Burns, Oregon
W E L C O M E     T O

As Oregon's gateway to the scenic Steens Mountain, Burns has much to offer the outdoor enthusiast. Burns is a friendly cowboy town located at the heart of Oregon's wide open range lands in Harney County. Burns, Oregon can rightfully claim the title of the most "away from it all" town in the nation, since Harney County, the ninth largest county in America, is bigger than many eastern states.

Downtown Burns has many opportunities for viewing arrowhead, rock and artifact exhibits at the many galleries and stores. The abundance of fossils, agate and thunder eggs attract rock hounds from far and wide to Harney County. Be sure to take in the Harney County Historical Museum on your visit. The Museum features Harney County's Old West roots, with early cowboy photos, ranching facts, handmade quilts and a turn of the century kitchen exhibit.

The Malheur National Wildlife Refuge is 30 miles south of Burns on US 205. Established in 1908, the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge is nearly 185,000 acres in size. A nationally respected bird watcher's mecca, it provides key habitat for thousands of nesting and migrating birds. Be sure to bring binoculars and a field guide - on a good day in the spring, a birder can see over 100 species. Over 250 species of birds make this wildlife area a regular stop. Trumpeter swans live in the refuge all year, and other birds, such as sandhill cranes, egrets, and great horned owls nest here. Stop at the Refuge visitor contact center for information, or just to see the bird museum.

While you're at the Refuge headquarters, pick up a BLM guide to Diamond Craters, 55 miles south of Burns on US 205. With diverse volcanic features, this area has been called the "Geologic Gem of Oregon". The area has craters, ropy pahoehoe lava flows, domes, pits, rimrock, and Malheur Maar, a spring fed lake. Drive around the area using the self-guided auto tour booklet for a complete lesson on volcanism.

For breathtaking scenery, or for hiking, fishing, camping, boating and backpacking in its backcountry areas, Burns and Harney County are the place to visit.

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    Be sure to take the 55-mile Steens Mountain loop, usually open from mid-July through October. Drivers with low clearance vehicles use caution. There is an approximate 6 mile section just past Rooster Comb that is rough. This national backcountry byway is the highest road in the state. Named after Enoch Steen, a military major assigned to build roads local to this area, the Steens Mountain is one of the most scenic areas of Oregon.

    A collection of glaciated gorges, lakes and meadows, the Steens Mountain is a 30 mile fault block that overlooks the stark beauty of the Alvord Desert. The elevation changes are responsible for a minimum of five completely different vegetation zones occurring on the slopes of the Mountain. One of the most amazing vistas is the East Rim Viewpoint. Visitors look down more than a mile vertically to the vast expanse of the Alvord desert. The western slope gently descends to Malheur Lake.

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  • Area Map
  • Attractions - Birding
  • Attraction - Diamond Loop Tour Route
  • Attraction - East Steens Tour Route
  • Attraction - High Desert Discovery Scenic Byway
  • Events
  • Fair
  • Festival - John Sharff Migratory Bird Festival and Art Show
  • Government - Harney Co.
  • Government - Harney Co. Economic Development
  • Guide - Harney County Visitors Guide
  • Guide - Travel Oregon - Eastern Oregon Region
  • History - Harney County
  • Information - Chamber of Commerce
  • Information - Community Profile
  • Information - Harney Communities
  • Information - Eastern Oregon Visitors Association
  • Information - Sagebrush Sea
  • Information - Steens Mtn.
  • Newspaper - Burns Times Herald
  • Photos - Steens Mtn.
  • Refuges - The Wilderness Society
  • Relocation Information for Harney Co.
  • Recreation - BLM - Burns District
  • Recreation - BLM - Diamond Craters
  • Recreation - BLM - Steens Mtn.
  • Recreation - Fishing - Chickahominy Reservoir
  • Recreation - Donner und Blitzen River
  • Recreation - Hiking - Desert Trail Association
  • Recreation - National Forests - Deschutes and Ochoco
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