Take Highway 20 East from Bend. At milepost 21.5, turn south on Forest Road 23/25. It is the second turn to the south after you cross the summit of Horse Ridge. There is a brown sign here that says “OHV TRAIL SYSTEMS” and a green sign that says “To China Hat Rd.” Stay on FS 23/25, paved, for 5.9 miles. At this point FS 23 turns to gravel and branches away from the pavement (the paved road becomes FS 25). There is a sign here that says “Entering Opine Travel Management Area”. This dirt road goes around the south side of Pine Mountain. Stay on FS 23 for approximately 12 miles to the BPA Sand Springs substation turnoff to the north (left). If you get to Sand Springs on FS 23, also a good desert birding spot, you have gone a little over a mile too far. Turn on the substation road and go 100 feet or so and park next to a pumice road that goes to the north (look for a metal gate). Pumice Springs is only a short walk. Do not drive out on the pumice road as the Forest Service is trying to encourage re-growth of desert plants. As a recognition point, the large substation is immediately east of Pumice Springs and easily seen from FS road 23. There are two ponds that can be spotted by looking for the fencing around each. Walk to first (smaller) pond to view wildlife noting if there are ungulates or other animals that may be disturbed. Please leave the area if they are using it or limit time if they are in the area waiting to drink. If you scare them off at the larger pond, return to the smaller pond. They will usually return to drink once you leave the larger pond area.Directions
Habitat and Birds
Pumice flats and sage along with 2 ponds. Birds that have been seen here in the past include Cooper’s Hawk, Clark’s Nutcracker, Tree Swallow, both Western and Mountain Bluebirds, Varied Thrush (migration), Black-throated Gray Warbler, Chipping Sparrow, Savannah Sparrow, and Cassin’s Finch. This is an under-visited location and could be productive during migration.