Malheur & Ochoco National Forests
June 23, 2003
Elevation: 7166' --- N 43* 58.220' --- W119* 29.797' --- +/- 17 ft
T18S R27E S32 & 33
The area studied was the area within about 100 meters of the lookout, in all directions around the lookout. Emphasis was given to the area within the Malheur N.F., although the plants seen generally represented what may be found in both forests.
Snow Mt. has an elevation of 7163 feet. Access is best gained to Snow Mt. from the north using County Rd 112 from Paulina or County Rd 67 from Izee and then turning south on County Rd 318 (which becomes County Rd 69). Upon entering the Ochoco National Forest, the road becomes FS Rd 43. This road is a good gravel road. After climbing though coniferous forests for a few miles, you will intersect with FS Rd 4380 which is on the east side of the road. This intersection is marked with a sign to Snow Mt. Proceed on the road to the summit, although plants in the middle of the road may be tall enough to give smaller passenger vehicles problems with clearance.
From Burns, OR, travel west to Hines, then turn north on County Rd 127. Upon reaching FS Rd 43, turn west and drive on FS Rd 43 along the delightful Emigrant Creek. Shortly after entering the Ochoco NF (unmarked), the road climbs more steeply and becomes gravel at a sign for Delintment Lk. Continue on FS Rd 43 until reaching FS Rd 4380, at which point you turn east to climb to the lookout at Snow Mt.
Other roads to the summit of Snow Mt. should not be attempted by passenger vehicles, due primarily to lack of clearance with the middle portion of those roads, which generally become two deep grooves in the soil with a high, plant filled center section.
Views from the summit span 360¾. They are views that most of us would never see of central Oregon, spanning west to the Maury Mts and Lookout Mt. and further west to the high Cascade volcanoes. South one can see Glass Butte and several other buttes to the south of US Highway 20 and to the southeast, the area around Burns, OR as well as the Steens Mt. on a clear day. To the northeast, one can see the Aldrich and Strawberry Mt. Ranges and to the north, the gorge through which the South Fork John Day River passes. Views include much coniferous forest as well as broad swaths of higher sagebrush plains.
* Denotes wildflowers currently in bloom.
Ponderosa Pine: Pinus ponderosa var. ponderosa
Douglas Fir: Pseudotsuga menziesii var. menziesii
*Tolmie's Onion: Allium tolmiei
*Chocolate Lily: Fritillaria atropurpurea
*Meadow Death-camas: Toxicoscordion venenosum
Wyeth Buckwheat: Eriogonum heracleoides var. heracleoides
Prickly Sandwort: Eremogone aculeata
*Mt. Sandwort: Eremogone capillaris var. americanum
Oregon Campion: Silene oregana - In bud.
*Upland Larkspur: Delphinium nuttallianum var. nuttallianum
*Western Meadow-rue: Thalictrum occidentale
Daggerpods: Phoenicaulis cheiranthoides
Lance-leaf Stonecrop: Sedum lanceolatum
*Creeping Oregon Grape: Berberis repens
*Smooth Prairie Stars: Lithophragma glabrum
*Wax Currant: Ribes cereum var. cereum
Alpine Prickly Currant: Ribes montigenum
*Old Man's Whiskers: Geum triflorum var. ciliatum
*Sticky Cinquefoil: Potentilla glandulosa (var. ?)
Stiff Milk-vetch: Astragalus conjunctus var. conjunctus ? - Past bloom, pods seen.
*Tailcup Lupine: Lupinus arbustus (L. caudatus) - Just commencing bloom.
*Bighead Clover: Trifolium macrocephalum
*Phlox: Phlox species
*Cusick's Stickseed: Hackelia cusickii - Seen in bloom on FS Rd 43 about a mile west of FS Rd 4310.
*Blue Stickseed: Hackelia micrantha
*Wyoming Paintbrush: Castilleja linariifolia
*Hairy Paintbrush: Castilleja pilosa var. pilosa
*Downy-fruited Valerian: Valeriana (acutiloba ?)
*Yarrow: Achillea millefolium
*Pale Agoseris: Agoseris glauca (var. ?)
*Narrowleaf Pussytoes: Antennaria stenophylla
Low Sagebrush: Artemisia arbuscula (var. arbuscula ?)
Big Sagebrush: Artemisia tridentata
*Arrowleaf Balsamroot: Balsamorhiza sagittata
Green Rabbitbrush: Chrysothamnus viscidiflorus var. (viscidiflorus ?)
*Eaton's Shaggy Fleabane: Erigeron eatonii var. villosus
Common Little Sunflower: Helianthella uniflora (var. douglasii ?) - In bud.
*Nodding Microseris: Microseris nutans
*Western Groundsel: Senecio integerrimus var. exaltatus
*Woolly Goldenweed: Stenotus languinosus var. languinosus