Big Springs Campground is accessible off of Forest Service Road #4270. The Ochoco National Forest website states there are 5 campsites with picnic tables and fire rings, but we could only find 4 signed sites. The campground, which is no fee, appears to be lightly used, although I'd guess that it might get a bit of use during hunting season in October. The campground has springs on the hill behind campsite #2, but filter the water before use. No potable water is available, but it may be obtained at nearby Deep Creek Campground or closer to Prineville at Ochoco Campground.
The campground itself has dry uplands with large ponderosa pines and a scattering of younger pines with a broad riparian area filled with mountain alders and grasses and forbs. I'd guess that the campground will be a good camping spot for bird watchers after Memorial Day (especially around sites 2 & 3), and it should have good wildflowers in the riparian areas and surrounding balds outside the fenced campground. In 2016, we observed numerous cow pies in the campground, but I don't know if cattle are allowed to graze the site every year, if this was an irregular occurance.
For a hike, one can walk west of campsite #1 following the south side of the riparian forest, crossing a north-south oriented fence and then following the cattle path on the south side of the next wildlife fence west downhill for about 2 miles to where Big Springs Creek flows into Deep Creek and return. There's an elevation loss of several hundred feet enroute and cattle may be present.
* indicates the wildflower is currently in bloom.
Mountain Alder: Alnus incana ssp. tenuifolia
Western Juniper: Juniperus occidentalis
Western Larch: Larix occidentalis - A few trees beginning to turn yellow outside the campground.
Ponderosa Pine: Pinus ponderosa var. ponderosa
Quaking Aspen: Populus tremuloides - Beginning to change color in the exclosure at the west entrance to the campground.
Meadow Foxtail: Alopecurus pratensis
Smooth Brome: Bromus inermis
Orchard Grass: Dactylis glomerata
Bottlebrush Squirreltail: Elymus elymoides (var. elymoides or hordeoides ?)
Blue Wildrye: Elymus glaucus
Common Duckweed: Lemna minor - In Big Springs Creek.
American Stinging Nettle: Urtica dioica ssp. gracilis
Tapertip Onion: Allium accuminatum
Yellow Bells: Fritillaria pudica - Pods ripening.
Star-flowered False Solomon Seal: Maianthemum stellatum ? - may be a small Maianthemum racemosum
California False Hellebore: Veratrum (californicum var. californicum ?)
Columbia Monkshood: Aconitum columbianum ssp. columbianum
Creeping Oregon Grape: Berberis repens
Wormleaf Stonecrop: Sedum stenopetalum
Wax Currant: Ribes cereum var. cereum
Broadpetal Strawberry: Fragaria virginiana ssp. platypetala
Rydberg's Largeleaf Avens: Geum macrophyllum var. perincisum
Prairie Smoke: Geum triflorum var. ciliatum
Slender Cinquefoil: Potentilla gracilis var. fastigiata
Fan-leaved Cinquefoil: Potentilla gracilis var. flabelliformis
Velvet Lupine: Lupinus leucophyllus
Burke's Lupine: Lupinus polyphyllus var. burkei ?
Cup Clover: Trifolium cyathiferum
Tall Annual Willowherb: Epilobium brachycarpum
Cow Parsnip: Heracleum lanatum
Western Sweet Cicely: Osmorhiza occidentalis ?
Western Polemonium: Polemonium occidentale
Common Houndstongue: Cynoglossum officinale
Self-heal: Prunella vulgaris var. vulgaris
Common Monkeyflower: Erythranthe guttata
Common Mullein: Verbascum thapsus
Kelloggia: Kelloggia galioides
Common Snowberry: Symphoricarpos albus var. laevigatus
Yarrow: Achillea millefolium
Woodrush Everlasting: Antennaria (luzuloides ssp. aberrans ?)
Rosy Pussytoes: Antennaria (rosea ?)
Elk Thistle: Cirsium scariosum
Bull Thistle: Cirsium vulgare
Western Groundsel: Senecio integerrimus var. exaltatus
West Coast Goldenrod: Solidago elongata
* Leafybract Aster: Symphyotricum foliaceum var. parryi - A few plants still in bloom.
Common Dandelion: Taraxacum officinale
Oyster Plant: Tragopogon dubius
Coyotes - Howling at night near by.
Elk - Spoor and bugling.
Red Squirrel - Numerous
Goshawk ? - Diving on and chasing American Robins.
Clark's Nutcrackers - Numerous
Gray Jays - Numerous
Stellers Jays - Calling.
White-faced Hornets - Numerous late in the season.
Yellow Jackets - Numerous late in the season.