A trip to Steens Mountain is something that every outdoor enthusiast should do at least once in a lifetime, especially those in the Pacific Northwest. It is a unique place with endemic wildflowers, wild horses, bighorn sheep, dramatic glacier-cut gorges, and high alpine meadows. The South Steens Campground is the gateway to the Steens Mountain high country.
The campground is divided into two loops: one for equestrians and the other for everyone else. While there are no hookups here, there are spaces large enough to accommodate RVs and tents. The sites on the south end of each loop tend to have more trees and thus more protection from the sun and wind. Grab one of these if you can. Due to the remoteness of this area, you are likely to find an open campsite (even on the weekends). All of these sites are first-come, first-served.
From the campground you can walk to one of two trailheads: Little Blitzen Gorge and Big Indian Gorge. Both of these trails follow the bottom of huge, U-shaped valleys cutting into the 30-mile-long fault block known as Steens Mountain.
Access to South Steens Campground is snow-dependent. In a typical year, the gate leading to the campground is open from mid-May to mid-November. You can call the local Bureau of Land Management office for current conditions at 541.573.4400.