Pets allowed
Allowed with Restrictions
Elevation Gain
2,277.00 ft (694.03 m)
Trail type
26.30 mi (42.33 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

The hike from the quaint town of Frenchglen to Jack Mountain Road is 26.3 mile journey that offers hikers an unforgettable adventure through serene and rugged landscapes amidst the Oregon desert. 

The journey begins in Frenchglen, a small, historic town nestled at the base of Steens Mountain in Oregon. Known for its charming bed and breakfasts and proximity to the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, Frenchglen serves as the perfect starting point for hikers looking to explore the great outdoors. The town exudes a sense of tranquility and timelessness, making it an ideal spot for adventurers to gear up and set out on their trek.

As hikers leave Frenchglen, the trail meanders through a diverse landscape, featuring rolling hills, lush meadows, and dense forests. The first segment of the hike is relatively gentle, allowing trekkers to warm up and immerse themselves in the natural beauty of the area.

As the trail progresses, it gradually ascends towards the higher elevations of the surrounding mountains. This section of the hike is more challenging, with steep inclines and rocky terrain. However, the effort is well rewarded with panoramic views of the vast, untouched wilderness. The sight of surrounding mountains, deep valleys, and the distant horizon is truly breathtaking and provides an excellent opportunity for photography enthusiasts to capture the majestic landscape.

One of the highlights of the hike is the passage through the expansive meadows that dot the landscape. During the spring and early summer, these meadows burst into life, showcasing a vibrant display of wildflowers. 

As hikers approach Jack Mountain Road, the terrain becomes more rugged, offering a sense of solitude and remoteness rarely found in more populated areas. This final stretch of the hike is a testament to the wild beauty of the region.

From Jack Mountain Road, the path merges with the Oregon Desert Trail, introducing an adventurous off-trail journey that begins around mile 15 and extends to about mile 19. This portion of the trail presents hikers with the rugged allure of untamed wilderness, offering a compelling challenge amidst breathtaking landscapes. Eventually, trekkers will find themselves reconnecting with the familiar dirt road they previously took from Frenchglen, which they will follow back to the start.

This hike is not just a physical challenge; it's an opportunity to connect with nature, experience the tranquility of the wilderness, and discover the hidden gems of Oregon's landscape. Whether you're a seasoned hiker or someone looking to explore the great outdoors, the trek from Frenchglen to Jack Mountain Road promises an adventure filled with beauty, solitude, and a sense of accomplishment.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass


Open Year-round





Solitude. Wildflowers. Expansive views.


Lack of shade in some parts and minimal water.

Trailhead Elevation

4,220.00 ft (1,286.26 m)

Highest point

5,314.00 ft (1,619.71 m)


Backcountry camping
Bird watching

Typically multi-day


Permit required




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