SEPTEMBER 22-25, 2018

Black Rock Desert Tours

Please call our office at
541 389 8359
to sign up FOR THIS TOUR!

$1060 per person for double occupancy
$1800 per person for single occupancy


Tour includes: Naturalist Guide, transportation, most meals (please see full itinerary for details), lodging for all three nights.


  • Warm jacket
  • Light gloves
  • Hiking clothes
  • Comfortable walking shoes and socks
  • Sandals
  • Sun protection (Hat, Sunglasses, Sunscreen)
  • Camera
  • Day pack for hiking
  • Water bottle
  • Snacks if desired
  • Binoculars for bird watching
  • Headlamp 
  • Bug Spray



Pre-Tour Opportunity
SEPTEMBER 21, 2018

2:00 PM at the High Desert Museum

Join Dave Nissen, owner of Wanderlust Tours, and the museum's curator for a walk through time in the High Desert Museum's magnificent "Spirit of the West" exhibit, which initially inspired this series of tours. Dave will offer an in-depth interpretation of the exhibit, touching upon the Black Rock Desert's Applegate Trail and the lives of the Buckaroos in the Steens Mountain area. This will serve as an introduction to the next few days' adventures! 

Day 1: Oregon’s Great Basin, Homesteads, & Sheldon Antelope Refuge

This day is filled with an introduction to the United States’ largest desert ecosystem. Stunning landscape will leave you thinking, “How do so few know this exists?!” You'll learn how the native and settler adapted and imprinted so thoroughly upon this challenging landscape. We’ll settle in on California’s desert land at the base of the Warner Mountains for the night.

Overnight: Cedarville, CA
Lunch & dinner included

Day 2: High Rock Canyon, HISTORY OF the Applegate Trail, & the Black Rock DESERT

This day will focus on the grueling travails the Oregon Trail settlers endured on the incredible Black Rock Desert. We'll journey into High Rock Canyon, an important landmark for early travelers. The written legacy of George N. Jaquith remains 166 years after his family’s ordeal. In the comfort of our van we'll travel a small portion of the horrific trail to appreciate the strength and determination required for such a journey.

Overnight: Soldier Meadows, NV
Breakfast, lunch, & dinner included

Day 3: The "Buckaroos" & Steens Mountain

Exiting the Black Rock via Quinn River will bring us into Paradise Valley-- a cattle and mill town with a rich history. This area is alive with Basque sheep-herding culture, and the cowboy cattle culture developed by the Mexican vacqueros (“buckaroos”) and Spanish immigrants. Crossing the Whitehorse Ranch, we’ll enter into the Donner and Blitzen Valley steeped in Oregon’s original ranching history and the remnants to go with it.

Overnight: Frenchglen Hotel, OR
Breakfast, lunch, & dinner included

Day 4: Steens fault escarpment, gorges, & desert playa vistas

The west slope of Steens enormous fault scarp has been left with the finger prints of glacial ice. Marvel at vistas of glacially-scoured canyons, with a mile-high drop to the stunning, bleached Alvord playa. When we descend from the mountain top, we’ll visit the Malheur Wildlife Refuge, home to millions of migrating birds. The refuge headquarters with its small but impressive museum will be our last stop before heading back into Bend.

Breakfast & lunch included