Malheur Wildlife Refuge, Diamond Craters

Burns, Oregon

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A 161-mile loop through Malheur Wildlife Refuge and the Diamond Craters Outstanding Natural Area. Malheur Wildlife Refuge is situated in southeastern Oregon’s high desert country. Although the elevation is 4,100 feet, the roads are flat and straight. Throughout the drive, the scenery is a mixture of alkali flats, rimrocks, and sagebrush covered hills, with the distant Steens Mountain on the southern horizon. Along the roadside you’ll see extensive marshes, meadows, and riparian areas. While Highway 205, Diamond Lane, and Highway 78 are paved, prime wildlife viewing areas are on long stretches of gravel; side roads into Diamond Craters are dirt. Special attractions: Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, Diamond Craters Outstanding Natural Area, Frenchglen Hotel, Peter French P Ranch and Round Barns, Harney Lake, Malheur Lake, wildlife, rock formations, and historic sites. This eTrail is a complete description of a scenic drive with a route map and information on the best travel seasons, interesting sites, recreation opportunities, camping locations, and much more.

Malheur Wildlife Refuge, Diamond Craters Professional Review and Guide

"A 161-mile loop through Malheur Wildlife Refuge and the Diamond Craters Outstanding Natural Area. Malheur Wildlife Refuge is situated in southeastern Oregon’s high desert country. Although the elevation is 4,100 feet, the roads are flat and straight. Throughout the drive, the scenery is a mixture of alkali flats, rimrocks, and sagebrush covered hills, with the distant Steens Mountain on the southern horizon. Along the roadside you’ll see extensive marshes, meadows, and riparian areas. While Highway 205, Diamond Lane, and Highway 78 are paved, prime wildlife viewing areas are on long stretches of gravel; side roads into Diamond Craters are dirt. Special attractions: Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, Diamond Craters Outstanding Natural Area, Frenchglen Hotel, Peter French P Ranch and Round Barns, Harney Lake, Malheur Lake, wildlife, rock formations, and historic sites. This eTrail is a complete description of a scenic drive with a route map and information on the best travel seasons, interesting sites, recreation opportunities, camping locations, and much more."

Activity Type: Scenic Drives
Nearby City: Burns
Distance: 161
Season: Year-round; best for wildlife in late March, September, and October
Local Contacts: Malheur National Wildlife Refuge
Driving Directions: Directions to Malheur Wildlife Refuge, Diamond Craters

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May 2018