“This part of the ODT is suitable for running, biking, and horses.”
— Renee Patrick
River/Creek · Spring · Views
In this section, the ODT follows a paved road along the Chewaucan River out of Paisley to the Fremont National Recreation Trail at the Chewaucan Crossing Trailhead, and then takes this trail and a road south to Highway 395 between Valley Falls and Lakeview. This area is a contrast from the dry and treeless high desert of Diablo Rim but still retains many features of the high desert and provides stunning views east to Coglan Buttes and Abert Rim. Water sources (creeks and developed springs) are ample, and the singletrack trail is maintained by the U.S. Forest Service and other user-groups. The trail is suitable for running, biking, and horses, and can be great to follow in spring, summer, and fall. Expect to see lots of cows in the spring and summer.
Need to Know
This is an abbreviated description and only includes references a few key waypoints (also shown on the map). Section mileages shown here 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
From Paisley (WB078), the ODT heads west on Mill Street, a paved road that parallels the Chewaucan River. Despite being along a road, there are pleasant views of the river and surrounding hills. After about seven miles the road passes Marsters Spring Campground (WB082), and another half mile south on the east side of the road is the Chewaucan Crossing Trailhead and campground (WB083; three free campsites, water from the river). Here the ODT crosses the river on a footbridge and follows the well-signed Fremont National Recreation Trail (see photos) south for about 33 miles to the Cox Trailhead (WB104).
It is a diverse trail, passing through pine and mixed-conifer forest, open sage slopes, and through some magnificent mahogany stands. This trail climbs past Cat Canyon (WB085; creek water here June 2013), Skunk Hollow (WB087; creek water here June 2013), and Avery Pass (WB088) to arrive at Morgan Butte Fire Lookout (WB091).
South of Morgan Butte, the trail passes Myers Meadow Spring (off trail near WB093; water), Round Pass (WB095; spring), Moss Pass (WB097, see photo), Green Creek (WB098; water here June 2013), and Pine Creek (WB099; water here June 2013). For those wanting a night away from the trail, consider staying at Willow Creek Ranch, just a few miles from WB101 (see the town guide for more information).
Watch out for stinging nettles near WB102! The developed trail ends at Cox Pass Trailhead (WB104), and here the ODT follows the maintained road south, passing the Fawn Creek drainage at WB106 and descending from forest land to agricultural land along Cox Creek Road. About a half mile after WB108, this road turns left (east) and meets up with Highway 395 at WB109. The final stretch in this section follows paved Highway 395 north to Deter Ranch Road (WB111).