As we plan out our yearly calendars, it always seems that we have one or two things which serve as “anchors” to our time. They act as bases that we can then work around as we try to fit in other things we want to do. This year, we had several different “anchors.” Aside from the Mogollon Rim Trail, which we hiked this past spring, it seems like the rest of our “anchor” adventures were all piled into the second half of the year. At times, it has made things feel busy, as we are constantly butting up against deadlines, but in the end, it has been good, as we have the opportunity to engage multiple interests of ours.
One of the main things on the agenda for the fall is hiking the Oregon Desert Trail with two friends, Qball and JJ. They originally floated the idea of hiking the ODT and we are happily tagging along. So far, our only experience hiking in Oregon has been on the PCT, so we are looking forward to seeing a very different side of Oregon. We have enjoyed hiking in the deserts of the southwest, and we are curious to see how the desert of Oregon will compare. Typically, our desert hiking has been in the spring, so it will be interesting to see how different things are in the fall.
Similar to several other hikes we have done over the past year and a half (GET, GDT, MRT), the Oregon Desert Trail is more of a route than an actual trail. We will get the chance to continue to improve our navigation skills, as only 9% of the ODT is actual trail…the rest is a combination of mostly dirt roads and cross country walking.
Some facts about the Oregon Desert Trail
- The length is 750 miles
- The highest point on the trail is 9,552’ in the Steens Mountain
- The lowest point on the trail is 2,655 at Lake Owyhee State Park
- Route breakdown is as follows: 9% Trail, 35% Cross country, 51% Unpaved/dirt roads, 5% paved roads
- The route is unmarked
- We expect our longest water carry to be 38 miles
- First thru-hiked in 2013 (by Sage Clegg)
- The route passes through 4 distinct geographical regions: Central Oregon Volcanic (101 miles), West Basin and Range (269 miles), East Basin and Range (163 miles), and Owyhee Canyonlands (213 miles)
We are hiking East to West , and will begin the hike in mid September and anticipate the hike to last around 5 weeks. The route, using designated route alternates, will allow us to pass through or near enough to towns that we probably will not need to hitch in for resupply.
Our blog posts for the hike can be found here.