Southeast Oregon
- Barren & Beautiful
In the very southeast corner of Oregon there is not much. Its wide expanses of sagebrush with occasional rolling hills and escarpments under a wide-open mostly blue sky. They call it “The Sagebrush Sea”.

On one of my trips in June, there was abundant wildflowers among the sage.

There are 2 very interesting "geological" areas there. Leslie Gulch near the Owyhee Reservoir and Steens Mountain. You need to drive about 150 kilometers between them across the sea.

There is 25 miles of dirt road to reach Leslie Gulch. I am almost to the end:
Succor Creek campground, where Leslie Gulch reaches the reservoir:

In Leslie Gulch there are tributary gulches where you can hike up the dried creek beds into some really strange lava rock formations.

Steens Mountain is a fault-block with a gentle west slope that rises to around 3,000m then drops off sharply on the east side. There is a large area reserved as the Steens Mountain National Wilderness Area. There are camping areas and a road almost to the top.

The view from the summit:

Looking up the gentle west slope toward the summit, near the South Steens camp:
My camp spot on Mann Lake on the east side, in the Alvord Valley:

I had a few very enjoyable hikes up into the hills on the east side.

On one June trip, the wildflowers up high were prolific and diverse.
Alvord Desert is a huge permanently dry lake bed and there is a hot springs there.
This is looking down at Alvord Desert from the hills above:

For more lots more photos and information, on my web-site, please see these 3 web-albums of my trips down from Vancouver Island to southeastern Oregon:
This has been just a glimse of the adventures one could have in this little-known area. I hope you can, one day, see it for yourself.

There is surprisingly lots to see and do on The Sagebrush Sea!

Thanks for looking!

- Dave