Hiking in the Steens and Sawtooths (2008)

3 Parts to this summer's trip.
Part 1: The Steens, Part 2 the Sawtooths, Part 3 Dayville and my friends.

-> hiked 67 miles. 26,000 feet ascend/descend.
First 4-days did a big loop from the Grandjean Trailhead
Then drove over to the Yellowbelly Trailhead for the remainder of the trip.
Averaged 9+ miles per day.

From Sawtooths 2008
Daily Log:
  • Aug 12-14: Stopped in the Steens Mt (Malheur Reserve) for several days hiking and getting used to backpack, elevation, trail food, etc. Huge fault block rising from 4000' to nearly 10000' on the west side.
  • Aug 15: Drove from French Glen -> south along Catlow Ridge -> Fields -> Alvord Desert -> Alvord Hotsprings -> Jordan Valley -> Boise (met Dwayne, hiking partner).
  • Aug 16: Drove to Grandjean Campground in NW corner of Sawtooth Range. Hiked uphill through burn area from 5200' to 8500' to the McGown Lakes. [7 miles, 3300' elevation difference.]
  • Aug 17: McGown Lk -> Observation Pk (9150') -> Sawtooth Lake (over 9500' pass) -> campsite on creek below lake (8270'). [9 miles, 3300' elevation difference]
  • Aug 18: Camp -> N. Fork Baron Ck Jct -> Grandjean. [9 miles, 3200' elev. difference]
  • Aug 19: Drive around north end of Sawtooths to Yellowbelly Trailhead (off Hwy 75). Parked car at 7000'. Hiked to Farley Lk (7700) -> Edith Lk (8800) -> several passes at 9500' -> Edna Lk (8400). [10 miles, 3000' elev. difference]
  • Aug 20: Edna Lk -> Vernon Lk (8460) -> pass (8850) -> Ardeth Lk (8200) -> Tenlake Trail Jct (7600) -> Payette River Jct -> Hidden Lk (8200) -> Cramer Divide (9530) -> Payette Jct -> Virginia Lk (8254) -> Edna Lk (8400). [14 miles, 4100' elev. difference]
  • Edna Lk (8400) -> Sand Mt Pass (9400) -> Toxaway Lk (8320) -> pass (9400) -> Twin Lks (8860) -> Alice Lk (8600) -> Pettit Lk (7000) -> GPS shortcut to Yellowbelly Lk. [17 miles, 6300' elev difference. Ouch.]
  • Aug 21: drove back to Boise. Then Boise -> Ontario -> Vale -> Unity -> Austin Jct -> Prarie City -> John Day -> Dayville. Met my friends Kin and Pam (and their dads). Wonderful hospitality and another highlight of this trip.

Hiking in the Sawtooths (2008)

The Steens Mt. (Malheur) area in SE Oregon is a must stop. This 30-mile fault block rises out of French Glen (4000') up to nearly 10,000 feet at the summit.

View the Steens by selecting the image below. Or, select the full-size Picasa Web Album to view large pics and slideshow.
  • Video 1: Summit ridge of Steens Mt- viewing east
  • Video 2: Steens Summit (360 degree panorama)
  • Video 3: The Alvord Desert (desert floor below the Steens Mt).

Another very special stop is in Dayville --- next door to the John Day Fossil Beds. I always stop in this tiny community on my travels across the state. I was fortunate to spend some quality with Kin and Pam and their dads on this visit. They know the real Oregon (backcountry) and have so many stories to share. And are gracious hosts. It was a special evening --- they also sang and played their instruments for me.
  • Video 1: Pam and Kin singing. Kin designed and built his instrument.
  • Video 2: Howard Steele singing a song he wrote.
  • Video 3: Howard Steele singing another song he wrote.

Following is a 60-sec video of an elderly friend of mine who writes and sings country tunes of his lifelong experiences. He was visiting my friends who live in Dayville, Oregon., where I stop every few years on my way to hiking trips east of the Cascades.

Howard Steele (Dayville, Or)