Hart Mountain National Antelope Refuge

Quick Facts

Hart Mountain National Antelope Refuge

Oregon

(541) 947-2731

Map Directions

Things To Do

Overview

Hart Mountain National Antelope Refuge is located on a massive fault block ridge that ascends abruptly nearly three-quarters of a mile above the Warner Valley floor in a series of rugged cliffs, steep slopes, and knife-like ridges. Visitors experience spectacular views of the beautiful Warner Valley Wetlands while ascending the west side entrance road to headquarters.The west face of the mountain is cut by several deep gorges. Hart, Potter, and DeGarmo canyons, the most rugged, extend from the valley floor to the top of the main ridge. The east side of the mountain is less precipitous, descending in a series of rolling hills and low ridges to the sagebrush-grasslands typical of southeastern Oregon and the Great Basin.

The rugged diversity of the terrain creates a rich mix of habitat types, home to more than 300 species of wildlife. Featured species include pronghorn antelope, California bighorn sheep, mule deer, sage grouse, and redband trout. The 278,000-acre refuge is one of the most expansive wildlife habitats in the arid West free of domestic livestock.

Since its creation in 1936 as a range for remnant herds of pronghorn antelope, management of the refuge has broadened to include conservation of all wildlife species characteristic of this high desert habitat and restoration of native ecosystems for the public's enjoyment, education, and appreciation.

Map of Hart Mountain Nat'l Antelope Refuge

Latitude, Longitude: 42.330822, -119.367056

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Activities

  • Bicycling

    Biking is an enjoyable way to see many parts of the refuge. Bicycles may only be used on roads open to motorized vehicles. Even the best roads are rough and rocky, so sturdy mountain bikes are a must.

  • Auto/Motorcycle

    Your car makes an excellent observation blind. Many types of wildlife can be approached more closely in a car than on foot.

  • Camping

    Overnight backpacking is a great way to experience some of the more remote parts of the refuge. Backpackers/hikers are required to obtain a self-issued permit at the Refuge headquarters visitor center, before departing into the back country (available 24 hrs/day, 7 days/week). Check for current regulations when filling out your permit.

  • Fishing

    Fishing is allowed in Rock and Guano Creeks and at Warner Pond in accordance with Oregon State Fish & Wildlife (ODFW) regulations. An Oregon fishing license is required. Please check current regulations for seasons, limits, and other guidelines. at: www.dfw.state.or.us/ .

  • Hiking

    Hiking is encouraged throughout the refuge, but trails are NOT maintained. The open terrain of the refuge provides ample cross-country hiking options. Game trails may be followed in many of the canyons. Please exercise caution when entering rocky and rugged terrain.

  • Historic Sites

    Rock hounds are permitted to collect surface rock specimens not to exceed seven pounds per person per day. Surface collecting only, digging with any implement and blasting are prohibited.

    Not far from the refuge on BLM lands are the Sunstone (Oregon gem stone) mines. For more information, contact the Hart Mtn General Store in Plush, OR.

  • Horseback Riding

    Horses may be ridden throughout the refuge. Overnight use is allowed at Post Meadows camping area where corrals are available, call ahead for availability. Stock water in the creek is about 100 yards away. Pelletized feed is required to avoid introducing weeds with hay. Access to this campground is weather dependent.

  • Hunting

    Hunting is permitted in accordance with state and federal regulations. A very limited number of tags are offered for deer, pronghorn, and bighorn sheep hunts in the late summer and fall. Applications for these tags are available through ODFW, information can be found in the Big Game hunting regulations or on-line at: www.dfw.state.or.us/ . Chukar may be hunted in limited areas on the refuge of the west face of Hart Mtn and Poker Jim Ridge. Only those game animals for which the hunt has been established may be taken. No hunting is allowed within three miles of refuge headquarters. Spotlighting of any type is not permitted. Gut piles are prohibited within the campgrounds or within 100 feet of any road.

Seasonality/Weather

During the winter and spring, most roads are impassable due to snow or wet conditions. Please avoid driving on muddy roads for your own safety and the protection of fragile resources. Emergency services and roadside assistance are not readily available.

Directions

Driving

Hart Mountain National Antelope Refuge is located 65 miles northeast of Lakeview, Oregon. From Lakeview take U.S. Highway 395 North about 5 miles. Turn right on Oregon State Highway 140 and go east 15 miles, then turn left at the sign to the refuge. Go 19 miles to Plush and continue through Plush, then turn right at the sign to the refuge. Follow the Hart Mountain Road to the refuge headquarters.

Most refuge roads are not maintained for passenger vehicles. High clearance and four-wheel drive are needed to travel off the Frenchglen, Blue Sky, or Hotsprings roads. Small amounts of precipitation can make very muddy roads. During the winter and spring, most roads are impassable due to snow or wet conditions. Please avoid driving on muddy roads for your own safety and the protection of fragile resources. Emergency services and roadside assistance are not readily available. The refuge staff is not able to provide or sell gas, towing, or auto repair service.

Phone Numbers

Primary

(541) 947-2731

Links