DescriptionMalheur National Forest embraces the southwestern section of the Blue Mountains and extends south to Oregon's high desert. The forest reaches its highest elevation in the Strawberry Mountain Wilderness, which has several peaks over 8,000 feet. Elsewhere the mountains present rolling, forest-covered slopes interspersed with large meadows. Wildflowers brighten the slopes in season.
The Malheur River and the North Fork of the Malheur have their headwaters in the forest. These two rivers flow through rock canyons and provide opportunities for hiking, fishing and wildlife sightings.
Other major rivers in the forest include the headwaters of the Silvies and John Day rivers as well as a number of smaller creeks. Of the several alpine lakes in the forest, the most popular is Magone, which is about 30 miles north of John Day; camping and picnicking are permitted.
Other areas of interest are the Monument Rock Wilderness and the Vinegar Hill-Indian Rock Scenic Area, with its abandoned gold mines and mountain meadows.
The extensive network of 800 miles of trails, 500 of which are groomed, coupled with numerous forest roads makes hiking a favorite activity, in addition to fishing, mountain biking, rockhounding and skiing, in season. For additional information contact the Forest Supervisor, Malheur National Forest, 431 Patterson Bridge Rd., P.O. Box 909, John Day, OR 97845; phone (541) 575-3000.