A Trip to the Lost Forest, April 2016

Posted on Posted in Truck Camping, Uncategorized

It’s warmed up here in Central Oregon and it’s definitely time to be getting out and about.  For the spring shakedown trip I chose to head to a place I had not visited since 1998, the Lost Forest.  The Lost Forest is an isolated stand of ponderosa pine living in an area that gets about 8 inches of rainfall.  In this environment you’d expect mainly sage with some scattered juniper, but instead there is an old growth stand of orange barked ponderosa.

Pumpkins in the Desert

 

Grand 'ol ponderosas
Grand ‘ol ponderosas

The forest is not far from Bend, just a bit southeast through Christmas Valley.

Pronghorn
These guys know where to find the good eats

 

All roads lead to the Lost Forest...
All roads lead to the Lost Forest…

 

Camping is limited to designated dispersed sites with no amenities, my favorite kind of camp.

Lost Forest Camp
Lost Forest Camp

I got in some wandering before the sun went down.  You gotta love these long spring days compared to the short ones just a few months back.  There’s plenty of sign of all kinds of wildlife even though there is no surface water for miles in any direction.

Critter tracks
Critter tracks
This guy was watching me like a ......
This guy was watching me like a ……

I was treated to a really showy sunset, thanks in part to a prescribed fire off to the west.

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Lost Forest Sunset
Lost Forest Sunset

All the while out walking there seemed to be mountain bluebirds at every turn.  Colorful little guys for sure!

Mountain Bluebird
Mountain Bluebird

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The following morning I did a bit more exploring around camp.  There are several impressive old trees here, not all of them a pines, there are also some really old huge twisted juniper.

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Lost Forest
Lost Forest

 

It’s quite a place to explore, and besides the folks riding ATV’s in the adjacent sand dunes there’s not many people out in this neck of the woods.  Maybe the road conditions cut the crowds down?

Be sure to stay on the "road" when visiting the Lost Forest
Be sure to stay on the “road” when visiting the Lost Forest

It was just a quick overnight, and I was soon headed out, but luck me not home.  I had the opportunity for a float down the Middle Fork of the Willamette.  This turned into the type of weekend that we are lucky enough to be able to experience by living in Oregon.  One day you can be in the dry high desert, and the next in the lush rainforest floating down a river.

MF Willamette
MF Willamette

What a difference a day makes….

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Spring is a wonderful time of year, I hope you are enjoying it as well.

Star Trails, Willamette National Forest
Star Trails, Willamette National Forest

 

 

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