Andy Kerr

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

65. Bowden Hills Summit (Bowden Hills Unit)

Suggested Citation: Kerr, Andy. 2000. Oregon Desert Guide: 70 Hikes. Seattle: The Mountaineers Books. pp. 230-231.

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What to Expect: Total solitude

Distance: 11.2 miles round trip

Elevation Range: 4,244-5,467 feet

Drinking Water: No

Best Times: Spring, fall

USGS 7.5' Map: Flat Tom Mtn. SE

Oregon Map Starting Point: Burns Junction (where OR 78 joins US 95)

Go approximately 13 miles south on US 95. Turn east (left) onto the county road (marked only by stop sign). Go 3.9 miles and park at the intersection with a north-south way.

Walking southward on this way will take you to within a mile of the highest point in the area, a USGS benchmark named Medina. This can either be done as a day hike, or you may dry-camp at the head of the dry stream in a protected little canyon (with exposed rock on the east side) just north of Medina benchmark.You can't get lost, just keep bearing south on the way. After a sharp turn to the east followed immediately by a turn again to the south, you'll cross a dry stream channel and rise slightly and then cross another dry stream channel. At this point the way turns south-southeast and is marked by two old stock-watering tanks. You're now in one of the four named natural features in the entire area, and original it is: "The Basin." (There is actually a fifth: Mendi Gori Posue, along the southern boundary. The translation from Basque suggests that either a babbling Basque named it or the USGS misplaced the name, as there is no pond or well at a red mountain.)

Walk south-southeast on this way about 0.8 mile before making your assault of the summit. Return as you came or head due north across The Basin and up the north-south ridge that parallels your way in. Stay high until you see the broad valley and your vehicle.