COFO recently went on an extensive scout throughout Eastern Oregon as part of their collaboration with Travel Oregon. Leaving Bend, we headed south to Fort Rock and the Fort Rock Homestead, a fabulous museum located opposite the extraordinary former volcano.
From the Homestead Museum, we continued south on Highway 31 to Silver Lake, and Summer Lake Hot Springs.
Cowboy Dinner Tree in Silver Lake (and their very friendly cat).
Summer Lake Hot Springs
After staying the night in Fields we headed south again and across Hart Mountain, through the Warner Wetlands.
Hart Mountain Campground
Warner Wetlands from Hart Mountain
Traveling across Hart Mountain, we drove along the mountain range, through wide open fields interspersed with cattle and horses.
We didn’t see many people on the journey but we did drop down into the 205 Highway and down to Fields, the gateway to the Alvord Desert.
Golden hour on the Alvord Desert (simply breathtaking)
Alvord Desert and the Steens Mountain in the background
To capture the full beauty of the Alvord, we stayed a few nights in Fields, hoping to have some success at sunrise and sunset.
Misty sunset over the Alvord
Rainbow over the Alvord
Leaving Fields, we traveled along Fields-Denio Road, which wraps around the Steens Mountain.
Alvord Desert Hot Springs
Leaving the Steens behind, we traveled along highway 78 to Burns, and the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.
Malheur National Wildlife Refuge (Harney County)
Driving through Harney County we traveled on highway 395 through the Malheur National Forest and up to John Day, home to the Painted Hills. We then traveled along highway 26 to Dayville and on up to Kimberly, all along the John Day River.
John Day intersection
Cathederal Rock with John Day River
James Cant Museum, John Day (with Sheep Rock in the background)
This is some of the most stunning scenery you’ll ever see, particularly if you are wanting astounding rock formations and colors in the background of your shoot. The James Cant Museum isn’t open year round, and therefore may be available through the State Park service for your production. The Museum has horse corrals, a barn, orchards and plenty of parking for your production vehicles.
James Cant Museum orchards
Circling through Kimberly and Mitchell, we went through the Painted Hills National Monument at the golden hour. Filming here would need the support of the State Park rangers, and we can certainly help with those permits. Please always make sure to give us plenty of notice when permits are required.
Painted Hills National Monument
Candy Corn rock formation in the Painted Hills
Coming to the end of our scout trip was disappointing. We didn’t have a chance to stop in the Ochoco National Forest to get some images there as it was too late in the day.
From the Painted Hills we traveled through Prineville back to Bend, saving the Ochoco’s for another day.
Eastern Oregon trip map