Road Trip: Burns and Frenchglen

Oregon’s southeast corner is an area of remote and rugged beauty. Far from the wet coastline and forested mountains that characterize the state’s western region, this high-desert country is full of volcanic craters, craggy mountain peaks, untraveled back roads and abundant wildlife. Residents in these friendly small towns come from farming and ranching families that…

: Robbie McClaran


Located in the vast high desert of Southeast Oregon, Burns is a friendly town with a lot of heritage.

It also has plenty of outdoor activities. After all, Burns is near the Steens Mountain, the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, the Alvord Desert and many not-so-secret fishing holes and hot springs. Because Burns has easy access to epic, secluded scenic areas – the kind of places that you have to see to believe – you won’t mind the drive.

Trip Ideas

  • The Alvord Desert

    Last October, I had the opportunity to take a driving tour through Southeastern Oregon. I’ll be honest, I didn’t know what to expect. I’d heard of the hot springs and the mountains, but what I...
  • Steens Loop Tour Route

    Steens Mountain rises up from the sagebrush desert to nearly 10,000 feet. This 59-mile/95-kilometer loop includes the highest road in Oregon, traveling around and up this grand Great Basin landmark.
  • High Desert Discoveries

    I'm a big fan of Oregon’s wide-open spaces, especially east of the Cascade Mountains - where the distances are great and the people are few. My love affair with the high desert runs deep; my fondest childhood...
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Ask Oregon

What are the scenic backroads in Southeastern Oregon?

Southeast Oregon is a beautiful region with some great sightseeing opportunities. I love spending time in the city of Burns, they have some great parks and restaurants. Also, the Alvord Desert and the Steens Mountains are in the region as well. These a great stops with exciting backroads. I can recommend a few Scenic Byways…

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