Crooked River National Grassland The Crooked River National Grassland is a unique landscape that serves as a host for a variety of different activities from hunting, fishing and boating to hiking, rock climbing and OHV riding.  Come explore a place like no other!

Directions: Crooked River National Grassland is located primarily east of Highway 97, west of Highway 26, and north of Highway 370.  Most of the territory is within a triangle between Madras, Prineville and Terrebonne, Oregon.

Crooked River (North Fork) Wild and Scenic River. North Fork Crooked Wild and Scenic River of the BLM..

From its source at Williams Prairie, the North Fork of the Crooked River in central Oregon flows through meadows, prairies and canyons before meeting up with the main stem Crooked River. Flowing for 33.7 miles (54.2 km), the North Fork of the Crooked River abounds with opportunities for enjoying remote outdoor experiences.

Deep Creek Campground directions from Prineville, OR, take US Rt. 26 east 14 miles to Ochoco R.S. sign. Turn right at sign and go 8.3 miles to Paulina sign. Turn right at sign onto Forest Rt. 42 and go 13.9 miles to another Paulina sign. Turn left and go 9.4 miles to campground on right. NOTE: Entrance to campground is very steep.

The elevation is 4,300 ft. The campground is a spur with a loop in a stand of scattered fragrant Ponderosa pine on Deep Creek and near the Wild and Scenic North Fork Crooked River. While the water is not visible from the campground, it can be heard at some sites. This rustic pack it in, pack it out campground takes pride in its semi- wilderness feel. With only a grass understory and little middlestory, privacy between sites is fair.

This is bear country; practice safe food storage techniques. Open mid-May through mid-October.

Go for a hike in Ochoco National Forest From a low saddle on Road 150, the hike starts south down abandoned Road 155. Following the old road for about a mile, there are views south, down North Fork Crooked River canyon.

Crooked Wild and Scenic River Originating in the lush Ponderosa pine forests of Central Oregon’s Ochoco Mountains, the Wild and Scenic Crooked River flows through diverse landscapes before descending through a desert gorge to its impounded confluence with the Deschutes River at Lake Billy Chinook. Known for its world class fishing opportunities, the Crooked River Wild and Scenic River is comprised of three distinct geographic areas: the North Fork, the Chimney Rock segment and the Lower Crooked River.

Crooked Wild and Scenic River The Crooked River is noted for its ruggedly beautiful scenery, outstanding whitewater boating and a renowned sport fishery for steelhead, brown trout and native rainbow trout. Located in central Oregon, it offers excellent hiking opportunities with spectacular geologic formations and waterfalls. A portion of the designated segment provides expert class IV-V kayaking/rafting during spring runoff. The section of river from the Ochoco National Forest to Opal Springs flows through scenic vertical basalt canyons. The Chimney Rock segment is becoming increasingly popular for the accessibility of outdoor activities.

Contact Information of the BLM Crooked Wild and Scenic River: Phone 541-416-6700 Email BLM_OR_PR_Mail@blm.gov Address Prineville District Office 3050 NE 3rd Street Prineville, OR 97754 Latitude / Longitude 44.12968, -120.83155

Directions to the Crooked River at Prinville Reservoir from Biggs Junction on Hwy 84. Turn south on Hwy 97 and travel 3 and one half hours for 151 miles to the recreation facilities at the Prineville Reservoir on the Crooked River.

Directions North Fork: From Prineville, Oregon, drive southeast for 35 miles on the Post-Paulina Highway (OR 380). Turn left on Teaters Road and proceed 1.4 miles to an unnamed gravel road on the left. Drive approximately 6.2 miles to the seasonal gate at Telephone Springs. From here, you can park and hike or take one of the rough spur ways towards the river.

Chimney Rock Segment: From Prineville, Oregon, drive 12 miles south on the Crooked River Highway (OR 27). The wild and scenic segment begins here and continues south 7.3 miles to Bowman Dam.

Lower Crooked River: From Terrebonne, Oregon, drive 0.5 miles north on The Dalles-California Highway (US97). Turn left onto NW Lower Bridge Way/Lower Bridge Market Rd for 2.2 miles. Turn right onto NW 43rd St and drive 1.8 miles. Turn left onto NW Chinook Drive and proceed for 5.1 miles. Then NW Chinook Dr turns slightly right and becomes SW Horny Hollow Trail; drive another 1.8 miles and continue straight to stay on SW Horny Hollow Trail. The Otter Bench Trailhead offers several access trails to the river.

External Map

Lower Crooked River Back Country Byway Just 40 minutes east of the hubbub of Bend, Oregon, sleepy Highway 27 winds 43 miles north from Highway 20 to the city of Prineville. Although the entire route is a state highway, the southernmost 18 miles are unpaved but are of high-standard graded gravel suitable for a passenger vehicle. Private ranches are interspersed among public rangelands with views of rolling hills and towering basaltic buttes. After the paved section begins, the back country byway crosses the spillway of Bowman Dam before descending into the gorge of the Chimney Rock segment of the Crooked Wild and Scenic River with its dozen recreation sites. Here, access to camping, fishing and hiking opportunities are available year-round. Directions from Bend, Oregon: Drive 33.3 miles east on State Highway 20; the junction with State Highway 27 -the Lower Crooked River Back Country Byway- will be on your left.

There are nine campgrounds operated by the Bureau of Land Management on what is referred to as the Chimney Rock segment of the Lower Crooked Wild and Scenic River. The nine campgrounds are all within a seven mile stretch that lies below Bowman Dam and Prineville Reservoir. The Campgrounds are easily accessed from Prineville to the North or Bend from the South. There is a daily use fee charged for all the campgrounds but none charged for the two Day Use Areas. Two of the campgounds, Big Bend and Chimney Rock Campground have water.

Big Bend Campground is first BLM campgrounds located right on the famous trout fishing Crooked River. The campground is located approximately 0.5 miles down the road from the face of the Bowmwn Dam at Prineville Reservoir. Located about 30 miles east of Bend, Oregon and 10 miles south of Prineville, Oregon this campground is a quite spot to stay and enjoy the Crooked River. It is rustic with vault toilets and fire rings

Poison Butte Campground is second BLM campground located right on the famous trout fishing Crooked River. The campground is located approximately 1.3 miles down the road from the face of the Bowmwn Dam at Prineville Reservoir. Located about 30 miles east of Bend, Oregon and 10 miles south of Prineville, Oregon this campground is a quite spot to stay and enjoy the Crooked River. It is rustic with vault toilets and fire rings.

Devil's Post Pile Campground is the third BLM campground located right on the famous trout fishing Crooked River. The campground is located approximately 2.1 miles down the road from the face of the Bowmwn Dam at Prineville Reservoir. Located about 30 miles east of Bend, Oregon and 10 miles south of Prineville, Oregon this campground is a quite spot to stay and enjoy the Crooked River. It is rustic with vault toilets and fire rings

Cable Rock Campground is the fourth of the BLM campgrounds located right on the famous trout fishing Crooked River. The campground is located approximately 2.5 miles down the road from the face of the Bowmwn Dam at Prineville Reservoir. Located about 30 miles east of Bend, Oregon and 10 miles south of Prineville, Oregon this campground is a quite spot to stay and enjoy the Crooked River. It is rustic with vault toilets and fire rings

Chimney Rock Trailhead parking area is located on the right side of S Crooked River Hwy at approximately 3.0 miles down the road from the face of the Bowmwn Dam at Prineville Reservoir.

The entrance to the Chimney Rock Campground is a little further down the road a mile 3.1 on the river sided of the S Crooked River Hwy.

Lower Palisades campground is located approximately 4.2 miles down the road from the face of the Bowman Dam at Prineville Reservoir.Upper

Lone Pine Day Use Area. is located 4.9 miles down the road from the face of the Bowmwn Dam at Prineville Reservoir. No use fee area.

Lone Pine Campground is one of the BLM campgrounds located right on the famous trout fishing Crooked River. The campground is located by turning into the next driveway on the left. It is also located 4.9 miles down the road from the face of the Bowmwn Dam at Prineville Reservoir. Located about 30 miles east of Bend, Oregon and 10 miles south of Prineville, Oregon this campground is a quite spot to stay and enjoy the Crooked River. It is rustic with vault toilets and fire rings

Greenwod Day Use Area. is located approximately 5.3 miles down the road from the face of the Bowmwn Dam at Prineville Reservoir.

Stillwater Campground is one of the BLM campgrounds located right on the famous trout fishing Crooked River. The campground is located approximately 6.2 miles down the road from the face of the Bowman Dam at Prineville Reservoir. Located about 30 miles east of Bend, Oregon and 10 miles south of Prineville, Oregon this campground is a quite spot to stay and enjoy the Crooked River. It is rustic with vault toilets and fire rings.

Castle Rock Campground is one of the BLM campgrounds located right on the famous trout fishing Crooked River. The campground is located approximately 7.4 miles down the road from the face of the Bowman Dam at Prineville Reservoir. Located about 30 miles east of Bend, Oregon and 10 miles south of Prineville, Oregon this campground is a quite spot to stay and enjoy the Crooked River. It is rustic with vault toilets and fire rings.

Contact Information of the BLM Campground at Castle Rock: Phone 541-416-6700 Email BLM_OR_PR_Mail@blm.gov Address Prineville District Office 3050 NE 3rd Street Prineville, OR 97754 Latitude / Longitude44.15814, -120.83395 Fee $8 per night; $2 per extra vehicle (tow vehicles excluded) with a maximum of two vehicles allowed per site. Directions From Prineville, Oregon: Drive 12.4 miles south on State Highway 27; the campground will be on your right. External Map

Crooked River Ranch RV Park

Check in time: 2:00pm-Check out time: 12:00pm

• 90 RV Spaces (1 tent per RV site charged upon permission from staff)
• 20 Tent Spaces (1 tent per site; extra charge for 2nd tent)

Smith Rock State Park.

Directions to Smith Rock on the Crooked River. Depart US-20 / Or-126 / McKenzie Hwy toward E Jefferson Ave for 0.3 miles. Bear left onto Or-126 for 18.3 miles.   Keep straight onto OR-126 E / SW Highland Ave for 0.6 miles. Turn left onto US-97 for 6.0 miles. Turn right onto Central Ave, and then immediately turn left onto 11th St. for 0.2 miles.  Turn right onto F Ave for 50 ft. You have arrived at your destination at Smith Rock State Park.

Prineville Reservoir State Park Scenic beauty, camping and water recreation at its finest in the High Desert.  Mountain waters flowing out of the Ochoco Mountain Range join to form the Crooked River. The river, confined by its canyon and the Bowman Dam, forms the 15-mile long, 3,000-acre Prineville Reservoir.  With two developed campgrounds and numerous primitive camps along its 43-mile shoreline, recreational opportunities are plentiful.

The fishing can be good anytime at Prineville Reservoir. The lake supports rainbow trout, small and largemouth bass, catfish, crappie, and crayfish. The trout fishing experience is year-round, with the biggest fish being caught during the winter months either by boat or from the shore.  The bass, catfish and crappie fishing is best between May and October. Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife fishing report.

Directions to the Prinville Reservoir at Bowman Dam from Salem: Depart the Morrison St. Bridge to the Prineville Reservoir at OR-27 / S Crooked River Hwy. The trip is 161 miles and usually takes 3.5 to 4.5 hours. Exit the Morrison Street Bridge over the Willamette River in the right lane and travel 292 ft. onto OR-99E S/ OR-22 / Front St NE for 1.0 miles. Keep straight onto OR-99E / OR-22 / Pringle Pkwy SE for 0.4 miles. Turn right onto 12th St SE for 0.1 miles. Take ramp left for OR-99E/ OR-22 east toward Stayton for 0.4 miles. Keep straight onto OR-99E / OR-22 for 82.2 miles. OR-22 merges with OR-20. Keep straight onto US-20 / Or-126 for 25.0 miles. At the roundabout, take 2nd exit for 1.2 miles. Keep right to stay on US-20 for 18.2 miles. Keep straight onto US-20 E for 0.3 miles. Keep straight onto US-97 S / US-20 E for 0.2 miles. Keep straight onto US-20 / US-97 for 2.3 miles. Turn left onto US-20 / NE Greenwood Ave for 4.3 miles. Bear left onto Powell Butte Hwy for 0.9 miles. At roundabout, take 1st exit onto Alfalfa Market Rd for 9.4 miles Road name changes to Willard Rd at 2.0 miles. Road name changes to SW Willard Rd at 1.8 miles. Keep right onto SW Reservoir Rd for 6.1 miles. Road name changes to SE Reservoir Rd of unpaved road for 3.0 miles. Bear left toward OR-27 / S Crooked River Hwy for 1.1 miles. Turn left onto OR-27 / S Crooked River Hwy for 1.4 miles. Arrive at OR-27 / S Crooked River Hwy at the Prineville Reservior. The access road to the Prineville Reservoir Boat Launch is located at the south side of the Bowman Dam.

Prineville Reservoir boat launch facilities. There is a no use fee boat launch located in the lower reservoir operated by the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department. Contact 800-551-6949 for additional infomation. Comments: Due to low water levels, the ramp will remain closed to trailered boats. Kayaks, paddleboards, and other small watercraft may still be launched from the ramp. For more information: Location: 44.10605 , -120.7777. The access road to the Prineville Reservoir Boat Launch is located at the south side of the Bowman Dam.

Directions for the approximately 42.0 mile trip to the Oregon State Park recreational area at Prineville Reservoir via US-97 and US-26 from Madras Oregon. Depart US-26 / US-97 onto US-26 toward Prineville, OR. for approximately 26.2 miles. Bear left onto OR-126 E / NW 3rd St, and then keep straight onto US-26 E / NW 3rd St for 1.6 miles. Turn right onto OR-380 / NE Combs Flat Rd. for 1.3 miles. Turn right onto SE Juniper Canyon Rd for 13.4 miles. Bear right onto SE Parkland Dr for 0.7 miles. Turn right to stay on SE Parkland Dr for 0.3 Miles. Arrive at the boat ramp located on SE Parkland Dr.

Crook County Boat Ramp Day Use is a no use fee boat ramp managed by the  Crook County Parks and Recreation District. Contact 541 447 1209 for additional information. Direction to the Crook County Boat Ram Day Use Area: once accessing SE Juniper Canyon Rd turn to the right onto the County Boat Ramp Rd at mile 12.6 and follow it the boat ramp located 1.3 miles at the end of the road.

Jasper Point Day Use Ramp is a no use fee boat ramp managed by the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department. Cantact  800-551-6949 for additional information. Direction to the Crook County Boat Ram Day Use Area: once accessing SE Juniper Canyon Rd follow the road 15.6 and follow it the boat ramp at the end of the road.

Roberts Bay East is a no use fee boat ramp managed by the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department. Cantact 800-551-6949 for additional information. 5 mph limit within 200 feet of the shore line and no towed watersports, except for safe take-offs and landings. Access to the Robert Bay East primative boat launch begins at the face of Bowman Dam at Prineville Reservoir. Travel south on S Crooked River Hwy all of the travel is on unpaved roads for 10.9 miles. Turn left onto SE Salt Creek Rd for 5.3 miles. Stay to the right and stay on SE Salt Creek Rd. for 3.2 miles. Turn right and travel 0.2 miles and you have arrived.

Blitzen River More formally the Donner Und Blitzen River, but known as the Blitzen, this Frenchglen-area river can be very good for native redband rainbow trout if you plan your trip well. Early summer can be good but conditions can get too warm in the heat of summer. Fall again can be good. There is a modest limit allowed on the mainstem and most tributaries above Bridge Creek (southern end of the refuge), but the Little Blitzen is strictly catch and release. Artificial lures and flies must be used. Check the regulations for rule changes.

Donner und Blitzen River The Donner und Blitzen River system is designated as a Wild and Scenic River, also includes several spring-fed tributaries—South Fork Blitzen River, Little Blitzen River, Big Indian Creek, Little Indian Creek, Fish Creek, Mud Creek, and Ankle Creek—totaling 87.5 miles (140.8 km) of designated river. The river system is home to a wild, native redband trout population and the Malheur mottled sculpin, both listed as sensitive species. It is recognized by anglers as one of Oregon's finest wild trout streams. Fish species in the Blitzen River above Page Springs Dam are redband trout, mountain whitefish, longnose dace and mottled sculpin. The redband trout is the species most commonly found in the system, indicating the presence of good stream habitat, water quality and quantity. Camping is available at Page Springs Campground.

Page Springs Campground Directions From Burns, take State Highway 78 southeast for approximately 2 miles. Tum right onto State Highway 205 and travel south for 60 miles to Frenchglen, Oregon. Just past Frenchglen, tum left onto the Steens Mountain Loop Road. Follow the Loop Road for approximately 3 miles before turning into Page Springs Campground to the right, just across the Donner und Blitzen River.

Millican Valley OHV Trail System The Millican Valley Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) Trail System consists of lands southwest of Prineville, Oregon along George Millican Road, extending south of Highway 20. Trails and play areas are provided for Class I, II, and III off-highway vehicles (OHVs), although other trail users can use these trails as well. Millican Plateau is open year round. North Millican and South Millican have seasonal closures.

Safety: The Millican Plateau area is remote and visitors should be equipped to be self-sufficient. Riders should wear appropriate safety gear, carry a first aid kit, and never ride alone. Most Forest Service and BLM personnel have radios and can give assistance. There is a cellular phone repeater on Grizzley Mountain and coverage is fair for most of the area.

Contact Information of the BLM Millicn Valley OHV Trail Systems: Phone 541-416-6700 Email BLM_OR_PR_Mail@blm.gov Address Prineville District Office 3050 N.E. 3rd Street Prineville, OR 97754 Latitude / Longitude 44.063328, -120.909106 Fee No Fees - Oregon State ATV Permit Required. https://www.blm.gov/visit/search-details/16787/2

Directions From Bend, OR take US-20 east through the town of Millican. Continue past town about 1 mile, look for Millican Staging Area Signs. External Map

Mineral Prospecting and Mining

Mineral prospecting and other mining-related activities (i.e. use of sluice boxes, suction dredges, pick and shovel work) are considered commercial endeavors, and not a recreational activity. The right to enter federal lands to remove valuable minerals such as gold, silver, or copper is governed by the mining laws like the General Mining Law of 1872 and the Surface Resources Act of 1955.

Information about mining regulations for federal lands can be found in 36 Code of Federal Regulations 228, or by contacting the Minerals Specialist on the Whitman Ranger District.

Recreational Gold Panning

Gold panning is an enjoyable past time for some visitors on the National Forest. Visitors may pan or search for gold on federal lands in the west, but they have the responsibility of knowing where to legally pan to avoid areas claimed by others. There are over 1500 active mining claims on the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest, with new areas claimed each day. Panning or searching for gold on someone's legal claim can be considered “claim jumping” and is not allowed. By law, mining claims should be marked on the ground generally by posts or sometimes paperwork for the claim is in a jar nailed to a tree. However absence of such markings does not mean the area is not legally claimed. Many areas in Wallowa, Union, and Baker County that are near roads or streams may already be covered by existing claims, and are not available for gold panning to visitors. 

If you want to review a specific area, please check with the local courthouse or BLM website that tracks the status of active mining claims in the state or Recording a Mining Claim or Site.

Areas Closed or Withdrawn from Mineral Entry

Areas closed to mineral entry include administratively 'withdrawn areas' such as the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area, designated wilderness areas, “wild” portions of wild and scenic rivers, administrative sites like campgrounds, recreation rentals, and special places such as the Ah Hee Diggings near Granite.

Books or internet web sites listing Antlers Guard Station, Deer Creek, McCulley Forks, and Eagle Forks campgrounds and Mason Dam Recreation Area as “recreational panning” areas are outdated and that information found in them is incorrect. The Wallowa-Whitman National Forest does not have any designated recreational gold panning areas.

Experience the Ochoco National Forest & Crooked River National Grassland

Rockhounding Information

Please help preserve our heritage. Treat cultural sites with respect. Do not touch petroglyphs or remove artifacts. Report crimes to resources including vandalism, dumping and suspicious activity at 1-800-637-9152.

Enjoy hiking on public lands, and please take care of these lands as if they were your own----because they are!

Additional guidelines for responsible hiking can be found on the following sites:

Rockhounding is the collection of reasonable amounts of mineral specimens, rocks, semi-precious gems, petrified wood and invertebrate fossils. Invertebrate fossils are the remains of animals that didn't have bones such as shellfish, corals, trilobites and crinoids. The material collected must not be sold or bartered. Arizona has many localities and varieties of collecting material. Not all varieties are found on public lands.

It is a good idea to check land ownership when planning a rockhounding trip. A good place to begin is the local BLM office. If you can point to a location on a topographical map (available at BLM) we can determine if the site is on public lands.

In most instances, public lands are open to rockhounding although no collecting is allowed in National Monuments. BLM can help you make this determination.

Suction Dredging requires permission from the Army Corps of Engineers.  In Phoenix, please call (602) 640-5385.  In Tucson, call (520) 670-5021. Prior to conducting suction dredging on BLM administered lands in Arizona; you will need to file either a notice or plan of operations pursuant to 43 CFR 3809.

For further information, contact the Prineville local BLM office at 3050 NE 3rd St, Prineville, OR 97754

  • Hours:

    Closed ⋅ Opens 7:45AM Mon
    Friday 7:45AM–4:30PM
    Saturday Closed
    Sunday Closed
    Monday 7:45AM–4:30PM
    Tuesday 7:45AM–4:30PM
    Wednesday 7:45AM–4:30PM
    Thursday 7:45AM–4:30PM
    Email: BLM_OR_PR_Mail@blm.gov blm.gov
    Fax: 541-416-6798 blm.gov or Contact the Oregon Geological Survey at 5375 Momument Dr, Grants Pass, Or 97526 Phone: (541) 476-2496

    Collection Limits - Free Rock, Mineral & Semi-Precious Gemstones

    Rocks, minerals and semiprecious gemstones may be collected on public lands managed by the BLM without charge or permit as long as:

    1. The specimens are for personal use and are not collected for commercial purposes or bartered to commercial dealers.

    2. You may collect reasonable amounts of specimens. In Arizona, BLM sets the "reasonable" limits for personal use as up to 25 pounds per day, plus one piece, with a total limit of 250 pounds per year. These limits are for mineral specimens, common invertebrate fossils, semiprecious gemstones, other rock, and petrified wood.

    3. A group of people does not pool their yearly allotment to collect a piece larger than 250 pounds of either rockhounding specimens or petrified wood.

    4. Collection does not occur in developed recreation sites or areas, unless designated as a rockhounding area by BLM.

    5. Collection is not prohibited or restricted and posted.

    6. Collection, excavation or removal are not aided with motorized or mechanical devices, including heavy equipment or explosives. Metal detectors are acceptable, with the exception of the San Pedro National Conservation Area.

    7. No undue or unnecessary degradation of the public lands occurs during the removal of rock, minerals, or gemstones.

    8. For pieces of petrified wood heavier than 250 pounds or situation not covered here, please contact your local BLM office.

    9. If you wish to obtain more than 250 lbs. of rock in a year, please visit the local BLM office to arrange to purchase it.

    Mineral Collecting on Public Lands

    Rocks are usually combinations of two or more minerals. The portions of different minerals making up rocks may vary, and the combinations of minerals may change within rocks of the same name. Granite, composed of quartz and potassium feldspar - usually with small amounts of mica or hornblende, may contain as many as a dozen other minerals. In addition, the portions of each of the minerals may shift from one deposit to another. This gives rise to the variety of local names.

    Because rocks are made up of varying mixtures of minerals, and because there are about two thousand different minerals, the number of possible combinations is limitless. It is therefore very difficult to classify rocks except in broad, general groups. The most general classification of rocks is by method of formation: Igneous, Sedimentary and Metamorphic.

    Mineral specimens are normally examples of a specific mineral or assemblage of minerals collected by people. Mineral specimens can also include rock types. Examples of mineral specimens found in Arizona include: quartz, azurite, malachite, selenite and calcite. 

    Semi-precious gemstones are used in jewelry-making and decorative arts. They are usually rocks that can be faceted or polished and are able to hold a shine. To collect semi-precious gemstones for commercial purposes, or in amounts greater than those indicated on this page, you should locate a mining claim. Contact your local BLM office to obtain information on locating a mining claim.

    Examples of semi-precious gemstones found in Arizona are agates, fire agates, jasper, onyx and Apache tears. 

    Petrified wood can be found in Arizona within the jurisdiction of the BLM Phoenix, Safford, Yuma and Arizona Strip Field Offices.

    Collecting of mineral and fossil resources is prohibited in certain areas being managed under special designation to protect their scientific and natural values, such as Research Natural Areas, National Conservation Areas, and National Monuments.

    Collecting Artifacts & Fossils 

    Indian and Other Historical Artifacts: You may not collect any artifacts, ancient or historical, on public lands. This includes arrow heads or flakes, pottery or potsherds, mats, rock art, old bottles or pieces of equipment and buildings. These items are part of our national heritage and scientists are still learning much from them. Human burial remains on both public and private land are protected by federal and state law from being collected.

    Vertebrate Fossils: These include dinosaurs, mammals, sharks and fish, or any animal with skeletal structure. You cannot collect these fossils.

    Invertebrate Fossils:  These include ammonites, trilobites, and common plant fossils such as leaf impressions and cones, and may be collected in reasonable amounts.

    Petrified wood can also be collected for personal use — up to 25 pounds each day, plus one piece, but no more than 250 pounds in any calendar year (43 CFR 3622). These materials must be for your personal collection and cannot be sold or traded.

    Permits

    Cultural Resource Use Permits are granted to professional archaeologists only (they must meet the Secretary of the Interior Standards as a professional archaeologist).  A letter from a BLM approved repository is required saying fossils or artifacts collected will be accepted. These items must be placed in the repository and cannot be kept by the collector.

    Rocks & Minerals: Rockhounding, Mining Permits & Information, Central Oregon Rockhounding, Central Oregon Geologic History.

    Rockhounding Areas: Whistler Campground

    Area Status: Open

    Located on the northern edge of Mill Creek Wilderness, this campground is located within walking distance from the Wildcat North Trailhead.
     
    There are many standing dead trees here so be careful where you wander and where you set your camp.
     
    Whistler Springs rockhounding site is located within the campground shortly downhill from the restroom that has a tendency to draw enthusiasts.  For visitors who are interested in either hiking in preserved wilderness areas, or scavenging for some beautiful stones this is a great place to spend some time.
     
    Visit our Rocks & Minerals page for more information on rockhounding.
     
     
    NOTE: The road getting to the campground, as well as the road within the campground, are both very rough.  Recreational vehicles and trailers are not recommended.

    At a Glance

    Reservations: This is a First Come, First Served facility.
    Area Amenities: Tent camping,Camping trailer,Picnic tables,Toilets,Parking
    Fees This is a free facility.
    Restrictions: There is a 14 day stay limit on all National Grassland and US Forest Service land including but not limited to campgrounds and other developed facilities.
    Closest Towns: Prineville, Oregon
    Water: No
    Restroom: Vault Toilet (1)
    Operated By: Forest Service
    Information Center: Ochoco National Forest
    3160 NE Third Street
    Prineville, Oregon 97754
    (541) 416-6500

    General Information

    Directions:

    From Prineville, Oregon:

    Travel north on Main Street for approximately 11 miles to the Ochoco National Forest boundary.  

    Main Street turns into Forest Service Road 27 at the forest boundary.

    Continue on Forest Service Road 27 for another 12 miles.  

    At the junction of Forest Service Road 27 and Forest Service Road 2745, veer right to stay on Forest Service Road 27.  

    Continue for another 4 miles along the wilderness boundary.  

    At the junction of Forest Service Road 27 and Forest Service Road 200, turn right toward Wildcat North Trailhead.  

    Continue past the trailhead and parking area, and you will drive straight into Whistler Campground.  

    NOTE: Unpaved sections of Forest Service Road 27 and the campground road are very rough. 4WD or AWD vehicles are recommended.

    Hells Canyon Wilderness Directions: Access the southern portions of the Wilderness from trailhead at Copper Creek, approximately nine miles north of Oxbow on the Oregon side. Primitive camping and restrooms available. No fees or permits required.

    Conditions vary significantly with season of use and elevation. Lower elevations may be accessible year-around, while higher elevations may retain snow well into summer months. Carefully consider time of year, topography, and elevation changes when planning your trip. Many trails are unmaintained, or seldom maintaed in primitive condition. For additional information call or write to: Phone 541-523-1256 Address 3100 H Street P.O. Box 947 Baker City, OR , OR 97814

    Latitude / Longitude 45.09555, -116.79106
    Directions: Access the southern portions of the Wilderness from trailhead at Copper Creek, approximately nine miles north of Oxbow on the Oregon side. Primitive camping and restrooms available. No fees or permits required.

    Conditions vary significantly with season of use and elevation. Lower elevations may be accessible year-around, while higher elevations may retain snow well into summer months. Carefully consider time of year, topography, and elevation changes when planning your trip. Many trails are unmaintained, or seldom maintained in primitive condition.

    Rugged hiking and equestrian travel in steep terrain offering breathtaking scenery and a variety of wildlife. Excellent opportunities for solitude and self-reliant, crosscountry travel. Be forwarned, the Hells Canyon Wilderness can be very hot in summer, finding reliable water sources may pose a challenge. Running water may usually be found in major tributary creeks to the Snake River. All water should be treated before drinking.

    Be sure to check clothing often for ticks, especially in humid, warm weather, or when traveling through brushy terrain. Watch for rattlesnakes and give them plenty of space. Some trails have been completely destroyed by flooding and have not been reconstructed; expect primitive trail conditions and anticipate the need for cross-country travel. Overgrown vegetation along narrow trails may include thorns and poison ivy. Check bulletin boards for seasonal fire restrictions and special notices

    Hells Canyon National Recreation Area of the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest challenges offer rugged hiking and equestrian travel in steep terrain, breathtaking scenery and a variety of wildlife. Excellent opportunities for solitude and self-reliant, crosscountry travel. Be forwarned, the Hells Canyon Wilderness ca be very hot in summer, finding reliable water sources may pose a challenge. Running water may usually be found in major tributary creeks to the Snake River. All water should be treated before drinking.

    Be sure to chek clothing often for ticks, especially in humid, warm weather, or when traveling through brushy terrain. Watch for rattlesnakes and give them plenty of space. Some trails have been completely destroyed by flooding and have not been reconstructed; expect primitive trail conditions and anticipate the need for cross-country travel. Overgrown vegetation along narrow trails may include thorns and poison ivy. Check bulletin boards for seasonal fire restrictions and special notices.

    Powder Wild and Scenic River

    Overview:

    Flowing 11.7 miles from Thief Valley dam to highway 203 in Oregon’s Baker County, the wild and scenic Power River cuts a weathered canyon in paces up to 500 feet deep. Access is limited, so cross-country travel may be required to get to the heart of Powder River country; however, one is rewarded with plenty of solitude for the effort.

    For additional information call or write to: Phone 541-473-3144 Email BLM_OR_VL_Mail@blm.gov

    Address Vale District Office 100 Oregon Street Vale, OR 97918 Latitude / Longitude 44.95174, -117.73141
    Directions From Baker City, Oregon: Head north on I-84 for 5 miles and take exit 298 for Medical Springs/OR-203 toward Halnes for 0.2 miles. Turn right onto OR-203 N/Medical Springs Highway and drive 9.7 miles to a bridge over the Powder River. The wild and scenic segment is immediately upriver from this bridge.
    Fishing Hiking Hunting Wildlife Viewing

    Curlew National Grassland Area Restoration: History https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yxc7mRKA7BU

    Return to the Oregon Coast Page 1.