[Wildflower Hikes and Trips in Lake County, OR]

Wildflower Trips and Hikes in the Fremont-Winema National Forest

East of Lakeview, OR

Lake County, OR

A view west towards Drake Peak (left) and Crook Peak (right) across sagebrush steppe country from along the Plush Cutoff Road.....June 12, 2016. See additional photos below.

Abert Rim

Crane Mountain

Crooked Creek (Fremont National Recreation Trail #160 from Mill Trailhead to South Fork Crooked Creek Trailhead)

Twelvemile Peak (from the South Fork Crooked Creek Trailhead via the Fremont National Trail #160 to the north flank of Twelvemile Peak)

Deep Creek Campground

Drake and Light Peaks

Fremont National Recreation Trail #160 (Swale Trailhead south to McDowell Peak)

Mud Creek Forest Camp

North Warner Viewpoint

Willow Creek Forest Camp


Camping:

Generally, one can camp at most Fremont-Winema National Forest campgrounds at any part of the year where you can gain vehicle access to the campgrounds, but most are inaccessible during the height of the winter and early spring. Generally, campgrounds begin opening in late May to early June. Bring your own TP and water during winter months. I believe Mud Creek Forest Camp is the only campground with potable water from a well. If you plan to camp elsewhere, you can obtain water from a spigot at the ranger station in Lakeview, OR (Call ahead of time if you plan to arrive after hours or on weekends to learn the location of the spigot.). If camping north of Oregon Highway 140, then fill water containers at Mud Creek Forest Camp to take for camping at one of the primitive (but nice) camps north of there. For camping south of OR 140, bring water obtained at the Lakeview ranger station, or bring a water filter to obtain cold water from adjacent creeks, or boil it sufficently to kill potential germs.

We found that all of the forest campgrounds we visited in the mountains east of Lakeview were well maintained with clean outhouses or vault toilets, supplied with ample TP, although one should be supplied with at least one full roll of TP. Campsites have picnic tables and fire rings.

Most forest sites in the North Warners east of Lakeview are within a 30 minute to one hour drive of Lakeview, so there's opportunity to stay at a motel there and venture out on day trips.


Resources:

Fremont-Winema National Forest - USFS website. Note the phone number and address for the Lakeview Ranger District office located in Lakeview, OR. I've had a number of phone and in person interactions with their staff and they have always been very helpful, including having the recreation person call me back with specific information about trail or road conditions, snow levels, etc. This is also a good spot to purchase the Lakeview Ranger District map.

Lakeview Ranger District Map, Fremont-Winema National Forest (2017) - This is a large foremat map with the latest road and trail alignments. We had been using the 1995 forest map and it had some serious problems (roads have disappeared or been realigned so they don't pass through private inholdings within the forest). Purchase online or from the Lakeview Ranger District office in Lakeview, OR.

100 Hikes/Travel Guide: Eastern Oregon by William L. Sullivan - This book has a description of a hike up to the crest of Abert Rim as well as a trail up Crooked Creek to the highlands between Twelvemile and Drake and Light Peaks.. It should be available at many book stores that cater to hikers and nature enthusiasts. Obtain the latest edition for the most current information.


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Two views of the southeastern corner of the Fremont-Winema National Forest looking north from FS Road 3915 between Willow Creek and Deep Creek Campgrounds. The view at left looks towards Drake Peak (8407') just right of center. Drake Lookout is located at the left end of the flat ridge west of Drake Peak. The photo at right looks along the eastern edge of the national forest onto private ranchland with Big Valley at center and left, site of a large ranch. Although several BLM maps incorrectly show public access along roads through the valley, one cannot drive all the way through, and the roads get worse the farther into the valley one drives, so I'd advise staying out.

Paul Slicher E-mail