Malheur National Wildlife Refuge

New Princeton, Oregon

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Highlights include one of the oldest, largest, and most productive federal wildlife refuges in the United States, and the ultimate collecting pool for the vast, internally drained Harney Basin, which is the Oregon segment of the Great Basin. The Fish and Wildlife Service has some wonderful exhibits at Refuge Headquarters, mostly of stuffed birds, but they teach little about the geology of the two immense lakes that essentially make up the refuge. To understand the lakes’ geological significance, you need to know that Harney Basin, covering one-fifth of Oregon, is part of the Great Basin, which occupies most of Nevada and parts of Oregon, Utah, and Idaho. As with the rest of the Great Basin, the Harney Basin has no external water drainage to the ocean (although the Owyhee River, which flows into the Snake River, cuts across the basin).

Malheur National Wildlife Refuge Professional Review and Guide

"Highlights include one of the oldest, largest, and most productive federal wildlife refuges in the United States, and the ultimate collecting pool for the vast, internally drained Harney Basin, which is the Oregon segment of the Great Basin. The Fish and Wildlife Service has some wonderful exhibits at Refuge Headquarters, mostly of stuffed birds, but they teach little about the geology of the two immense lakes that essentially make up the refuge.

To understand the lakes’ geological significance, you need to know that Harney Basin, covering one-fifth of Oregon, is part of the Great Basin, which occupies most of Nevada and parts of Oregon, Utah, and Idaho. As with the rest of the Great Basin, the Harney Basin has no external water drainage to the ocean (although the Owyhee River, which flows into the Snake River, cuts across the basin)."

Activity Type: Fishing, Off-Highway Drives
Nearby City: New Princeton
Distance: 55
Trail Type: Shuttle
Access: Easy
Local Contacts: US Fish and Wildlife Service; Malheur National Antelope Refuge
Local Maps: USGS New Princeton, Malheur Lake East, Malheur Lake West, The Narrows, Northeast Harney Lake, Northwest Harney Lake, Stinking Lake, Moon Reservoir, Oakerman Lakes
Driving Directions: Directions to Malheur National Wildlife Refuge

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May 2018