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Diamond Craters HP, OR | Sep-2012

K7ATN's picture
Voice Cellular Coverage: 
Decent, workable
Data Cellular Coverage: 
No service at all
Cellular Provider: 
APRS Coverage: 
Don't know

Diamond Craters is administered by the Bureau of Land Management as an Outstanding Natural Area. This is a great example of Oregon High Desert and although it’s not on the way to anything, it is very much worth visiting. It is about 55 miles southeast of Burns, Oregon. From Burns, take State Highway 78 southeast for approximately 2 miles. Turn right onto State Highway 205 and travel south for 46 miles to the Diamond Junction. Turn left at the junction and travel approximately 6 miles to the junction of Lava Bed Road and Happy Valley Road. Turn left onto Lava Bed Road to access Diamond Craters Outstanding Natural Area. 

The main road for Diamond Craters is suitable for a passenger vehicle, However, the turnoff described here should only be accessed by a high clearance vehicle and some grades are steep enough that four-wheel drive might be needed. 

Enter at the sign “Diamond Craters Auto Tour, Stops 5-11” (I don't know where stops 1-4 are), passing an (unstaffed) information kiosk to a right turn about 4/10 of a mile from Lava Bed Road. This road requires a high clearance vehicle. I drove about 6/10 of a mile until the grade dropped steeply – my vehicle might not have been able to climb back up and so I parked on a level bench here, about 0.56 miles from the summit. A GPS might be handy for identifying the correct summit. 

The terrain is open and cross-country travel is easy. You might return on a direct route down the steeper face of Diamond Craters HP but I recommend climbing the left side ridge. It might be a bit further it is quite a bit less steep and there are some game trails to follow that make the going a little easier. At the summit proper there is a large volcanic rock – here I found a spot to sit and guyed my antenna mast as there are no trees. Note that the high point was already occupied when I arrived as the third photo shows.  

Be sure and check out some of the amazing volcanic features of this area when you are visiting. Also nearby and worth a short visit is the French Round Barn.

Note that although T-Mobile had good signals for voice calls, SMS messages did not go through from this Unicel roaming area.



Diamond Craters Auto Tour Sign
Volcanic feature on route
Lizard on the high point of the High Point
Diamond Craters HP on right