High above the City of Bend lies the Badlands Wilderness Area. Badlands are defined as uncultivable grounds that have erosions which form distinctively sculptured hills. The Oregon Badlands are unique in that most of them are part of a volcano. Volcanos have tubes that carry lava, and a long time ago one of those tubes developed a hole in it, causing lava to form a shield volcano which is now known as the Oregon Badlands Wilderness.
The land has a haunting and desolate beauty and it is home to many species of wildlife, including the adorable and friendly yellow-bellied marmot, bobcats and mule deer. The importance of the land to mule deer is one of the many reasons that Congress gave it the highest level of protection in 2009.
Trails in the Oregon Badlands
There are several trails to enjoy in the Oregon Badlands Wilderness. Flatiron Rock Trail starts right at Flatiron rock. It is a fairly easy trail as there are few hills to navigate. You will see sage and Juniper trees along the trail as well as outcrops of ancient bedrock. The Ancient Juniper Trail is a loop trail that is mostly flat, and you will see trees there that are over 1000 years old. The Dry River Trail winds through the canyon and has some interesting rock formations. The dry river trail is one of the lesser-used trails in the Badlands and one of the most beautiful, because the juniper trees look especially large and shadowy as you are even farther beneath them than you would be on any other trail.
No matter what path you decide to take, it is always a good idea to bring plenty of water, wear a lot of sunscreen, and leave early in the morning before it gets very hot later in the day. Always bring a compass and never go off trail. The desert can be a confusing place to hike, because so much of the land looks exactly the same and it is easy to get lost. Dogs are allowed here, but be sure that your pet stays hydrated and do not stay out too long.
Where to Stay
A hike in the desert can be hot and dusty and you will want a nice cool place where you can take a cold shower and luxuriate in the air conditioning. The vacation experts at Arrived Now can find you the perfect place to stay. Book one of our spacious, beautifully decorated and comfortable homes online or call us today at 800-215-9880.