Ochoco National Forest
Since their creation as parts of the Cascade Forest Reserve (1893) and Blue Mountains Forest Reserve (1906), the Deschutes and Ochoco National Forests have played an important role in Central Oregon's economic and social history. They were major suppliers of timber during the decades when mills formed the core of Central Oregon's economy and today are a destination for the millions of recreationists who visit Central Oregon each year.
The Ochoco National Forest now covers more than 850,000 acres of public lands. and includes 36,200 acres of designated wilderness, distributed among 3 wilderness areas.
Water -The forest is the headwaters of the North Fork of the Crooked River. Central Oregon has a wide variety of water bodies, from the youthful landscapes of the Deschutes National Forest with its abundant lakes and youthful streams to the mature landscapes of the Ochoco National Forest with its limited lakes and mature stream system.
Geology - The Ochoco National Forest is a much older volcanic region that has been uplifted and eroded.
History - This forest and the surrounding area boast many and varied historic and prehistoric archaeological sites, historic trails, cabins, railroads, and camps located on public lands in Central Oregon. They include: 9,500-year-old Native American; large and complex obsidian quarry sites; dispersed and ephemeral scatters of stone tool debris and waste flakes; traces of early pioneer trails such as the Meek Wagon trail and historic wagon roads such as the Huntington Road that traversed the High Desert between The Dalles and Klamath Marsh; and small trappers cabins and historic Forest Service administrative sites.
The water, the geology and the history all offer great ways to recreate. You can float your boat, canoe, kayak or self at any one of the many lakes and on the handful of magnificent rivers. Go rockhounding for petrified wood, dendrite, angel wing or other rocks and minerals or visit one of the other exciting geologic sites. Or explore one of the many Heritage sites.
Looking for a different kind of adventure? Check out one of the eight Wild and Scenic rivers, one of three Wilderness Areas,one of three scenic byways, or the Newberry National Volcanic Monument.