you're driving around waiting for a graboid to pop out of the ground and eat you.

    Lava Beds Natl. Mon. in NorCal is a cool desert type place too, and probably a closer drive from Grants Pass than E. Oregon is.
     
  14. bruzer

    bruzer Grants Pass, OR Well-Known Member

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    The Oregon High Desert around Christmas Valley is 200 miles away and more sage brush and juniper trees with jack rabbits, sage rats, coyotes, antelopes as far as some of the wildlife. There are the Lost Dunes which are sand dunes but much different sand than at the beach and dusty this time of year. After a few rain showers the dust settles down. During the summer and especially during the holiday weekends the dunes are crazy with lots of riders but there is still so many miles of lonely, dusty dirt roads to spend the day riding. Many go there to shoot the sage rats with the permission of the hay farmers and then many go out to shoot jack rabbits too. 30 miles from Christmas Valley is Fort Rock that is an amazing sight. There is Derek's Cave (empty Lava Tube) and the "Crack in the Ground" too. Some people say the Oregon High Desert around Christmas Valley is boring but for me it is peaceful and the night sky is full of stars.
    Mike
     
  15. CleverName

    CleverName Southern Oregon Active Member

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    Broke into the wrong damn rec room, didn't ya you bastard!

    Man I love that movie.
     
  16. Gunner3456

    Gunner3456 Salem Well-Known Member

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    I would make it a point to do that drive, no matter. Denio to Burns.