South of Ontario, Oregon, a true backcountry adventure in the Owyhee Canyonlands awaits. It's a place where the roads are unmarked, the trails are a combination of jeep routes and cattle paths, and there are no designated trailheads or interpretive signs. For those looking to try a new adventure in Oregon, the Honeycombs in the Owhyee Canyonlands is your ticket.
Formed from volcanic tuff, the Honeycombs resemble formations found in the popular Smith Rock State Park. After a 4-mile hike along Juniper Ridge you begin the 1000-foot descent into the Honeycombs. Here you'll be surrounded by large spires, boulder fields, and steep canyon walls that are spotted with caves. Once you've finished the descent, follow the prominent creek drainage out to Bensley Flat, which offers great camping. A small grove of cottonwoods on Owyhee Lake's north shore provides ample shade and easy access to swimming. From here one could spend days exploring the Honeycombs. If you are looking for a little more adventure, bring your rocks shoes, as there are plenty of bouldering opportunities throughout the area.
Please note that there is little to no running water on the way to Owyhee Lake, especially between late spring and early fall. Plan well and pack accordingly.