Crooked River National Grassland, Oregon

Bend Oregon
> Nature
> Crooked River National Grassland

Crooked River National Grassland

Northeast of Bend is the scenic Crooked River National Grassland - one of the largest tracks of protected grassland in the country and home to over 375 different species of wildlife.

  • One of the nation’s largest preserved grasslands, covering over 155,000 acres.
  • Hike, bike, or horseback ride on the miles of trails found in the area.
  • Enjoy viewing a vast array of wildlife that calls this area home.
  • About 40 miles northeast of Bend off Highway 97.


The Crooked River National Grassland is located northeast of Bend. It covers over 155,000 acres of land in Central Oregon. The National Forest Service established this as a protected grassland area back in 1960. The scenery and climate are typical of Oregon’s beautiful high desert country with clear, sunny days much of the year. Much of the landscape is covered with grasses and dotted with sagebrush and juniper. Once the home of settlers who attempted to farm the dry land, artifacts such as stone shelters, log cabins, and antique tools are still found within the grassland.

Location and Information

The Crooked River National Grassland is located about 40 miles northeast of Bend off Highway 97.

  • Contact Information: Crooked River National Grassland, 813 S.W. Hwy. 97, Madras, OR 97741. Phone: 541--475-9272.


  • Camping – Camping is a popular activity here. Campgrounds – both developed and undeveloped – are plentiful, including Skull Hollow Campground near Smith Rock, and Haystack Campground just south of Madras on the Haystack Reservoir.
  • Trails – The area has miles of trails that are perfect for hiking, horseback riding, and mountain biking. The 10-mile Warner Loop trail and the 25-mile Cole Loop trail are both fun but challenging trails to explore.
  • Wildlife Viewing – This preserved area is home to over 375 species of birds, animals, and reptiles, including the Peregrine Falcon, northern bald eagle, chukar, quail, elk, antelope, mountain lions, mule deer, and rattlesnakes.

Fun Facts

  • Two National Wild and Scenic Rivers - the Crooked River and the Deschutes - flow within the boundaries of Crooked River National Grassland.
  • True to its name, several types of grasses grow here including crested wheatgrass (planted by the government to restore the heavily tilled land), bluebunch wheatgrass, and Idaho fescue.