Crooked River National Grassland - Madras, OR - Oregon - Crooked River National Grassland
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Crooked River National Grassland
GPS Coordinates: Unknown
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Made up of about 155,000 acres, Crooked River National Grassland is one of the largest tracks of preserved grassland in the United States. Established in 1960 by the National Forest Service it was returned to government ownership through the purchase of submarginal and drought-stricken homestead lands.
Crooked River National Grassland was tilled up between 1880 and 1930 after it was mistakenly reported that the land was suitable for dryland farming. By 1930 nearly 700 homesteaders had moved out, unable to make a living on the land. The government rehabilitated the land in 1954 and, after replanting devastated areas with crested wheat grass, the project was considered a success.
For a look back in time, the Grassland holds a variety of unique opportunities. Evidence of homesteaders such as stone shelters, tools, cans, log cabins, barns and water troughs still remain as a reminder of their brief presence and tragic history.
Currently, the Grassland provides a variety of habitat for 375 known or expected to be present species of wildlife. These include deer, elk, antelope, mountain lion and other small and large mammals. There are also various species of songbirds, waterfowl, shore birds, upland game birds and raptors, which include the threatened Northern Bald Eagle and the endangered Peregrine Falcon. With the wide open nature of Crooked River National Grassland and so many interesting species, the area is a prime spot to view wildlife.
Halfway between Madras and Prineville, on U.S. Highway 26, is one of the Grassland's best viewing areas, Rimrock Springs Wildlife Management Area. The 4350acre Rimrock Springs Wildlife Management Area is closed to all hunting and trapping and has emphasized non-consumptive wildlife uses including recreational and educational activities.
As far as visitors go, Crooked River National Grassland is very user friendly. There are many campgrounds dispersed throughout the area, which include developed as well as undeveloped sites. The two developed campgrounds are just south of haystack Butte on Haystack Reservoir and at the Cove Palisades State Park. The undeveloped sites are dispersed throughout the Grassland.
Located just south of Madras on Highway 97, Haystack Campground is open from Memorial Day weekend through late October. There are 24 sites and several boat docks for swimming and fishing.
The lake area, created by Round Butte Dam, offers camping and three-day-use areas perfect for boat launching, fishing, picnicking, swimming as well as other recreational accommodations including boat rentals and access to off-road vehicle trails. Other recreational opportunities through the Grassland include rockhounding and cross-country skiing.

Facilities: Crooked River National Grassland provides campgrounds which include developed as well as undeveloped sites.

Best Time To Visit: Crooked River National Grassland The best time to view wildlife at the Rimrock Springs Wildlife Management Area, near the grassland, is in the Spring and Fall but it is open year-round to the public.

Fees: Unknown

Accessibility: Unknown

Rules: Cultural resources on the National Grassland are comprised mainly of archaeological and historical evidence, artifacts and sites, which are protected by the Antiques Act of 1906. It is a violation of the act to disturb or remove these artifacts without an Antiquities permit.

Directions: Crooked River National Grassland

Map: Click here for a map to Crooked River National Grassland

Reservations: Reservations are not needed or accepted for Crooked River National Grassland.

Crooked River National Grassland
813 S.W. Hwy. 97
Madras, Oregon 97741
General: (541) 475-9272
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