WARNING! This area is very remote and should not be accessed during adverse weather conditions (High Wind, More Than Light Rain, Snow…) Located on the southern edge of the county, this area provides most of the normal forest species that can be expected in mountainous Oregon. It is recommended that you purchase a Forest Service map if you really want to explore this area thoroughly. However, if you just want a day trip into the mountains, the best route is to head south from Heppner (you can also come north from Mitchell on Hwy 207) on Hwy 207. Go 32 miles to the 21 Road. Take this road east as far as you like. It will eventually hook up with the 53 Road which will take you to Ukiah if you go east and back to Heppner if you take it north. About 3 miles from Hwy 207, look for a side road (County Road 4602). Take it north for a half mile to a large meadow area. Bird here and return to the 21 road. Continue east for 3.1 miles to Forest Road 022 (Sunflower Flat Road). You can either take this road north back to Hwy 207 or you can continue east to Ukiah (about 48 miles). 22 miles from 207, you will find Penland Road which leads to Penland Lake. This is a good side trip.Directions
Habitat and Birds
Tall pines, mixed forest, canyons and riparian areas. Look for mountain species like grouse, accipiters, Vaux’s Swift, Rufous & Calliope Hummingbirds. Woodpeckers include Hairy, Flicker, White-headed, Red-naped Sapsucker, Black-backed, Downy, Pileated, and (rarely) Three-toed. Red and White-breasted Nuthatches are common as are Mt. Chickadees and Brown Creeper. Flycatchers include Dusky, Hammond’s, and “Western-type” (the distribution of Cordilleran and Pacific-slope Flycatchers in Eastern Oregon is not well understood). Pacific Wrens are here year round and Brown-headed Cowbirds can be found in summer. Western Tanagers, Hermit Thrush, Townsend’s Solitaire, Western & Mountain Bluebirds are all here. Listen for both Cassin’s and Warbling Vireos. Warblers include Yellow, Yellow-rumped, MacGillivray’s and Townsend’s. Spotted Towhee, Chipping Sparrow, Lincoln Sparrow, Fox Sparrow, and “Oregon” Junco are here. Black-headed and Evening Grosbeaks can be found along with Cassin’s Finches and Lazuli Bunting. Watch for flocks of Pine Siskins and Red Crossbills. Nocturnal surveys in this area during late spring and early summer have found calling Flammulated and Northern Saw-whet Owls.