Description - The Fremont National Forest was established in 1908 by President Theodore Roosevelt. The Forest was named for Captain John C. Fremont, an early explorer who traveled through the area in 1843 with Kit Carson. The Forest includes over one million acres of public land located in south-central Oregon on the east side of the Cascades Mountains.
Copyright: USDA Forest Service
Crane Mtn., Fremont National Forest
Contrasts in climate, ecology and solitude afforded by remoteness are what makes the Fremont National Forest attractive. The land reflects diverse weather, from hot, dry summers to cold winters. In the spring and long Indian Summers there are lovely wildflower displays.
The Forest also provides "Outback" recreation opportunities. The "Outback" is an experience where the self reliant recreationist has the opportunity to discover nature in a rustic environment.
- Expansive views, dramatic cliffs and solitude are what you'll find in the Fremont National Forest. Located in "Oregon's Outback", the Forest provides the self reliant recreationist the opportunity to discover nature in a rustic environment. There are 1.2 million acres to explore. A gentle to moderate terrain prevails over most of the Forest and elevations range between 4,000 and 8,000 feet. Habitats range from near-desert to lush coniferous forests.
The Gearhart Mountain Wilderness, totaling 22,823 acres, is the Forest's only Wilderness. Its dominant topographic feature is Gearhart Mountain which is 8,380 feet at the summit. Picturesque rock formations cap most of the high-elevation ridge tops. Panoramic views of surrounding mountain ranges are provided on clear days. The Wilderness provides important summer range for Rocky Mountain elk. Rainbow trout are periodically stocked at Blue Lake, the only lake in the Wilderness. Both rainbow and brook trout inhabit the small streams.
Recreation - Recreation opportunities are plentiful, and popular activities include fishing, hunting, backpacking, cross-country and downhill skiing, camping, and leisure driving. The Chewaucan, Sycan, and Sprague Rivers are the major streams originating on Forest lands. Many of the Forest's small lakes and reservoirs are popular fishing and camping areas.
The Deschutes has established campgrounds located throughout the Forest. If you prefer more solitude or want to explore the backcountry, most of the Forest is open for dispersed or backcountry camping. Some regulations apply.
Game animals most often hunted include mule deer, Rocky Mountain elk, and pronghorn antelope. Several varieties of trout inhabit Forest lakes and streams, and a few lakes also support warm-water fish, such as largemouth bass. Waterfowl such as Canada geese, whistling swans, and mallards are frequently seen.
Climate - The Forest lies within a wide semiarid highland belt which is often known as the "high desert country." Average precipitation varies from 16 to 40 inches, with most of it falling during autumn, winter, and spring. Much of it falls in the form of snow, especially in the higher elevations. Temperatures fluctuate from about 30 below zero Fahrenheit, to 100 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on elevation and time of year.
The Fremont National Forest is located east of the Cascade Mountains, in the high-elevation lava tablelands of south-central Oregon. The Forest totals 1,198,301 acres. The Oregon-California border marks the Forest's southern boundary, while its eastern boundary includes part of the Warner Range. To the north and west it is bounded by the Deschutes and Winema National Forests.
Lake County, in which most of the Forest lies, is sparsely populated. Lakeview, with a population of 2,800, is the county's largest town.