Monument Rock Wilderness: Wallowa-Whitman

  

Image looking across a forested and rocky mountain top

The Monument Rock Wilderness is located at the southernmost edge of the Blue Mountains and along the eastern edge of the Strawberry Mountain range. The area was established by Congress in 1984 as part of the Oregon Wilderness Act (P.L. 98-328).

Encompassing 20,079 acres this wilderness spans the Malheur and Wallowa-Whitman National Forests. Offering views across much of northeastern Oregon, elevations ranges from 5,200 feet in the lower slopes to 7,815 feet atop Table Rock. The northern end of the area lies across a watershed divide that separates the headwaters of the Little Malheur River and the upper drainage of the South Fork Burnt River.

The wilderness is mostly forested with ponderosa pine in lower hills stretching up to subalpine fir along the peaks. Other tree species include lodgepole pine, Douglas-fir, white fir, aspen, and juniper. Intermingled amongst the pine-fir forests and riparian stream bottoms are native grasslands with bluebunch wheatgrass, Idaho fescue and other indigenous grasses. Throughout the area is diversity of wildlife habitat for species such as mule deer, Rocky Mountain elk, badgers, and the rare wolverine. There are 70 species of birds living here, including the creek-loving American dipper and the pileated woodpecker. Soils in the area are predominantly volcanic ash, and rocks that are mostly lavas poured out over the land.

 

At a Glance

General Information

Directions:

Alert: Wildfires such as the Monument Fire of 2002 have altered the landscape in and are especially evident in the northern watersheds. These natural fires however have several benefits. They create a mosaic of different vegetative types which in turn create a diversity of habitats reduce heavy fuel accumulations (litter, branches, fallen trees, etc.) caused by years of fire suppression. If you hike in these areas be aware that there are still many areas with standing dead lodgepole pine and on windy days can pose an extreme hazard.

Please plan your trip carefully, know the current regulations and follow minimum impact practices

The Monument Rock Wilderness lies 25 miles southeast of Prairie City, Oregon and 10 miles southwest of Unity, Oregon.

Trailheads from Unity, OR side (Wallowa-Whitman National Forest)

Trailheads from Prairie City, OR side (Malheur National Forest)

Maps

Topo Maps

Bull Run Rock, Little Baldy Mountain. Download free U.S. Forest Service Topo maps.

Buy maps online

Go to the National Forest Store.

Wilderness.net

Go to Wilderness.net for online maps and other important Wilderness information.


General Notes:

Recreation Opportunities

Recreation season usually begins in early summer and runs through November. Winter storms and summer thunderstorms are common along the mountain ridges, drawing up to 40 inches of annual precipitation-twice as much as the surrounding lowlands. The majority of the use is during hunting seasons, with incidental use the rest of the time.

The Monument Rock Wilderness offers hiking and horseback riding opportunities (motorized and mechanized vehicles are prohibited in wilderness areas). The Bullrun Rock viewpoint and Table Rock Lookout which is accessible in a high clearance vehicle offers panoramic views of surrounding mountain ranges and valleys.


Activities


Hiking

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Horse Riding & Camping

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https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/wallowa-whitman/recarea/?recid=79465