Rock Creek (north) from Olex

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Whyte Park Rest Area (Rock Creek Crossing)

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Cottonwood Canyon/JS Burres State Parks

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Condon to Olex via Wolf Hollow and Upper Rock Cr. Roads

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Olex/Hwy. 19

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Hwy 206 Mountain Overlook

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Seasons

Winter
Spring
Summer
Fall

Location

At Olex, cross Hwy 19 and continue down Rock Creek. Follow it all the way to the John Day River on Middle Rock Creek Ln. At the Rock Creek School, take Lower Rock Creek Road to the river. When finished, return to the school at Rock Creek. The eBird hotspot listed here is for the Middle Rock Creek Rd. section of this route. Once down at the John Day river, you can head north about about a mile to the McDonald Crossing boat launch/campground. You can also take the road south a little way to another small camping area with trees and a good view of the river.

Here is the location of the boat launch/campground:

https://www.google.com/maps/place/45%C2%B035’45.8%22N+120%C2%B024’34.1%22W/@45.596055,-120.411664,598m/data=!3m2!1e3!4b1!4m6!3m5!1s0x0:0x68a3a030fb07e34e!7e2!8m2!3d45.5960548!4d-120.4094701

Directions

Habitat and Birds

Mostly a narrow valley with pasture/hay fields and brush along the creek. Good variety of birds. Both Brewer’s Sparrow and Long-eared Owl have been seen here. The riparian area at the John Day River can be very birdy in migration. Look for Western Screech Owls in the trees at the river. This is a good route to look for raptors.  Once down at the John Day river, you can check out McDonald Crossing boat launch/campground for waterfowl, passerines, woodpeckers, raptors. There is potential here and is an under birded area. There is a rocky road (foot traffic only)heading north out of the campground and walking this road along the river might yield an American Dipper. There have also been flocks of waterfowl along this stretch.

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