Saturday Oct 8th

Mandi & I took on a challenge to Overland in October (8-16), our plan was to explore a route through SE Oregon, to include the Steens Mountain,  Alvord Desert areas following about a 600 mile loop most of which was off road. We had left the night of Oct 8th and drove to Burns OR, and grabbed a motel for the night, after breakfast and fuel we were ready to start following the blue and red lines on the map below.
Alvord to Owyhee Overlanding Oct 22

Sunday Oct 9th

The first 50 miles are paved, before 100 of mixed dirt rock and gravel (add 30 miles, 15 in/out if you do the burnt car road – in retrospect we shouldn’t have, as I coasted into Fields Station on fumes, while Mandi had a 1/4 tank). We spent our first night on the trail at the South Steens Mtn Campground. The aspens were thin and there was thick smoke from fires, but it was still a good trail day.

Alvord to Owyhee Overlanding Oct 22

Monday Oct 10th

The next morning we made our way out and around Steens Mountain to Fields Station. Fields Station does have 87, 91, & Diesel, for those wondering. Check the hours of the cafe, gas station & store and plan accordingly (they generally close at 6 pm – pumps are off), also there is a motel but reservations are required. Next we move to the Alvord Desert playa for an evening all to ourselves and our first shower since leaving the Burns Motel.


Pictures from my phone…

Mandi’s FB Video…

Alvord to Owyhee Overlanding Oct 22

Mandi’s FB Album…

Alvord to Owyhee Overlanding Oct 22

Tuesday Oct 11th

The next evening we stayed Willow Springs campground and natural hot spring. 

Wednesday Oct 12th

A grand total of 151 miles out to Rome station for fuel & water. The last 30 miles on pavement US 95. Here’s where we called an audible and cut out on the Owyhee Canyonlands Discovery Route.

Leaving Rome OR, we hit dirt right away, which was great, but it was already after 2 pm, our goal was to find a good camping spot before dark. Simple enough one would think, but we got distracted by Coffee Pot Crater and “Mud Lake” and looking ahead we could see camping ahead, but we couldn’t actually figure out a good camping spot on BLM land or how to actually get to the Cow Lakes Campground. So we soldiered on try and failing on a couple of short cuts.

As darkness found us we decided to make a run for Leslie Gulch, a grand total of 120 miles all off-road/gravel roads and we arrived after 10 pm. Not our finest work but we made it to the last open spot. The funny thing was we were trying our best to be quiet for the other campers next to us and in the other spaces, choosing cocktails and charcuterie as dinner at that hour was out of the question, inside the tent only to here our neighbors come rolling in around midnight. 

Thursday Oct 13th

Thursday morning brought breakfast and laughs with the “neighbors” finding out they are a hunting group that had this area and another booked for 57 years, and that the crew next to us had tried the luck at night fishing without any luck. We then drove down to the “lake/river” all but dried up, and the began our route north, first checking out a trail that supposedly led to the dam, with a potential camping site at trails end, we thought this might have been Three Fingers Gulch, but found it still north of us on the map, instead we had a quick lunch before climbing back out of the canyon. So back out and onward the trail started to get more interesting, no longer a Subaru trail, we were rock landing now.

After a couple of hours, we could see some Succor Creek campgrounds on the map, but they were quite a ways further down the trail, but we set that as our goal, and thankfully found them not too busy or too late, arriving about 4 pm, we crossed a bridge and found “free” overflow or group camping to suit us as the front side had a few folks camped up near the pit toilets. We set up camp and played with our night time camera skills trying to get some cool shots. The ones below are mine, I’ll drop Mandi’s in when she provides them.

Friday Oct 14th

We decided over breakfast to see if we could make it all the way out and home today. The roads were now wide gravel roads interspersed with some incredible hill climbs, and descents, we needed to add our extra fuel to the tanks and eventually made it to Ontario, OR (again on fumes) just as the sun set.

Along the way we found a couple of interesting landscapes, formations, etc. Dropping out at the Lake Owyhee Reservior & Dam, before hitting paved roads on the ID/OR border. We grabbed a great Burger & fries for dinner, then jumed back over to Payette ID to use a car wash to knock the weeks worth of dust off, before blasting the 4 hours home a day early. We wanted the extra time to do a thorough clean-up of the Jeeps and gear as they were pretty trashed. We also had to chase down a few squeaks and clunks, having rattled everything including our teeth out there. All in all it was one of the best trips we’ve ever taken and we’re already thinking about returning to see the areas we missed…


Mandi’s FB Album… 

Alvord to Owyhee Overlanding Oct 22

Devil’s Gate