Recently, Hannah and I had a clear Friday afternoon and Saturday. Wanting to avoid crowds and seeking a new adventure, we headed east. Known for it's expanse of high desert and wide open skies, most don't realize there are some alpine gems tucked in corners of Eastern Oregon.
Having previously heard of Summer Lake Hot Springs, which lie just two hours south and east of Bend, we decided to do a little more research on the area to see what we could find.
Above Summer Lake, sits a forested range in the Fremont-Winema National Forest, Better known as "Winter Ridge." With Elevations ranging from 6,000-7,000 feet above sea level we were excited to drive up from the high desert into thick alpine forests with aspen groves, wild flowers and abundant mountain springs.
As a bonus, we camped right along a recently serviced section of the Oregon Timber Trail. On Friday evening and Saturday morning we explored this section of trail along Winter Ridge via mountain bikes. Challenging and technical, we enjoyed the pedal and were rewarded by frequent and stunning views.
A night in the truck, a few miles on bikes, and seeing only 3 other people on a perfect, bluebird Saturday in June made for a great 24 hour adventure in Eastern Oregon. This area is highly recommended for a short, quiet getaway from the craziness of summer in Central Oregon.