Vinegar Hill Indian Rock Scenic Area
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:||Visitors should be prepared for rapidly changing weather conditions. Please remember that if you pack it in, please pack it out with you.|
|Closest Towns:||Austin Junction, OR|
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.
Map showing recreational areas. Map Information
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
Areas for Day Hiking at Vinegar Hill Indian Rock Scenic Area
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.
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
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
There is a variety of geologic formations including basalt, rhyloite, granite, and shales; rockhounders will find agate, jasper, and quartz.