Boeing Field provides access in to the upper west portion of the Black Canyon Wilderness. It got its name from a Boeing B18 which crashed into Wolf Mountain a mile or so south during World War Two. Boeing Field itself is a large, rocky meadow with scattered conifer trees. The meadows are covered with red wavyleaf paintbrush (Castilleja applegatei var. pinetorum) and white mule's ears (Wyethia helianthoides) in late May to mid June, depending upon how late the snow lays into the spring. It's also a good spot to look for Brown's peonies (Paeonia brownii) in June, a time when they are going to seed at lower elevations in the area. This area is also a logical destination for a brief wildflower stop for those planning to wildflower hike on nearby Spanish Peak.
The signage at this trailhead is rather poor although the trailhead should be evident. The Owl Creek Trail #820A has been lightly used in recent years due to numerous downed trees over the trail as a result of several wildfires that swept over the wilderness over the past decade or so. During our June 2019 visit, it looked like the trail was open down to the Black Canyon Trail #820, but we did not hike it to verify that, nor to see how far Trail #820 was open. There are no facilities at Boeing Field. There is a primitive hunter's camp at the south end under some conifer trees. At least in early June 2019, access to that hunter's camp appeared difficult for low slung vehicles due to mud.
The area has been lightly used, partly due to several recent wildfires that burned through creating hazard snags which continously fall after wind events or due to high snow load. Access was thus restricted to most users although some hardy backpackers and autumn hunters still used the area. We noticed that at least some of the trails into the wilderness had recently been cleared in the spring of 2019. Not knowing whether this effort was performed by a USFS crew or the Backcountry Horsemen, but we send our thanks! If visiting the area, I'd probably contact one of the recreation staff at the USFS office in Prineville to inquire about current trail conditions into the wilderness.
Carry plenty of water or a water filter during a hike into the wilderness. Trails with southern exposure can be quite hot on mid-summer days due to the lack of trees. I've heard rumours of rattlesnakes at some point in the canyon.... something to especially consider if you hike with dogs.
Note: The twelve mile long Black Canyon Trail #820 has at least a dozen water crossings of Black Canyon Creek which can be difficult due to rushing water from mid-winter into early summer.
Note: We've run into a few people who have had vehicles broken into at trailheads on this forest during weekends (especially holidays), so it's probably wise to not leave a vehicle with any kind of gear visible inside at a trailhead during a long day out in the field, or overnight if backpacking!
Allow for almost a two hour drive to access Black Canyon Wilderness trailheads when arriving from Prineville.
It's probably faster to access the Boeing Field Trailhead via Oregon Highway 380 and several county roads from Paulina, OR. One can also access this trailhead from the west via FS Roads 42, 12 and 38 or from the north by driving east from Prineville on US 26 and then head south into the forest via FS Road 12 (signed for Barnhouse CG from the highway) and then east on FS Rd 38.
From Paulina: Drive east on Paulina-Suplee Highway (County Road 112) for 3.5 miles. Veer left onto Bever Creek Road (County Road 113) and continue north for 8 miles to the Ochoco National Forest Boundary. At the boundary, County Road 113 becomes Forest Road 58. Drive north on FS Rd 58 for 1.5 miles and turn left onto FS Road 5810. Note that the Sugar Creek Campground Group Recreation site is about 100 yards east of the junction of Rds 58 and 5810, and that is a good site for a picnic or a bathroom break. Sugar Creek Campground has water during the main camping season and is a quiet campground.
From the junction with FS Rd 58, continue north for about 12 miles on a good gravel road to Boeing Field. For wildflower lovers, there are numerous meadows and scablands to stop and explore (just pull off the road so you don't block traffic!) when driving up FS Rd 5810. FS Rd 5810 does climb high over the western shoulder of Wolf Mountain which holds snow late into the spring, so you might enquire at the Ochoco National Forest Ranger Station in Prineville about road conditions if you visit in mid to late May.
Black Canyon Wilderness - General Ochoco National Forest website info about the wilderness with a pdf trail map and links to info regarding trails and trailheads.
100 Hikes/Travel Guide Eastern Oregon" by William L. Sullivan - Trail description for access into the wilderness from Boeing Field. Brief route descriptions into the wilderness from the South Prong and Wolf Mountain railheads are also described at the back of the book in the "More Hikes" section in my 2001 edition.