Andy Kerr

Conservationist, Writer, Analyst, Operative, Agitator, Strategist, Tactitian, Schmoozer, Raconteur

26. Whorehouse Meadows

Suggested Citation: Kerr, Andy. 2000. Oregon Desert Guide: 70 Hikes. Seattle: The Mountaineers Books. p. 149.

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What to Expect: Luscious mountain meadows and sensuous aspen groves

Distance: 4- mile loop

Elevation Range: 7,200-7,600 feet

Drinking Water: Yes

Best Times: Summer, fall

USGS 7.5' Map: Fish Lake

Oregon Map Starting Point: Frenchglen

Approximately 17 miles up the North Steens Mountain Loop Road from Frenchglen is the turnoff into Fish Lake Campground. Just 0.4 mile beyond the campground, as the road crosses a flat, and to the east, is Whorehouse Meadows. The meadows are privately owned. Traditionally, the owners have not sought to prevent public enjoyment. Park where safe. There is no set hike route. It is open meadows; just let yourself be drawn in.

The ladies and their house (actually camp wagons and tents) are long gone, having serviced sheepherders and other pioneers. In a prudish fit—from which they've both since recovered—BLM and the U.S. Geological Survey unilaterally changed the name to "Naughty Girl Meadows." The public furor caused the U.S. Board of Geographic Names to find for history and honesty. The "current" 1968 Fish Lake quad has the blasphemous aberration, but newer maps have it right.

Hike east to the head of McCoy Creek (Wildhorse Lake quad), where you may find evidence of beaver. Take your favorite lunch, libation, and lover.