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Painted Hills

Bridge Creek Wilderness

Bridge Creek Wilderness

Bridge Creek drains northeasterly from the edge of the summit of the Ochoco Mountains, essentially dividing the 5,400-acre wilderness into two meadow-filled plateaus. The peaks of East Point and North Point look across the wilderness from 6,625 feet and 6,607 feet, respectively.

The benches and springs in Bridge Creek are the result of massive landslides, heavy basalts cascading down weathered clay zones within the underlying volcanic terrain. Pisgah Lookout sits up on basalt rim, overlooking the wilderness.

The forest is mostly fir and larch with streaks of pine and clearings of sagebrush and bunchgrass. Stands of white fir and lodgepole pine are found in the central core of the wilderness. Most of the 30 inches of annual precipitation falls as winter snow. There are five perennial springs in the wilderness, including the Thompson, Pisgah, Masterson, Nelson, and Maxwell springs. Wildlife prominent in the area include elk, coyote, rabbit and many raptors and cavity nesting birds.

Orientation skills are a must for traveling because there are no maintained trails in Bridge Creek Wilderness. Off-trail hiking through the tangled understory tends to be difficult. Wind has stunted the trees and opened the country around North Point; a hike of about 1.2 miles from near Pisgah Springs along an abandoned jeep track will take you to the summit. Another abandoned trail leads about 1.5 miles to the summit of East Point.

In 2008, the Bridge Creek Fire burned most of the wilderness to stand replacement conditions. It is now more accessible with greater line-of-sight vistas. Please use caution as many trees have been weakened and present additional danger.


Contact Info

Mitchell, OR