19. Cabin Lake Campground
Habitat: The presence of surface water in an arid environment (lake dried up long ago), combined with a juxtaposition--or edge effect--of sagebrush desert, juniper woodland, and Ponderosa Pine plant communities, provide diverse habitat for birds at this Deschutes National Forest campground. Just behind (W) the campground and Ranger Station are two wildlife guzzlers (rain collection apron, storage tank, and water trough) that provide water to two viewing blinds set up to closely observe and photograph wildlife.
Birds: In early May through late September, species such as Lewis' and White-headed Woodpeckers; Pygmy Nuthatch, Gray Jay, Clark's Nutcracker; and Greentailed Towhee can be observed at the viewing blinds or in surrounding forested areas. From August through early October this location is a great place to see Pinyon Jay. In winter, species such as Red Crossbill, Cassin's Finch, Townsend's Solitaire, and Stellar's Jay can be observed.
Directions: From the community of Fort Rock, travel N for 9.5 miles on Cabin Lake Road (FR 18), turn left just past the Ranger Station and follow a dirt road around to the west side of the compound. Most vehicles should, with caution, be able to negotiate this road. Park near the upper viewing blind; a foot-trail leads downhill about 100 yards to the lower blind.
Nearby Attraction: The Cabin Lake Ranger Station was used by Deschutes National Forest Rangers from 1921 until 1945, and later it served as a remote fire guard station. The Ranger's cabin will be restored and rented to the public as part of the US Forest Service Recreation Cabin Rental Program.