If you never really know where you were going in the first place, can you ever get lost? Harney County in Central Oregon is incredibly isolated and is home to one of the most unique geographic formations in Oregon. This remote and desolate area required a fair amount of research which presented the Sportful’s Squadra Avventura crew the opportunity to see if they really knew where they were going.
The Alvord Desert is situated in the rain shadow immediately east of Steens Mountain, and sits at an altitude just north of 4,000’. Once a great lake, extending 100 miles in length and with a depth in excess of 200’, the area is now completely dry from July to November, and an otherworldly playa, approximately 20 miles long and 7 miles wide, has taken its place. The desert lies over a tectonic fault which lifted the basalt fault block and created Steens Mountain some eight to fifteen million years ago during the Miocene Epoch. The mountain, a north-south escarpment extending over 40 miles rises over 5,000 ft very steeply and quickly from the desert floor to reach its peak of 9,773’.
Replete with rugged terrain, relentless sun, gravel roads, and a near absence of other humans, it checked several boxes and proved to be an ideal locale for Sportful’s Squadra Avventura crew.