Sunday, September 24, 2017

Steens Mountain Wilderness, Oregon

Ben and I fled an incoming storm in the Sawtooths and headed for a "drier" forecast in SE Oregon. The weather turned out to be pretty bad, but Steens Mountain still is an interesting destination with very cool topography (for the parts we could see). We also saw an angry badger, wild horses, pronghorn antelope, coyotes, deer, and various birds including sandhill cranes and a golden eagle (which I hadn't seen since Mongolia). It was well worth it.

~24 miles, 4700' gain

A BLM-managed wilderness

Looking back west after leaving the trailhead in the campground

Big Indian Creek gorge

Aspens not ready to give up

Ben in upper Big Indian gorge

Big Indian gorge; Ben's picture

Starting the climb up to the plateau; Ben's picture

Snowy brush! Classic Luke & Ben fall trip...Ben's photo

Reaching the plateau at 9000'

Cold and windy

Every year we end up like this... Ben's picture

Angry, angry Badger; Ben's picture

Little Blitzen River gorge, from near the plateau rim

Ben peering down Little Blitzen

Waterfall and icicles

Looking back on the hike out

One of the wild horses on the drive out

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