Andy Kerr

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

64. Batch Lake (Jordan Craters Unit)

Suggested Citation: Kerr, Andy. 2000. Oregon Desert Guide: 70 Hikes. Seattle: The Mountaineers Books. p. 229.

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What to Expect: A stark landscape of recent lava with an oasis lake

Distance: 2 miles (very slow walking) round trip

Elevation Range: 4,321-4,340 feet

Drinking Water: Yes

Best Times: Spring, fall

USGS 7.5' Map: Cow Lakes

Oregon Map Starting Point: Jordan Valley

Go west approximately 5 miles (southbound in the grander scheme) on US 95, which then turns to the southwest. Continue west on a county road, following the signs to Cow Lakes. After approximately 8 miles the road turns from northwesterly to due north and gets very straight for 1.4 miles After the end of the straight stretch, where it curves first to the northwest (left), go 1.2 miles to the intersection with a dirt road. The good road bends sharply to northeast (right) and crosses a dry streambed. Continue straight (north-northeasterly) for 0.2 mile. At the intersection turn left (southwesterly). Continue westerly for 1.9 miles. Park at Parks Dam.

Batch Lake is 1 mile due west, but—because of the broken terrain, and depending on the season and wetness of the year—you'll have to climb "high" (it is relative) points to scout your course. Depending on how good/lucky you are, this journey may take anywhere from 1 to 5 hours (no kidding). You'll be walking over recent (within the last few thousand years) black lava flows, so make sure you are properly shod. This is a day hike, but you could backpack if you want. Camp back at least 200 feet from the water. Setting up a tent isn't a problem.