We took off Memorial day for an 11 day tour of SE Oregon... most of which we'd never seen. When we think of road trips they are invariably focused on places a long ways away - desert SW, Baja, Sierras etc. This time we decided to check out our own back yard and man was it fun. Perfect late Spring weather and green as can be.
We started out going to the Painted Hills and spent first night at Priest Hole along the John Day River.
Next day hiked the Blue Basin Trail in the John day Fossil Beds. Also checked out the excellent Paleontology Center Museum.
Then we headed Southeast to the Jordan Valley on the border with Idaho where we camped and hiked in Leslie Gulch for 3 days. It's a long ways from anywhere (that's a good thing) and an absolute must see if you're anywhere even close. Leslie Gulch empties out at the top of the Owyhee reservoir - which has apparently excellent crappie, catfish and bass fishing. The hiking was fantastic.
We were planning to get up in to the Steens Mountains but snow wasn't gonna let that happen so we drove out onto the Alvord Desert for the night and basked in the silence and beauty of that stark playa.
A great storm Rolled in with high winds and pretty hard rain so we dropped the top and hunkered down.
two+ hrs later we could get back out on it and enjoyed a fantastic sunset over the Steens. The Alvord is one of our all time favorite places.
Next headed West to the Hart Mtn Antelope Refuge. The Hot Springs was closed for repairs so we stayed down on the West Side. Great hiking out there and beautiful.
We didn't see a ton of wildlife but came within a scrunt of stepping on this bad boy.
Finished out camping At Green Mountain CG above Crack In The Ground
and along the Crooked River South of Prineville. There wasn't one section of this trip we would skip if doing it again.