Trip to the Steens Mountains in Oregon

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westcoast
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Trip to the Steens Mountains in Oregon

Post by westcoast » Tue Jun 19, 2018 1:36 pm

We are planning a trip to the Steens Mountains in the beginning of July and wondering if anyone on the forum has been there before. Looking for ideas on places to stay with moderate prices and the availability of gas as it looks pretty sparse on a map. thank you for any insight.


Rcf
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Re: Trip to the Steens Mountains in Oregon

Post by Rcf » Tue Jun 19, 2018 3:09 pm

I would suggest staying at the Frenchglen Hotel. It is the nearest hotel, reasonably priced, and historic. I think gas is avaiable nearby.

TravelGeek
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Re: Trip to the Steens Mountains in Oregon

Post by TravelGeek » Tue Jun 19, 2018 3:17 pm

Small correction. It is one mountain, so Steens Mountain :)

We have been there and want to go back. Lovely "empty" space. We came from the west on Hwy 20 and stayed overnight in Burns (has a bunch of motels) and then drove around the backside of the mountain (Fields-Denio Rd according to Google Maps), getting some gas at the General Store in Fields. Tiny place, also has a restaurant, but make sure you look at the operating hours for the store... gas probably not available after hours.

We spent the second night in Lakeview, OR, and then also explored the Hart Mountain National Antelope Refuge.

I have heard good things about the Frenchglen hotel mentioned by a previous poster and might check that out on our next trip (needed as we didn't drive to the top of the mountain).

westcoast
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Re: Trip to the Steens Mountains in Oregon

Post by westcoast » Tue Jun 19, 2018 5:42 pm

Thank you for the suggestions, we very much looking forward to the trip. Probably stay in Burns and take the trip around to Fields and up to Frenchglen. The Travel Oregon site was a great help, thanks.

Oreamnos
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Re: Trip to the Steens Mountains in Oregon

Post by Oreamnos » Tue Jun 19, 2018 6:13 pm

Fantastic area, but do not underestimate how remote it is. Lodging/food/fuel options are extremely few and far between. The Frenchglen Hotel is the primary lodging option, and you should plan to do the big family style dining there. Go to Fields Station for milkshakes. Drive to the top of Steens from the west, but also go around to the Alvord Desert, and do a hike up a trail on the east side of the mountain.

RudyS
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Re: Trip to the Steens Mountains in Oregon

Post by RudyS » Tue Jun 19, 2018 9:09 pm

westcoast wrote:
Tue Jun 19, 2018 5:42 pm
Thank you for the suggestions, we very much looking forward to the trip. Probably stay in Burns and take the trip around to Fields and up to Frenchglen. The Travel Oregon site was a great help, thanks.
Amazing what Google can come up with. I love Oregon, but wasn't familiar with Steen Mountain till now. That and TripAdvisor play big roles in my travel planning. Currently planning Colorado in early July - hope the fires don't interfere. Already have plane tickets, may have to do last minutes revisions.

TravelGeek
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Re: Trip to the Steens Mountains in Oregon

Post by TravelGeek » Tue Jun 19, 2018 9:27 pm

Oreamnos wrote:
Tue Jun 19, 2018 6:13 pm
Fantastic area, but do not underestimate how remote it is.
Trips like these are why I have AAA Plus with 100 mile towing. Not that I have needed it so far, but...

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MP123
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Re: Trip to the Steens Mountains in Oregon

Post by MP123 » Tue Jun 19, 2018 9:55 pm

TravelGeek wrote:
Tue Jun 19, 2018 9:27 pm
Oreamnos wrote:
Tue Jun 19, 2018 6:13 pm
Fantastic area, but do not underestimate how remote it is.
Trips like these are why I have AAA Plus with 100 mile towing. Not that I have needed it so far, but...
You might want the unlimited plan out there. :happy

TravelGeek
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Re: Trip to the Steens Mountains in Oregon

Post by TravelGeek » Wed Jun 20, 2018 12:16 am

MP123 wrote:
Tue Jun 19, 2018 9:55 pm

You might want the unlimited plan out there. :happy
Heh, I’ve been looking into getting a sat phone ;)

westcoast
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Re: Trip to the Steens Mountains in Oregon

Post by westcoast » Fri Aug 24, 2018 6:35 pm

We had a great trip to the Steens Mountain very beautiful country. The roads were paved most of the way to French Glen and plenty of gas there. The road from French Gle up to the top of the mountain was dirt with lot ants of dust. We have Honda CR-V so wasn’t any problem on any of the roads. A sedan could easily make the trip without any problems. I would take a class a or c motor home it would will have problems parking and turning around. We didn’t make it to the Alford desert as our crv started having problems, all of the safety device lights on the dashboard started flashing. We continued to the hamlet of Fields Oregon and fueled up. After restarting the crv the dashboard lights stopped flashing and we haven’t had a problem since. Got to say again very beautiful part of Oregon. Met cows on the road, wild horses, antelope and one deer. It was a fun time.

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GerryL
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Re: Trip to the Steens Mountains in Oregon

Post by GerryL » Fri Aug 24, 2018 7:01 pm

Also to see: Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. (In the news a few years ago for non-wildlife reasons, but apparently it has gotten back to normal.) And if you're into rockhounding, 30-40 miles west of Burns (by way of Hwy 20) is Glass Butte, which includes BLM land where you can pick up obsidian. Trick is finding it as it is not obviously marked, so you would need to be sure to get milepost or gps directions.

RudyS
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Re: Trip to the Steens Mountains in Oregon

Post by RudyS » Fri Aug 24, 2018 9:18 pm

Thanks, Westcoast, for the trip report. Glad you had a good time. About the problem with the safety lights on the dash - I had a similar situation on my Outback. Started it up on my way to the airport (!) and get check engine light, warning, and the Eyesight system was turned off too. Drove on anyhow, and no problems. Unlike your situation, the lights always came on each time I started the car. Final answer - bad gas cap. Seems that this can make the check engine light come on (which is well known) but for Subarus, that also shuts down all non-essential systems, like Eyesight. I'm not happy with that idea.

Wilderness Librarian
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Location: Idaho

Re: Trip to the Steens Mountains in Oregon

Post by Wilderness Librarian » Fri Aug 24, 2018 9:56 pm

Thanks for the update. Steens like a zillion other places has been on my bucket list for a long time. I will make it there sometime. Living in Idaho I would have been inclined to approach from the east probably though Jordan Valley. Actually my original thought years ago was to make two approaches different times of the year. One timed for the floor and environs and one for the higher elevations. I can now see higher probably better approached from north & west. Also of note in the area are the two wildlife refuges south of Malheur (established in part for pronghorns which it are felt evolved to escape predation by now extinct ice age carnivores). BLM has some good interpretative maps of the area with lots of interesting stuff marked.

High on my list for NE Oregon is Zumwalt Prairie Preserve

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