Hart Mountain( Exploratory)

Friday–Monday, May 5–8, 2017
Leader: Jane Hackett
CarCmp: 1800 ft (Moderate)

When Bob Dark and I co lead the Hart Mountain trip July 9-12, 1993, there were lots of mosquitoes, not the snow and wind we experienced on this spring trip. We left Eugene around 7:30 AM Friday morning making our first stop at Fork Rock where we saw prairie falcons and took note that the picnic area was being repaired or removed. We arrived at Warm springs Campground at 3:30 to find campsites occupied or under water. We took the camp host’s site where we put up our individual tents and a large tent tied off to a tree and the picnic table hoping it did not blow away. After dinner we took a two mile hike up the road from camp jumping over running water and admiring the snow drifts on the ridge. The next day we hiked De Garmo Canyon but with the creek running so fast and deep, we headed down the creek until we found a large tree to cross. Picking our way up the canyon and sage brush, we found trails or made our own. The goal was to hike back to camp which I have done several times in the past but the wind and occasional spit of snow prompted us to reconsider. It was my favorite kind of hiking, most of it straight up or straight down over rocky ground. The hot springs not the warm spring weather was much enjoyed when we returned to camp. Several of the roads were closed due to water and deep mud and refuge signs clearly said that towing was not provided. It would cost $500.00 to get a tow truck from Lakeview. On Sunday we drove to Antelope Springs to find the petroglyphs. The hike began on flat country through the sage toward a break in the rim. As we got closer we started to see small chips of worked obsidian on the ground. Through a shallow narrow canyon ending in a circle of rim rock, we found the flat rocks in a circle with the petroglyphs surrounded by chips of obsidian. At the very end of the canyon, we spent time at a pool of water and then climbed out of the canyon to the area above the pool. We carried out a sieve that had been left for searching illegally for artifacts. We then drove to Petroglyph Lake where the road was closed so we hiked the two plus miles to the lake where there was water for a change. The rim with the petroglyphs is on the west side with most of the glyphs toward the north end. You have to walk the rim to find them. Monday after breaking camp, we decided to dig for sunstones, Oregon's state gem. The only sunstone mine in Oregon was nearby. A rock hound camped in the BLM area gave us a tutorial. For about an hour in complete silence, we looked for stones with the now legal sieve and were successful. We had an early dinner in Paisley and were back in Eugene before dark. Hart Mountain was a great trip and offered new experiences for all of us.

Members: Jane Hackett, Daphne James, Nancy Whitfield. Nonmembers: Leigh Williams.

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