Your national forests and grasslands are 193 million acres of vast, scenic beauty waiting for you to discover. Visitors who choose to recreate on these public lands find more than 150,000 miles of trails, 10,000 developed recreation sites, 57,000 miles of streams, 122 alpine ski areas, 338,000 heritage sites, and specially designated sites that include 9,100 miles of byways, 22 recreation areas, 11 scenic areas, 439 wilderness areas, 122 wild and scenic rivers, nine monuments, and one preserve. And remember, “It’s All Yours.”
Shooting sports are a popular activity on public lands around Central Oregon. While target shooting is allowed in many locations on the Ochoco National Forest and Crooked River National Grassland, the following considerations will make your visit safe and enjoyable.
Know the law. According to 36 CFR 261.10 (d), (1) It is prohibited to discharge a firearm within 150 yards of a residence, building, campsite, developed site or occupied area, or (2) across a National Forest System Road or in any manner or place whereby any person or property is exposed to any injury or damage.
Exploding targets, tannerite, and incendiary and tracer ammunition are prohibited on Forest Service lands (36 CFR 261.52(b). An explosive is defined as any chemical compound, mixture, or device, the primary or common purpose of which is to function by explosion.
Consider other forest users and neighboring land owners. Avoid areas with the potential to impact people, livestock, wildlife, and sensitive resources when selecting a target shooting location. The sound of firearms discharging can understandably be unsettling to others. Areas near campgrounds, private lands, trailheads, trails, roads and other locations where other people may be in the area are not suitable as target shooting locations. Thoroughly scout the area! Don’t assume a remote area is unoccupied—livestock grazing, hunting, forest products harvest, and other activities bring many users deep into the forest.
The popular target shooting area along the 5700 road on the north side of Pine Ridge on the Crooked River National Grassland frequently sees conflicts between trail users and target shooters. The area is located near the Cole Loop Trail, and many user-created target shooting locations are dangerously close to the trail. Target shooters should follow the law and the guidelines above when shooting in this area. For a map of this area, click here.
Consider wildfire risk. Hot bullets can ignite wildfires, so be aware of fuel conditions and use care during the hot, dry summer months. Shooting at rocks, signs, metal, or other unsuitable objects can create sparks and ignite wildfires. Some types of ammunition, such as steel and copper, have a greater potential to ignite wildfires.
This flyer has more tips on reducing wildfire risk while target shooting.
Leave no trace. Pick up and pack out shells and other garbage after target shooting. Do not leave targets in the woods, bring in appliances or other refuse for targets, or paint targets on trees or logs. Leave the area in a condition that others may enjoy and appreciate. Practicing good stewardship helps to assure popular target shooting areas remain open in the future.
Consider personal safety. Choose an area affording complete visibility and direct shots into a suitable backstop, such as an open hillside. Don’t shoot alone, and let someone know of your plans and expected return time. Follow the four essential rules of firearm safety:
1–Treat every firearm as if it were loaded.
2–Always keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction.
3–Be sure of your target and aware of what is beyond it.
4–Keep your finger outside of the trigger guard until you are ready to shoot.
As always, please contact our Prineville or Madras offices for current conditions and restrictions.
|Allen Creek Reservoir||
Allen Creek Reservoir is an artificial impoundment built for irrigation in the 1940's or 1950's downstream from the junctions ofAllen, Beetle, and Yellowjacket Creeks. The reservoir has no facilities but the BLM area which occupies about 200 yards of shoreline is available for camping. The reservoir is located about 45 miles east of Prineville in the Big Summit Prairie. There is motorized access from May 15-September 15 but the remainder of the time access is only by foot or non motorized vehicles. A primitive boat ramp is located on the southeast corner of the reservoir and you can see Osprey nests in the area. There is good fishing for redband or brook trout and you may get a brook trout that may vary from 7-17 inches with the average size of 9 or 10 inches. Trolling with lures from a boat or float tube is very effective, and from the shoreline a variety of lures, bait, and flies are also effective. Lures include spinners and spoons with less that 6 pound test line, fished at a variety of patterns and depths will be successful. The depths will depend on location of food sources, time of day, water clarity, and temperature. Bait commonly used includes worms, cheese, eggs, and power bait, but fly anglers should look for emerging aquatic insects or recent hatches. The most important thing about the reservoir is stay off of private property and only enter the reservoir through BLM's access, all other access is by boat only.
The access road is extremely primitive and rough, please drive slow.
A primitive boat ramp is located on the southeast corner of the reservoir.
This lake is a blue sparkling jewel hidden within mostly old growth ponderosa pine forest. A small dam impounds spring-fed water that seeps from surrounding sloped meadows. Quaking aspen and tall willows add habitat diversity to make this place especially attractive to wildlife and humans alike. A dirt trail, not suitable for wheel-chair visitors, encircles the lake for a variety of scenic views.
Caution: Expect lots of human company on weekends and summer weekdays.
Motorized boating is limited to eletric motor only. The boat launch is available near the day use area.
View a map of Walton Lake Campground and hiking trail
Nearby attractions also include Walton Sno-Park
|Cyrus Horse Camp||
In 1992 this high desert horse camp was constructed with the help of volunteers amidst the remnants of an old homestead and orchard just a short distance from Haystack Reservoir.
The facility is available for horse camping, standard camping, and RV camping opportunities.
View a vicinity map here.
Learn about Leave No Trace principles for horse camping
Nearby recreation opportunities include:
This trailhead is located on the Crooked River National Grassland within Cyrus Horse Camp, and provides easy access to both the Cole Loop Trail (#854) and the Warner Loop Trail (#854A). Both trails give visitors a pleasant horseback riding, mountain biking or hiking experience in the open country of the grassland.
View a vicinity map here.
|Giddy-Up Go Trailhead||
This trailhead is located across Forest Service Road 3370-200 from Dry Creek Horse Camp.
Parking is limited.
|Scales Corral Trailhead||
This trailhead is located on Haystack Drive, northeast from Cyrus Horse Camp. It is an access point for Cole Loop Trail (#854). The corrals are obvious, however they may not be as stable as they appear, if you choose to use them you are doing so at your own risk.
View a vicinity map here.
|Trail Crossing Corrals Trailhead||
This trailhead is located just east of Highway 97 and provides access to the Cole Loop Trail (#854) which links up with Gray Butte Trail (#852) and Warner Loop Trail (#854A). There are corrals on site at the trailhead; however, they may not be as stable as they seem. If you choose to use them you do so at your own risk.
View a vicinity map here.
|ODOT Pit Play Area||
The ODOT Pit is managed by Central Oregon Combined OHV Operations for the Prineville District of the BLM. The ODOT pit is considered one of the best play area in the state of Oregon. It provides challenges for riders at all levels of experience. The gravel mounds provide excellent jumping opportunities. There are flats around the perimeter of the pit.
The ODOT pit has ample parking space for vehicles towing trailers and camping. A kiosk keeps riders informed of regulations and closures as well as providing maps of nearby OHV trail systems. The site also serves as a staging area for access to North Millican OHV Trail System.
The play area is designed for Class I (Quads, 3-wheelers less than 50" wide and 800 pounds) and Class III (motorcycles). Oregon Department of Transportation hauls rock out of the pit occasionally, so please ride carefully and pay attention to traffic in and out of the pit.
This area and associated facilities are operated and maintained for your enjoyment by Central Oregon Combined OHV Operations (a Forest Service, & Bureau of Land Management Cooperative agreement), Oregon Department of Parks and Recreation ATV Funds, support various user groups and many other volunteers
|Antelope Flat Reservoir Campground and Day Use||
The campground is located just above the day-use area and boat ramp for Antelope Flat Reservoir, and is situated among large ponderosa pines which provide a quiet and scenic setting for forest visitors. Only a few campsites provide views of the reservoir, but the walk from the campground to the water's edge takes most people less than 10 minutes. Potable drinking water is available near the south end of the campground from a standing hand pump; however there are no hook-ups available on site.
The day-use area is located right on the water’s edge and is outfitted with picnic tables, fire rings, a vault bathroom, and a boat ramp. Please DO NOT park vehicles in the boat ramp loop as it can block other visitors from accessing the water. If you keep a keen eye out and a pair of binoculars on hand, large birds of prey can occasionally be seen from the day-use area nesting on the east side of the reservoir.