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Oregon Desert Trail (Seg. 3): Squaw Flat to Lost Forest

Intermediate
  4.0 ( 2 ) Favorite

Trail

29.0 mile 46.6 kilometer point to point
100% Runnable
Intermediate

Elevation

Ascent: 507' 154 m
Descent: -901' -275 m
High: 4,854' 1,479 m
Low: 4,403' 1,342 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 1% (1°)
Max Grade: 4% (2°)

Dogs

Unknown
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Map Key

Trail shared by Renee Patrick

Check out the lava fields at Lava Mountain and stop for a drink at Peter's Creek Campground.

Renee Patrick

Features Views

**Please read and understand this disclaimer before hiking the Oregon Desert Trail.**

Overview

This section navigates around the lava field of Lava Mountain and across a juniper and sage flat to Peters Creek OHV Campground, and continues to the southeast to Lost Forest. The two-track and cross-country stretches are fairly strenuous, as the sage can be quite tall and thick in places. South Reservoir is muddy cow-water and cannot be counted on for safe drinking, but there is water in spigots at Peters Creek Campground. This section could be mountain biked by using two-track roads near the cross-country stretches.

Need to Know

This is an abbreviated description and only includes references to a few key waypoints (also shown on the map). Section mileages on the Hiking Project may differ slightly from the ODT guidebook. A full description of the route can be found in the Oregon Desert Trail Guidebook

For more info and to download ALL of the waypoints for the ODT, visit ONDA.org

South Reservoir is muddy cow-water and cannot be counted on for safe drinking, but there is water in spigots at Peters Creek Campground. This section combines a series of cross country, and 2-track road walking.

Description

From South Reservoir (CV085) the ODT heads southeast cross-country through juniper forest, and after a gentle climb and descent, arrives at a two-track road (CV087) at the north boundary of the East Lava Field lava flow. Heading east on the two-track road, the ODT follows the northeast edge of the East Lava Field, and crosses through a couple barbed wire fence gates. At CV091, the two-track road enters an unfenced island of private property and exits at CV092but to stay on public land the ODT travels cross-country along the private propertys west and south side to CV092, then back onto the two-track road, heading south. This road comes to a barbed wire fence (CV093), and here the ODT turns east and starts a 7.7 mile cross country section that follows this fence to the well-traveled Millican Road. Please stay on the north side of this fence, as it is private property to the south.

Crossing Millican Road, the ODT continues a cross-country stretch to the east. The cross-country piece crosses two-track roads, and eventually one can glimpse a large transmission line in the distance to the east. The ODT crosses Peters Creek drainage, travels under the transmission line, and continues until it hits the gravel Frederick Butte Road (CV098). From here its a short run north along this road to arrive at the Peters Creek OHV Park campground entrance, a welcome source of shady trees and water (camp at CV101).

The ODT heads south on the Frederick Butte Road from the campground and turns left (southeast) on a two-track road just after crossing a cattle guard. This road forks, and the ODT stays left (southeast) toward the scattered junipers in the distance. Upon reaching a four-way intersection, the ODT follows the left (east) dirt two-track road through juniper forest and passes through a barbed wire fence gate. The junipers thin out and soon the road travels into open sage country.

The trail follows this two-track east, crossing another barbed wire fence gate, to a four-way intersection, at which point the trail turns right (south) and continues on a two-track road to a cluster of manmade improvements at Mean Rock Well (CV109)a silo, propane tank, water trough all defunct. If there has been recent rain there may be some water in the water troughs, but these are not reliable water sources.

Here the ODT turns southeast off the road, crosses a barbed wire fence, and heads through the sagebrush toward the line of pine trees on the horizonthe Lost Forest. Moonlight Butte is the high point of the landscape about six miles east of Mean Rock Well, and the cross-country stretch heads roughly towards this butte until reaching a rock rim.

The ODT follows this rim to a barbed wire fence at CV111. After crossing this fence, the ODT crosses a well-traveled BLM road (which could serve as a possible water cache spot) and enters the Lost Forest Research Natural Area at a closed two-track road (just across the road to the south of CV111)a couple of large boulders prevent vehicle access here. The Sand Dunes are to the southwest, and its worth a short side trip to see these rolling hills of sand butting up against a pine forest.

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Dogs Allowed, Flora & Fauna, Runner Notes, History & Background

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  4.0 from 2 votes

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