PNW: Owyhee Canyonlands / Alvord Desert / Steens Mountain trip?

So they’ll fit right in :joy:

Are you joining us for this adventure?

Hey PNW crew - I want to test the waters here for possibly moving this trip down the road a bit, maybe into the latter half of May. A few of you have commented that the condition of the Alvord playa as well as Owyhee is likely to be iffy and highly weather dependent in April. I’ve done a little more reading online as well and it sounds like the Owyhee is not a good place to be in wet weather.

It would be a real drag to travel for several hours over to SE Oregon and get washed out. This could also happen in May but I’m just thinking of options to increase the chances of success.

Food for thought as the season ramps up and calendars are getting booked out - should we proactively push this out a bit to give us better odds of seeing what we want to see?

Roger I’m pretty open to any dates as long as it’s far enough in advance to not make other plans! I’ll let people with families and more responsibilities be the deciding factor haha

My schedule is pretty open for the next several months. Just need a few weeks advance notice to secure the time off.

Depending on the time in May, I will have a lot of time available. It just depends on the specific dates.

Would love to come to this!

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@babyyota do it!

May is a great time too, but looping Steens may be an issue due to the remaining snowpack. By July, the snowpack is likely gone from its roads, but come the hot temps and bugs elsewhere.

Is there somewhere to find route files so I can get an idea of the terrain? I am trying to determine if a loop is reasonable in my wheelbase.

Based on the YouTube videos I’ve watched, nothing would be too technical for a full size. But others with experience there may have other insight.

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I don’t know if this will help, but in the early 2000s, after I got my license, I would ‘overland’ my 1997 Monte Carlo all over northern Nevada. I rattled parts off on the flats after going over things I shouldn’t have, with stall mats on the roof for traction pads before it was cool.

Most of Nevada is BLM land. There are many graded roads, some with potholes and mud puddles if it is early enough. Mostly passable (FWD v’6’) double-track with primarily sagebrush and some rocks to dodge to backtrack.

I started in a Bronco II, but it had the same transmission fluid and gas refilling schedule, so I couldn’t afford to keep running it.

I don’t have any experience yet in the Owyhee so can’t speak to firsthand knowledge. The videos I have seen don’t look technical at all, I don’t think wheelbase would be a factor. The Alvord & Steens are not technical at all. There are a couple access roads on to the playa that are high clearance needed but if memory serves I don’t think it would be an issue for a full sized rig.

Worst case for the playa would be to pay the $10 and use the Alvord Hot Springs private access road.

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Three forks may have some tight spots, but I’ve seen video of a new tundra going through a part I couldn’t muster the courage to do and somewhat regret it now thinking about it. I agree with Roger though, overall, not much to worry about.


Is that the new tundra in the video?

It is 2.5 inches wider than I am if I read things right, which seems wild. If that reset through the tight rock formation is as bad as it gets I should be alright, but this rig is long.

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It is. Around the 10 min mark is the spot that comes to my mind.

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PNW Crew - let’s keep the dates as-is. Meaning Thursday 4/25-Monday 4/29. Itinerary will be weather dependent but I’ll get to planning and share out thoughts.

For now please mark your calendars accordingly. Spring has (almost) sprung!


Dudes I’m itching for this trip!


Thanks for the announcement. Barring a mishap, I plan on going. This area is amazing and whatever mother nature throws at us, we will adjust!

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Awesome, can’t wait to see an official attendee list. I’m actually free on these dates!

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