6. Hart Mountain Campground
Habitat: A remote high desert refuge of 278,000 acres with a dramatic west-facing fault block scarp rising 3,000 feet above the valley floor. Managed by US Fish and Wildlife Service, this refuge was established in the 1930's to provide spring, summer, and fall habitat for Pronghorn Antelope. It has large areas of high elevation sagebrush with scattered juniper woodlands; riparian, aspen, small lakes, cliff, and isolated stands of Ponderosa Pine habitats.
Birds: Sage-grouse can be found in upland habitat in summer by hiking cross-country from the campground while searching for wildflowers. In the late summer and early fall (August through October), Sage-grouse can be commonly seen within a .25 mile of a water source or meadow habitat. Other species commonly found in the sagebrush habitats of Hart Mountain include Common Nighthawk; Horned Lark; Common Raven; Vesper, Brewer's and Savannah Sparrows; Sage Thrasher; and Western Meadowlark.
Directions: From the Hart Bar, stay on CR 3-12 until it turns to gravel. Stay on the gravel road for 9 miles to Refuge Headquarters, then travel S for 1.7 miles, and W (at the fork) for 2.5 miles to the campground and hot springs. Due to the high elevation climate and remote nature of this refuge, travel by passenger vehicle is not recommended between November and mid-May. Note: Fill your vehicle with gas in Lakeview, Adel, or Plush before traveling out to the refuge.
Attraction: There is a developed hot springs at the campground.
Nearby Attraction: For the more adventurous birder, head E at the fork in the road 1.7 miles S from headquarters (or 2.5 miles from the campground) for 12 miles on the dirt road to an isolated stand of Ponderosa Pine and riparian habitat known locally as the Blue Sky Hotel. This area has yielded some rare Oregon sightings to ornithologists during the migration period (April through May) including Flammulated Owl; Summer Tanager; Least Flycatcher; Scarlet Tanager; Ovenbird; American Redstart; Red-eyed Vireo and many more. Nesting species likely to be observed include House Wren; Warbling and Solitary Vireos; Cordilleran Flycatcher; Nashville and Orange-crowned Warblers; and Black-headed Grosbeak.