Located just above the John Day River just south of state highway 218 near Clarno, Oregon, the Spring Basin Wilderness is a tapestry of rolling hills, providing spectacular vistas of the river and surrounding landscape. This unique wild area offers a profusion of desert wildflowers in the spring, along with recreational opportunities for hikers, horseback riders, hunters, botanists, and other outdoor enthusiasts. The Spring Basin Wilderness is dominated by big sagebrush, native bunchgrasses, and western juniper, providing important habitat and forage for native wildlife. Native bunchgrasses s cover most of the landscape, providing important habitat and forage for native wildlife.
The wilderness provides habitat for a variety of wildlife, including lizards, snakes, bobcats, coyotes, cougar, mule deer, and elk. A large number of birds also frequent the area, including chukar, meadowlarks, bluebirds, and sharp-shinned hawks. Golden eagles and red-tailed hawks nest in the vicinity, and turkey vultures can be seen soaring overhead.
The hike is approximately 6 -7 miles, with an initial steep ascent of about a mile, and from there on, a series of rolling hills, up and down, with a long descent. Views are magnificent!
The drive to the trailhead, next to the John Day, is about 2.5 hours. We'll car pool, share gas money. Bring a backpack lunch, two filled waterbottles or more, hiking boots.
Meet at 0700 Regal Pilot Butte, and we'll depart at 0715 (7.15 am) promptly, not waiting for latecomers.