Andy Kerr

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

33. Mud Springs Base Camp (Oregon Canyon Mountain Unit)

Suggested Citation: Kerr, Andy. 2000. Oregon Desert Guide: 70 Hikes. Seattle: The Mountaineers Books. pp. 157-158.

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What to Expect: An easy walk to an aspen camp, from which one can range in all directions

Distance: 12.2-mile loop

Elevation Range: 5,600-6,880 feet

Drinking Water: Yes

Best Times: Summer, fall

USGS 7.5' Maps: Doolittle Creek, Dry Creek Bench

Oregon Map Starting Point: Fields

Go 8 miles south on OR 205 and turn easterly on the Whitehorse Ranch Road. Approximately 27 miles east of OR 205 on the Whitehorse Ranch Road is a cattle guard (in front of the Whitehorse Ranch entrance). Go northeast 3.8 miles and cross under a three-strand, two-pole powerline. Continue 0.3 mile and turn south onto Mud Spring Road (unsigned). Go 4.7 miles south to a minor intersection. You'll pass through several gates. Take the left fork (southeast). Go 0.4 mile through a fence. Continue southeast 1.8 miles to a fence that separates the crested wheatgrass seeding from the native vegetation (Dry Creek Bench quad). Park on the crested wheatgrass seeding.

Hike southeast 4.3 miles to Buckaroo Corral Spring. Ignore any minor ways and jeep trails leaving the main way. As you walk the "road" (BLM is recommending closure to improve wilderness integrity) you'll see an occasional clump of crested wheatgrass that has invaded the wilderness. Destroy it.

At the Buckaroo Corral Spring intersection, continue southeasterly 0.6 mile to a way intersection. Continue east 0.2 mile to Mud Spring. Tank up on water and continue easterly on a "road" 1 mile to quaking aspen campsites.

From camp, you can range in any direction. The country is open and the canyons distinct enough to make map reading relatively easy East is Oregon Canyon (see exploration later), south is Whitehorse Creek Canyon, and north are Twelvemile and Dry Creek Canyons.

Return the way you came, or venture westward through the Fish Creek Breaks to a fence and hack to your vehicle.