Take Hwy 26 East from Prineville, approximately 18 miles and turn right onto County Road 123. Continue another eight miles to Ochoco Ranger Station, then just past the station, bear right at the “Y” on FS Road 42. Continue on Road 42 to Big Summit Prairie (about 6 miles). The map looks pretty confusing but just stay on the pavement and you will come to Big Summit Prairie. Most of the prairie is private land but it can be viewed from the road. Don’t cross any fences and you should be fine. With a good Forest Service map, you can take several good side roads and explore. Make sure you take the Round Prairie Road south of Big Summit Prairie. This road has several Aspen groves that are great for woodpeckers in late spring and early summer (Williamson’s and Red-naped Sapsucker are easy to find in these groves as are Mountain Bluebirds and others).
Habitat and Birds: Forest and grasslands abound. This prairie is famous for its wildflowers. The prairie blooms in spring and the wildflower show is spectacular. Sandhill Cranes can be scoped from the road and several species of woodpeckers can be found along the prairie edges. Many pine-loving bird species are abundant. Upland Sandpipers used to frequent this prairie but have not been seen for decades. Listen for the ubiquitous Brown Creeper. The surrounding forest is great for woodpeckers and flycatchers.Directions