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Oregon Badlands Wilderness | by BLM Oregon & Washington
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Oregon Badlands Wilderness

View along the Flatiron Trail, Oregon Badlands Wilderness, January 30, 2017. Photo by Greg Shine, BLM.


The United States Congress designated the Oregon Badlands Wilderness in 2009 and it now has 29,180 acres. All of this wilderness is located in Oregon and is managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).


The Oregon Badlands Wilderness holds a number of remarkable and exciting landforms and geologic features. Most of the area includes the rugged Badlands volcano, which has features of inflated lava. Windblown volcanic ash and eroded lava make up the sandy, light-colored soil that covers the low and flat places in these fields of lava. Dry River, active during each of several ice ages, marks the southeast boundary between two volcanic areas – Badlands volcano and the Horse Ridge volcanoes.


Earth movements along the Brothers Fault Zone have faulted and sliced up the old Horse Ridge volcanoes, but not Badlands volcano. The Badlands formed in an unusual way. The flow that supplied lava to the Badlands apparently developed a hole in the roof of its main lava tube. This hole became the source of lava that built a shield volcano that we call the Badlands (technically, a rootless shield volcano). An irregularly-shaped pit crater at the top of the shield marks the site where lava flowed in all directions to create the Badlands.


A variety of wildlife species inhabit the area including yellow-bellied marmots, bobcat, mule deer, elk, and antelope. The southern portion of the Badlands Wilderness includes crucial winter range for mule deer. Avian species include prairie falcons and golden eagles.


For more information on the area, contact our Prineville District office:

3050 N.E. 3rd Street

Prineville, OR 97754

Phone: 541-416-6700

Fax: 541-416-6798


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Taken on January 30, 2017