Andy Kerr

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

53. West Peninsula (Jordan Craters Unitk Owyhee Wilderness)

Suggested Citation: Kerr, Andy. 2000. Oregon Desert Guide: 70 Hikes. Seattle: The Mountaineers Books. p. 204.

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What to Expect: Great birding and scenery

Distance: 2.4 miles round trip

Elevation Range: 4,347-4,381 feet

Drinking Water: In the lake

Best Times: Spring, summer, fall

USGS 7.5' Map: Cow Lakes

Oregon Map Starting Point: Jordan Valley

See above [previous page] for directions to Cow Lakes Campground. From the BLM campground, cross at The Narrows below the little dam on Upper Cow Lake. Old pavement across the wide stream channel marks the way. Depending on the time of year, you may have to wade or you may not want to try it at all. Cow Lakes is regulated for irrigation use downstream. During spring high water or summer irrigation releases, the water may be too dangerous. Assuming it's not, hike the unimproved way south and then west along the north shore of Lower Cow Lake. (The USGS 7.5' quad map shows the route as ending, but it continues west along the lakeshore and then turns northwest over a gentle saddle toward the lava flow that abuts Upper Cow Lake.) Shortly you'll come to the interface of the sagebrush grassland, black lava flow, and open water. The way continues a short way west into the Lava Flow. While you are there, bag "peak" 4381 for a panoramic view.