Introduction to The Oregon Desert Trail

The Oregon Desert Trail (ODT) is a new conceptual hiking route that traverses the wild and remote southeast corner of Oregon. The ODT is approximately 800 Miles long and weaves its way through some of Oregon’s most spectacular natural areas such as the Hart Mountain National Antelope Refuge, Steens Mountain Rage and Owhyhee Canyonlands. The route links a mixture of preexisting hiking trails, 4WD dirt trails, cross country travel and paved roads.

The area coved includes some of Oregon’s most extreme terrain and environmental conditions. The lack of reliable water sources requires thru-hikers to strategically place water caches before they hike or carry gallons of water over long stretches between water sources. The ODT is largely unmarked route. Anyone attempting the ODT must have strong navigation skills to safely complete the hike. The temperature can swing from below freezing to 100+ degrees from one day to the next. The terrain varies greatly from sandy to rocky exposed tread, bushwhacking through overgrown willows and sagebrush, and swimming down a river in The West Little Owhyee Canyon.   Lastly, due to the remoteness of the trail, contact with people is limited. Cell phone reception is spotty. The further east you go along the route the less connected you become to the modern world.

I will start my journey on the ODT on May 17th 2014 at the Tumulus Trailhead in the Oregon Badlands outside of Bend, Oregon. Please follow this blog to follow my hike. I will update it when connectivity is available.

Happy Trails,



Oregon Desert Trail - The Oregon Badlands Wilderness - Black Lava Trail

Oregon Desert Trail – The Oregon Badlands Wilderness – Black Lava Trail – April 27th 2014


5 thoughts on “Introduction to The Oregon Desert Trail

  1. I just learned of this blog through a link on Facebook. I will enjoy reading through it I know. I have hiked the Idaho Centennial Trail, and enjoy the desert sections. So I know from your pictures and what I have read so far I will enjoy learning about the ODT.

    1. Ron. Thanks for the comments. The ICT looks like an amazing hike. I was thinking that it would really cool to connect the ODT to the ICT then hike the PNT to the PCT back to Bend for a big loop around the northwest!

  2. Hey Man,
    Very cool website and adventure.
    I love that country especially Hart Mountain. You have done an amazing thing in some incredible country. Congrats.
    I came across this as I was looking for infomation about whether there was much water on Hart Mountain and it sounds like there is not. I was going to backpack there with a friend but I think it will be tough to find decent water.
    Thanks for posting such a great adventure.

    1. Thank you for reading my blog Karl. Yes, Hart Mountain area is pretty dry to the north. I did find water to the south of Hart Mountain HQ. I am almost done with my water report for the entire trail that I will post here. But the water conditions will certainly changed by now.

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