Hwy 78 Burns to Princeton

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Beede Reservoir

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Double O Road

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Headquarters to Princeton via Narrows-Princeton Road (Raptor Alley)

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Greenhouse Lane

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Wright's Point

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Ruh Red Road

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The most direct route between Burns and Malheur Headquarters is via Hwy 205 down the west side of the refuge. As an alternative, birders can take Oregon state highway 78 (Steens Highway), a slightly longer route that travels around the east side of the refuge via Crane and New Princeton.

Start this journey by heading east on E Monroe Street in Burns which becomes Hwy 78. (This is the highway one would take to go to the Alvord Desert or Jordan Valley.)

If Malheur NWR Headquarters is your destination, after traveling 38 miles from Burns, split off the highway onto Lava Bed Road. The highway bends left (southeast), while Lava Bed Road continues straight (south) and then curves back west to become Narrows-Princeton Road (AKA “Raptor Alley”) which leads you to headquarters.


Habitat and Birds

The big draw on Highway 78 is the fall raptor show: Red-tailed Hawks, Ferruginous Hawks, Swainson’s Hawks, Northern Harriers, Prairie Falcons, Bald and Golden Eagles all descend on hay fields to hunt for rodents and the density can be very impressive at times.

Also Burrowing Owls are sometimes seen on fenceposts along this stretch. In particular, check the farmland just east of Crystal Crane Hot Springs (43.439016, -118.621274).

A side trip can be taken to access the little town of Crane to pick up snacks or any supplies missed in Burns.

The turnoff to Narrows-Princeton Road (AKA “Raptor Alley”) is here (43.261929, -118.585652).