Domingo Pass, Harney County, OR

August 15, 2007, Fish Lake, Steens Mountain, Harney County, OR: We broke down our camp and stowed the gear. Chris has an exact system for stowing things and it takes a little time to do it right. The disadvantage to tent camping is the time it takes to set up and break down. If you stay somewhere for a week it is not a noticeable loss of time but on a daily basis it becomes a chore. Richard, with his travel trailer, has only to hitch the wagon to the truck, stow the chocks and leveling devices, and he is ready to roll. On the other hand, we are more mobile and can attack the rough, unimproved, roads with greater abandon.

Just a few miles south of Fields on SH 292 one of those rough, unimproved, roads heads west into the Oregon desert. The sign reads “Domingo Pass – Lone Mountain”. If you take this road it is the last road sign you will see for the next 60 miles. It is not the kind of road for ordinary cars (or for faint hearted people)… it is best to have four wheel drive coupled with some power to negotiate the road ahead. It is not wet weather road either. There are no culverts or bridges. What rock and gravel exists is exposed when the sagebrush was scraped away. Fortunately it doesn’t rain much in this country.

The road is basically two ruts about the width of an automobile. If you meet someone coming the opposite direction it is best to pick the widest spot you can find, crowd the edge of the road and let the other vehicle pass. It is easy to spot someone coming, a plume of dust follows each vehicle and can be seen for miles.

We stopped at the summit to take pictures and refuel the truck. The GPS reads 6,363 feet. The view from here is marvelous. A hiking trail leads along the ridge crest and it is tempting to walk a ways but the heat of the sun quickly discourages that thought. Hikers here must be well prepared and carry lots of water. I would walk early and late to take advantage of cooler temperatures and try to hunker down during the hot part of the day. You might have to carry shade. There are no trees. The only shade comes from the shadow of clouds and clouds are practically non-existent.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Related Images: