Columbia & Great Basins of Central Oregon
Hart Mountain National Antelope Refuge
June 29, 1997
View from the west rim of Hart Mt., viewed southwest toward the Warner Valley and Plush, OR.
Hart Mountain is a long fault-block mountain rising steeply on the west, about 3600 feet above the Warner Valley, to achieve a height of 8,065 feet at Warner Peak. The eastern slopes are gentler, although the last 1000 feet also rise steeply. This area is largely grassland or a mixture of sagebrush and bitterbrush. Aspen trees line the creeks, one small band of Ponderosa Pine surround the headwaters of Guano Creek at Big Sky, and Mountain Mahogany may be found on the western slopes or on eastern ridgetops. The refuge is managed for Pronghorn Antelope, of which there are several large herds. It is also home to a large number of animal and plant species which may be found in the Great Basin of Oregon and neighboring Nevada.
Hart Mountain is located about 25 miles northeast of Plush, OR, or about 65 miles northeast of Lakeview, OR. The primary route into Hart Mountains leads from Lakeview, but one could also travel US-395 south from Wagontire, OR and take one of the gravel county roads south east which leaves the highway just south of Hogback Summit (I don't recollect the county road number, so travel this way at your risk. Another popular, although very rough route into Hart Mountain arrives from the east via Frenchglen, OR (about 49 miles).
View of the Warner Valley from the west rim of Hart Mt., looking towards the northwest.
Head east of Plush on Lake County Rd 3-12. This road is paved for about the first 10 miles, and runs through good birding country (Warner Wetlands). The road eventually becomes a gravel road, of fairly good quality, although it can become somewhat wash-boarded, which eventually climbs steeply to the refuge headquarters. Visit the visitor room, which is open 24 hours a day for backpacking permits, to pick up simple maps, and several brochures about the refuge, its wildlife, and its plants. The only car camping is allowed at Hot Springs Campground, about 8 miles south of the refuge headquarters. This campground is usually full during weekends during the summer months, and again during hunting season. The closest loding is 49 miles away in Frenchglen, or 65 miles away in Lakeview.
The closest lodging is 49 miles away in Frenchglen, or 65 miles away in Lakeview. Plush offers gas, phone service, water at a small park, a small restaurant, and a small convenience store.
This area is pretty desolate. The roads from Plush to the refuge headquarters, the road to Frenchglen, and the roads to Hot Springs C.G. and Blue Sky are passable by reliable passenger vehicles. All other roads should only be attempted via 4 wheel drives! Be aware that recent rain storms may make most roads very slippery, and perhaps impassable! Dry weather usually means bumpy, very dusty roads. Be sure to fill your gas tank before coming to these areas, and include a full spare tire, and other car repair gear as precautionary measures.
Hot Springs Camp Ground
Monkshood at right---->
1. Yarrow: Achillea millefolium
2. Western Blue Flag: Iris missouriensis
3. Longstalk Starwort: Stellaria longipes var. altocaulis
4. Sagebrush: Artemisia tridentata- Plants forming flower buds, but not yet in bloom.
5. Pearhip Rose: Rosa woodsii var. ultramontana
6. Quaking Aspen: Populus tremuloides- Not currently in bloom.
7. Mountain Snowberry: Symphoricarpos oreophilus
8. Red Columbine: Aquilegia formosa
9. Little Buttercup: Ranunculus unciniatus var. unciniatus
10. Stinging Nettles: Urtica dioica
11. Large-leaved Avens: Geum macrophyllum
12. Desert Currant: Ribes velutinum
13. Nettleleaf Horsemint: Agastache urticifolia var. urticifolia
14. Serviceberry: Amelanchier alnifolia var. alnifolia
15. Brown's Paeony: Paeonia brownii- Past bloom.
16. Clasping-leaf Arnica: Arnica amplexicaulis
17. Sticky Cinquefoil: Potentilla glandulosa
18. Slender Cinquefoil: Potentilla gracilis
19. Woolly Butterweed: Senecio canus
20. Green Rabbitbrush: Chrysothamnus viscidiflorus
21. Prickly Phlox: Leptodactylon pungens
22. Rydberg's Arnica: Arnica rydbergii ??
23. Narrow-leaved Paintbrush, Wyoming Paintbrush: Castilleja linearifolia
24. Specklepod Milk-vetch: Astragalus lentiginosus var. platyphyllidius
25. Threadstalk Milk-vetch: Astragalus filipes
26. Silverleaf Phacelia: Phacelia hastata
27. Strict Buckwheat: Eriogonum strictum var. anserinum
28. Tansy-leaf Evening-primrose: Oenothera tanacetifolium
29. Hoary False-yarrow: Chaenactis douglasii
30. Kellogg's Spurred Lupine: Lupinus caudatus
31. Antelope Bitterbrush: Purshia tridentata
32. Yellow Desert Daisy: Erigeron linearis
33. Taper-tip Onion: Allium accuminatum
34. Puccoon: Lithospermum ruderale- past bloom.
35. Woolly-pod Milk-vetch: Astragalus purshii- woolly pods.
36. Holboell's Rockcress: Arabis holboellii- seed pods.
37. Oval-leaved Buckwheat: Eriogonum ovalifolium var. ovalifolium
38. Meadow Death-camas: Zigadenus venenosus
39. Rough Bedstraw: Galium asperrimum
40. Hood's Phlox: Phlox hoodii
41. Small-flowered Penstemon: Penstemon procerus
42. Clover: Trifolium sp.
43. Monkshood: Aconitum columbianum
Many of the wildflowers found at Hot Springs C.G. may also be found along this road!
1. Eriogonum chrysops?
2. Blue Flax: Linum perenne
3. Common Camas: Camassia quamash
4. Alpine Sorrel, Mt. Sorrel: Rumex pauciflorus
5. Agoseris: Agoseris elata
6. Yellow Salisify: Tragopogon dubius
7. Curvepod Milk-vetch: Astragalus curvicarpus
8. Hairy Paintbrush: Castilleja pilosa
9. Large-flowered Collomia: Collomia grandiflora
10. Gray Horse-brush: Tetradymia canescens
11. Whitetop: Cardaria pubescens
12. Clasping Pepperweed: Lepidium perfoliatum
13. Richardson's Tansymustard: Descurainia richardsonii var viscosa
14. Elk Thistle: Cirsium scariosum
15. Milk-vetch: Astragalus - puprle flowers
16. Wormwood, Mugwort, or Sagebrush: Artemisia sp.
17. Barestem Buckwheat: Eriogonum nudum
18. King's Sandwort: Arenaria kingii
19. Pestemon: Penstemon species
20. Brewer's Navarettia: Navarettia breweri
21. White-stemmed Frasera: Frasera albicaulis var. nitida
22. Arrowleaf Balsamroot: Balsamorhiza sagittata
23. Showy Penstemon: Penstemon speciosa
24. Sulphur-flower: Eriogonum umbellatum
25. Tall Buckwheat: Eriogonum elatum
26. Wyeth Buckwheat: Eriogonum heracloides
27. Navarretia: Navarettia squarosa
28. Sticky Geranium: Geranium viscosissimum
29. Applegate's Paintbrush: Castilleja applegatei
30. Threadleaf Phacelia: Phacelia linearis
31. Daggerpod: Phoenicaulis cheiranthoides- pods.
32. Prairie Smoke: Geum triflorum
33. California False Hellebore: Veratrum californicum var. californicum
34. Tumblemustard: Sisymbrium altissimum
35. Blue-eyed Grass: Sisyrinchium angustifolium
36. Clustered Broomrape: Orobanche fasciculata
37. Mountain Mahogany: Cerocarpus ledifolius
1. Oregon Checker-mallow: Sidalcea oregana
2. American Speedwell: Veronica americana
3. Chamisso's Montia: Montia chamissoi
4. Mountain Sweet-cicely: Osmorhiza chilensis
5. Menzies' Campion: Silene menziesii
6. Rosy Pussytoes: Antennaria rosea
7. Tawny Horkelia: Horkelia fusca
8. Star-flowered False Solomon Seal: Smilacina stellata- past bloom.
9. Woolly Sunshine: Eriophyllum lanatum
10. White Bog Orchid: Habenaria dilatata
11. Woodrush Pussytoes: Antennaria luzuloides
12. Western Meadow-rue: Thalictrum occidentale
13. Monkshood: Aconitum columbiana
14. Sweet-scented Bedstraw: Galium triflorum
15. Ballhead Waterleaf: Hydrophyllum capitatum var. capitatum
16. Alkali-marsh Butterweed: Senecio hydrophilus
17. Mountain Snowberry: Symphoricarpos oreophilus
18. Alpine Sorrel, Mountain Sorrel: Rumex pauciflorus
19. Common Monkey-flower: Mimulus guttatus
20. Pearhip Rose: Rosa woodsii
21. Quaking Aspen: Populus tremuloides
22. Large-leaf Avens: Geum macrophyllum
23. Ponderosa Pine: Pinus ponderosa
24. Western Juniper: Juniperus occidentalis
25. California False Hellebore: Veratrum californicum var. californicum
26. Red Columbine: Aquilegia formosa
27. Wavy-leaved Alder: Alnus sinuata
28. Small-flowered Prairie Star: Lithophragma parviflora
29. Spotted Coral Root: Corallorhiza maculata- many yellow and red forms!
30. Nuttall's Violet: Viola nuttalii - Leaves only.
31. Shaggy Fleabane: Erigeron pumilus
32. Applegate's Paintbrush: Castilleja applegatei
33. Narrow-leaved Paintbrush, Wyoming Paintbrush: Castilleja linearifolia
34. Taper-tip Onion: Allium accuminatum
35. Small-flowered Nemophila: Nemophila parviflora var. austinae
36. Goosefoot Violet: Viola purpurea
37. Miner's Lettuce: Montia perfoliata
38. Blue Flax: Linum perenne