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 memories are rooted in family times centered on camping or fishing adventures. At the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge near Burns, Oregon,…

: Malheur National Wildlife Refuge by Kate Jorgensen


Sandwiched between the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge and the national forest near Burns, the former mill town of Hines maintains an Old West welcome and plentiful outdoor activities.

Go fishing in high-desert lakes, birding at the wildlife refuge or exploring on the High Desert Discovery Scenic Byway. The national forest draws hikers year-round and hunters seasonally. Get a flavor for the desert at Steens Mountain Brewing Company, one of Eastern Oregon’s newest craft breweries.

Trip Ideas

  • A Trip to Steens, Oregon’s Secret Mountain

    It seems like most people don’t know about Steens Mountain, and fewer have been. Other mountains get all the attention in Oregon: Mt. Hood, the Three Sisters, Mt. Jefferson and countless other snow-capped Cascade peaks...
  • 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...
  • 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...
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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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