America's Scenic Byways

Steens Mountain Back Country Byway

66 miles - 1-2 hours to visit the byway.

Traverse the scenic Steens Mountain Back Country Byway to view dramatic scenery of glaciated canyons amidst the high desert region of southeastern Oregon. The most famous and oft-photographed view is of Kiger Gorge, which can be easily seen from the top of the mountain.

A direct contrast to the arid desert below, the upper slopes of Steens Mountain are covered with lush meadows. Bighorn sheep, antelope and mule can still be seen grazing in the area as they did a century ago. Golden eagles soar above, and along the South Steens the thunder of horse hooves can be heard.

End the loop in Frenchglen and walk around the town, buying a souvenir or snapping a picture of the famous Frenchglen Hotel. The Steens Mountain Back Country Byway shows what can be found in the desert landscape of Oregon.

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