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  1. #1
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    Overnighter on Ochoco loop - Water?

    I'm thinking that when the weather and conditions are appropriate, i'd like to try an overnight ride on the ochoco round mt-lookout mt loop. I'm thinking I would park near walton lake and ride up round mt and then camp perhaps somewhere around the independent mine area or on lookout mt the first day. The second day would be a ride down lookout mt trail to the ranger station and then back up the road to the car.

    I'm wondering where would be the best place to camp if it's cold or windy, and where i can get water near the middle of the ride. I will probably carry my water filter/pump. I've hiked Lookout and camped right on top in mid-summer but it was a fairly exposed spot for camping and might not be ideal for early season. I don't remember what i did for water.
    Bend, OR

  2. #2
    Nat
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    I can't recall if the drainage near the mine is an actively running stream or not, but regardless I've seen lots of sheep being run up there. I would be very cautious about the water quality even with a filter and iodine.

    I think I would drive up and cache some water up there, then drive back down to the bottom and start the ride.

  3. #3
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    Great idea, i didn't even think about that option. I did notice on the map that there are roads pretty much up to the top of lookout, but i wasn't sure if they were open or maintained.

    I was wondering about collecting water near a mine! There are a bunch of springs on the map, and normally when i think of spring water i guess i assume it is pretty good water, but near an old mining area maybe all bets are off.
    Bend, OR

  4. #4
    Nat
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    I looked it up since you brought it up, and this 2008 Bulletin article says the Independent Mine was a cinnabar (mercury ore) mine.

    It's a mercury minefield out there | | The Bulletin

    Between the livestock and possible mercury exposure I'd be concerned.

    The roads that I recall seeing up there were very primitive.

    This write-up shows water: Lookout Mountain

    Man, I may have to go explore up there again this summer.

    Cinnabar Mines of Central Oregon | Eponaleah's Photoblography

  5. #5
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    I guess the thing to do is to give the ranger station a call and ask them about it. I'll do that this week.
    Bend, OR

  6. #6
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    Lookout mountain is a primitive roadless area. The road dead ends about 1/8 mile above the Independent Mine area.

    I wouldn't drink the surface water there due to mercury. Bring what you need and stash it. I think there's a good well at Walton Lake and also at the Ochoco Guard station, but none elsewhere.
    "“May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view." - Edward Abbey

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