Archive for the ‘South Eastern Oregon’ Category

Fort Rock, Oregon

If you are headed out towards southeastern Oregon this summer, take a quick detour through Fort Rock. Fort Rock is in interesting place full of history, geology and infamous sunsets. Fort Rock is located about 70 miles southeast of Bend and 40 miles southeast of LaPine. From highway 97, you turn left at the Highway 31 junction just south of LaPine. At around 30 miles you will see the sign for Fort Rock. A little ways before the junction leading you towards Fort Rock, you will see a grouping of trees with a few buildings on your left. This is Horse Ranch – and it too is steeped in pioneer history.

As you are coming into Fort Rock, on your right is the Homestead Village Museum. The museum is a great stop. It’s filled with homestead buildings that were once scattered throughout the Fort Rock Valley. They are filled with history – and what a treat! The homesteads were steadily disappearing and a group got together to try to save them. They moved building after building into the town of Fort Rock to create the museum. This saved these historical structures from being damaged by cattle and vandals.

Check out their terrific site: Homestead Village Museum

There are some other great places to check out while you are in the Fort Rock region including – Crack in the Ground, Fort Rock Cave – or better known to the locals as Cow Cave (though it does sit on private land – this is the spot they found the sage brush sandals), and Hole in the Ground. There are also places to see petroglyphs, lava caves and lava tubes. A little tidbit about me is that I grew up out here. Believe me when I say that there is a lot to explore throughout the Fort Rock/Christmas Valley and Silver Lake region. Feel free to contact me with questions about some of the out-of-the way spots.

There are some fun books about the area  including: Portraits Fort Rock Valley Homestead Years and Pioneer Homesteaders of the Fort Rock Valley.

Watch for Golden and Bald Eagles as well as the Desert Primrose Flower. Most people overlook these little flowers nestled throughout the sagebrush. They have the most amazing fragrance. Try not to pick them as they are a little rare to find. It might take a knees and hands in the sand moment to draw in their delicate scent, but it’s something you will always remember. Also watch for arrowheads – especially after a nice summer rain. Make sure you make a quick stop at the old Fort Rock Store. This little spot is also filled with history. In the town there is an old grange hall, and the remnants of Fort Rock Elementary school – now long closed. I would recommend staying overnight. A quick drive through this area won’t do it justice. It’s not until you witness a Fort Rock sunset or even better sunrise will you truly feel the magic of this area.

Holbrook Reservoir, Oregon

Not a bad spot for a canoe trip. There is a campsite under the large ponderosa trees. This area has been used by cattle, so it’s a bit torn up.

5600ft elevation. 1 campsite and a day use area are on the northeast side of the lake. Holbrook Reservoir is located within the Fishhole Lake Recreation Area which includes many small lakes. Hiking, horse riding, and mountain biking trails are found at Lofton Lake and Heart Lake. Activities include boating (electric motors only, and a 5 mph speed limit). Birdwatching, Wildlife viewing,Fishing, Swimming, and Picnicing.

Location: From Lakeview: Travel 25 miles west on Highway 140, and turn left on Forest Road 3715. Take Forest Road 3715 for 6 miles, then turn right on Forest Road 3817. Continue on Forest Road 3817 for a short distance, and you should see the picnic area entrance.