During my trip planning I happened upon finding a campground at the northwest base of Hart Mountain and in the Hart Mountain Antelope Refuge. The campground wasn’t on most maps and my brother who had been to the area a number of times told me it didn’t exist. But, it showed up on google aerial maps and it would be a convenient location because I wanted to visit the BLM sunstone collection area to the north. I was off to find out the truth and I found that the campground did exist. I don’t remember the name, but it had about 10 sites offering a wide open view. There were no trees, just wide open expansive view.
I stayed two nights and both nights there were only two camp sites occupied. My kind of remote location.
I met some nice retired people in a Hallmark camper while at the campground. My next stop on the trip was to be the Steens east of this location. I was planning on driving the Rock Creek /Frenchglen road to the Steen. They thought I should be able to make it up Hart Mountain with my truck and trailer. They explained the road was steep and narrow in places. Hum, that didn’t sound encouraging and that night I looked at my maps for an alternate route. The next day I drove up the hill and in my opinion it was an A+ gravel road, wide and not extremely steep. Goes to show the obvious; we are all different.
- This campground is adjacent to the road. While I was there, there was very little traffic on the road.
- As much as I liked the campground, I think many people may think it is awful due to there being little vegetation.
- Camping was free.
- Up on top of the Hart Mountain plateau is Petroglyph Lake, a nice place to visit. And yes, there are petroglyphs on the west side at the base on the rim rocks. Keep walking and you will find them.
- For me the sunstone collection area was a bust. The road getting there was very washboarded. The amount of effort to drive there didn’t equal the small chips of sunstone I saw.
- This is a good area to travel with extra fuel. Gas is only available in Plush and Frenchglen. Frenchglen gas is expensive.
- The Hart Mountain visitor center was not staffed when I was there. Don’t plan on having someone answer questions when it is off season.