Vinegar Hill Indian Rock Scenic Area


Area Status: Open

Located in the northeast part of the Forest, this high elevation area provides spectacular vistas of the North Fork John Day Wilderness, the Middle and North Fork drainages of the John Day River, and the peaks of the Strawberry Mountain Wilderness to the south. The area has a rich history and active and decaying remains of mines can be seen. The area provides unfettered opportunities for solitude and isolation except during big-game hunting seasons.

At a Glance

Current Conditions: 12/08/2021: The area is open. Visitors should be prepared for rapidly changing weather conditions. Some roads become impassible due to snow, ice or mud during the winter months. Pack it in/Pack it out- anything you bring with you into the forest, please take home with you. This includes packing out all trash, yours and others. Examples: cigarette butts, cans, bottles, and food. Please follow local and state health guidelines.
Usage: Light-Medium
Closest Towns: Austin Junction, OR

General Information

Directions:

From Prairie City, OR., follow US Highway 26 for approximately 2 miles to the junction with US Highway 7.  Follow US Highway 7 approximately 1 mile to the junction with County Road 20.  Follow County Road 20 approximately 11 miles to the junction with Forest Road 45.  Follow Forest Road 45 approximately 4 miles where you will reach the boundary of this scenic area.


Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information

Activities

Mountain Biking

The Vinegar Hill Indian Rock Scenic area is a designated non-motorized scenic recreation area set high above the John Day Valley. The Princess Trail offers an alpine ridge experience with commanding 360 degree views. Due to this trail’s alpine nature, snow may linger well into June. Use caution accessing trailheads within the Vinegar Hills as forest roads in this area are predominantly narrow, steep, and rugged.

Learn more about mountainbike opportunities in the area by contacting the Eastern Oregon Trail Alliance (EOTA).

Areas for Mountain Biking at Vinegar Hill Indian Rock Scenic Area

Campground Camping

Day Hiking

Areas for Day Hiking at Vinegar Hill Indian Rock Scenic Area

Backpacking

Areas for Backpacking at Vinegar Hill Indian Rock Scenic Area

Big Game Hunting

Big game hunting for Rocky Mountain Elk and mule deer is very popular in the area.  For regulation and license information please visit the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Small Game Hunting

Many hunters like the area for turkey, grouse, and chucker hunting. For information on upland game tags as well as other bird hunting regulations please visit the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Visitors are reminded that the discharge of firearms in any campground on the Malheur National Forest is prohibited.

Viewing Wildlife

Visitors to the area can see a wide range of wildlife from big game animals such as Rocky Mountain Elk and mule deer to a large variety of birds and smaller creatures such as squirrels and chipmunks.

Areas for Viewing Wildlife at Vinegar Hill Indian Rock Scenic Area

Viewing Scenery

Amazing views of the North Fork John Day Wilderness, the Middle and North Fork drainages of the John Day River, and the peaks of the Strawberry Mountain Wilderness.

Areas for Viewing Scenery at Vinegar Hill Indian Rock Scenic Area

Rockhounding

There is a variety of geologic formations including basalt, rhyloite, granite, and shales; rockhounders will find agate, jasper, and quartz.

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities

Highlights

Location

 
  Latitude : 
44.718158

  Longitude : 
-118.5740