Hart Mountain Antelope Refuge to Frenchglen

Discussion in 'Pacific Northwet - Where it's green. And wet.' started by big_weight, Jul 23, 2012.

  1. big_weight

    big_weight Adventurer

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    I am planning a solo trip to Steens Mountain.

    1. Based on latest info I have seen, it appears that wildfires are largely under control, pending, of course, new fires.
    2. I can't tell from my maps if the Plush Cutoff Road to Hart Mountain Road to Frenchglen Road to Rock Creek Roads are gravel or paved. Anybody know?
    Thanks,
    Bill
    #1
  2. Apple Jam

    Apple Jam Forest Flyer

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    Fast, very fast, easy and applesauce smooth gravel, straight forever...
    ...Watch out when the corners do come up on you,... and you're going 70 :eek1

    except for the hill descending into Plush,
    heavy washboard when I was there late last July, but I heard it had been regraded.

    Street bike-able :nod
    #2
  3. pdxmarcus

    pdxmarcus Adventurer

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    Just rode through Hart Mtn Refuge 2 days ago...

    -Miller Homestead fire has been 95% contained and Long Draw is fully contained. Reportedly only minor mop-up operations going on(according to a local in Fields). We saw no smoke or fire activity.

    Road from HMAR is graded smooth all the way down to Plush.

    Enjoy the ride!
    #3
  4. big_weight

    big_weight Adventurer

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    Thanks for info guys. Doubt that I will run 70, but good to know that it is a smooth road.

    I am starting out from Eugene and returning Vancouver, WA so I thought going through HMAR would let me see lots of new country, at least to me, that is.
    #4
  5. wibby

    wibby BrotherFromAnotherMother

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    Pretty easy riding, I did Hart mountain to the Alvord at night :ricky
    #5
  6. oldmonkeybut

    oldmonkeybut Digital Emigrant

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    [​IMG]

    Smooth and fast !!!!

    Watch out for cows and other carbon based life forms.
    #6
  7. pHelix

    pHelix Eternal n00b

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    Plush cutoff road is paved. You won't hit gravel until a few miles north of Plush, just before you enter the refuge, itself. You'll be on smooth gravel from there to where Rock Creek Road hits the highway south of Frenchglen.

    Hope you're prepared for lots of mosquitos!:deal:lol3
    #7
  8. Easy-Z

    Easy-Z Me wanna be

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    Jealous! I did it twice last year. Spring the gravel was nicely graded. In October it was 45 miles of washboard.

    Still a great ride. I morbidly want to see it all burned up. Just cuz.
    #8
  9. wibby

    wibby BrotherFromAnotherMother

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    Wasn't any gravel through the refuge when I rode it, just a nice dirt two track

    Lots of fuckin wabbits though

    And the 'lopes would come a running just to check me out, curious bastiges they are
    #9
  10. Wallowa

    Wallowa Long timer

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    Last year I went from Frenchglen through the HMR to Adel and back around to Fierld...the HMR dirt road was heavily washboarded; most on East 1/3...picking a speed [usually 45 +] to "float" on the washboard made the corners 'interesting'..did have antelope blitz across in front of me....man are they fast across uneven ground!

    Oh yes, be certain to ride the entire Steen loop and not just the north side...the south leg of the loop is spectacular.
    #10
  11. big_weight

    big_weight Adventurer

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    Thanks to all for the info. I am particularly excited to hear about the mosquitos, as they typically swarm to me. I just hope that the Steens Mountain mosquitos are not "big enough to stand flat-footed and breed a turkey"!
    #11
  12. Ladukebob

    Ladukebob lost in hood river

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    Mosquito's aren't quite as bad up at Fish Lake on the Steens Loop Rd. on the Frenchglen side of the mountain.
    #12
  13. twentyvolume

    twentyvolume Adventurer

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    Just digging this thread up.. some good info, thanks!

    In a few weeks I am going to head from the Alvord / French Glen over to the Paisley / Summer Lake area. What are the roads through and South of Hart Mountain like? Anyone been out there recently?

    I'd like to stop at the hot springs on Hart Mountain, and then continue on to 140, and then 395 on up to Paisley.
    #13
  14. Glidedon

    Glidedon master of none

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    I'm headed up to Hart Mt.,and Steens in mid July. 14 or 15th. I 'll be solo and would'nt mind a meet up.
    #14
  15. sprocket3

    sprocket3 Been here awhile

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    I was out there over the weekend. I've been out there about 15 times in the last seven years.

    Are you talking about the road that goes from Guano Lake/Creek into the south end of the refuge?

    The road that connects to Catlow Valley area is a freeway like the photo shows.
    #15
  16. twentyvolume

    twentyvolume Adventurer

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    Cool! I have never been out there. Looking forward to it. Any info you could share would be great.

    One route I had mapped out goes south to Warner Peak, across Guano Creek, and down past Fisher Lake, to put me on 140. The other route, that is probably less fun, is to take Hart Mountain Road (Hwy 3-12), down and around to 140.

    I'd love to take the first route that really goes through the whole area, but was just curious about road conditions through there. How sandy is it out there?

    Glidedon, I'll be out there around the 21st or 22nd of this month otherwise I'd be down to meet up. I'll report back with any road conditions when I'm home!
    #16
  17. sprocket3

    sprocket3 Been here awhile

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    There is a cool cabin called Shirk Ranch near where Guano Creek hits the lake. The route that follows the creek from Guano Lake toward the main refuge is very rough. The section I was on is paved in 4"-6" natual rock. There is no sand to be concerned about. Lots of dust. The lake is Dry. Three homestead in the valey to poke around in.


    I'll need to look up 3-12, but it might be the road I was on Saturday. Where do you want to start and end?
    #17
  18. Glidedon

    Glidedon master of none

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    That would be great!

    Thanks,

    Don
    #18
  19. doggitter

    doggitter Long timer

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    If you want less hardtop from west end of Hart Mtn go NW past Rabbit Hills, to Hogback Mtn Rd I think it is, ending at the north end of Abert Rim. From there you can jog and cross the pavement and hit roads that will lead NW to to just north of Paisley, all dirt and gravel.
    #19
  20. sprocket3

    sprocket3 Been here awhile

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    I think he wants to head SE from Hart Mtn towards 140. The Hogback heads Northwest. It's a great road if you want to get out to Christmas Valley.

    Can you read NG Topo Map Files? I've got some routes tracked out somewhere from my first trips out.

    There are lots of cool places to see in that area.

    Pueblo Mnts (North and South sections)
    Steens Loop Road
    Bog Hot Springs
    Hart Mount
    Alvord Dry Lake (couple hot springs in the area too)
    Owyhee Three Forks Area

    Guano Lake is so so compared to some of the other spots. It's just a big dry basin with a cool ranch in the NW corner. After you've seen 20 homesteads they all start to look the same though. If I'd never been to that corner of the state it would not make my short list. Number of days and where you are driving in from would make a big difference on your route.
    #20