July 9, 2022 –
 July 16, 2022

Central and Eastern Oregon Backcountry Explorer

What you'll do

The very first official EarthCruiser Adventure, this trip begins at the first Overland Expo PNW in Central Oregon. After taking in the seminars and events of the Expo, you will travel through the high desert and central regions of Central Oregon, stopping to explore its natural and archeological sites. You will drive dirt and gravel backroads, summit mountains, and navigate remote and rugged canyonlands. Along the way, you’ll be treated to exclusive dining experiences, knowledgeable local guides, and the company of your fellow EarthCruiser owners and staff.

Highlights:

  • Overland Expo PNW Entry and Camping
  • River-to-table Indigenous dining experience
  • Guided Fort Rock State Park Tour
  • Hart Mountain Antelope Refuge
  • Steens Mountain Summit
  • Alvord Desert Playa
  • Owyhee Canyonlands
  • Private Farm to Table Dinner and Cooking Lesson
  • Strawberry Wilderness
  • Painted Hills
  • Donation in Support of Tread Lightly!
  • Commemorative EarthCruiser Adventure Gift

4/5 Comfort Rating

Mostly camping with no water/power or facilities. Dusty conditions and bumpy roads at times. Hot in the day, cool at night. Few services are available most days.

3/5 Driving Rating

Able to drive over moderate gravel and dirt roads, basic recovery and winching helpful, basic familiarity with backroad navigation. Occasional rocky, muddy and sandy drives.

your adventure host

ellen wayte

ellen wayte

Ellen Wayte has spent over a decade working in tourism as an overlanding tour leader, scuba instructor, naturalist, park ranger, and concierge. As a tour leader, she has led adventure holidays through over 40 countries on five continents. She has guided clients on expeditions from Cape Town to Cairo, across the Silk Road, throughout South America, and the Indian subcontinent. She is passionate about wildlife and can often be found with binoculars in hand.

ITINERARY

Day 1 Redmond, Oregon, Saturday, July 9th

We begin our adventure near the home of EarthCruiser at the first-ever Overland Expo PNW. You are free to arrive at the Expo at any time, beginning the morning of Friday, July 8th. Enjoy the exhibits and workshops at the Expo, check in to your campsite at the grounds of the Expo Center, and get to know the EarthCruiser team. On the evening of the 9th we’ll enjoy an exclusive river-to-table dining experience featuring sole-source salmon prepared by a local indigenous group while we go over the details of the trip and meet our new traveling companions.

Inclusions: Overland Expo PNW Vehicle Camping Pass and Weekend Pass, Donation to Tread Lightly!, River-to-Table dining experience

Meals included: Dinner

Day 2 Christmas Valley Sand Dunes Area, Sunday, July 10th

We depart with a festive send-off and drive to the scenic Fort Rock area. Here we will have a guided walk led by professional naturalists. Next, we continue to the Christmas Valley area where we’ll have the opportunity to explore the region’s sand dunes.

Inclusions: Guided naturalist walk of Fort Rock State Natural Area

Day 3 Hart Mountain National Antelope Refuge, Monday, July 11th

This morning we continue southeast over gravel roads to the Hart Mountain Antelope Refuge, where we will camp for the night and take a plunge in the area’s natural hotsprings or go on short walks to look for indigenous art and wildlife.

Day 4 Alvord Desert, Tuesday, July 12th

Today we venture further into the rugged backcountry of Oregon’s high desert. We’ll drive over dirt and gravel roads to the summit of Steens Mountain, then down to the floor of the Alvord Desert, camping for the night on the otherworldly playa.

Days 5 Owhyee Canyonland, Wednesday, July 13th

We spend two days driving the dirt and gravel roads of the Owyhee Canyonlands, an area full of incredible geology. We’ll have time for short hikes into slot canyons and wildlife watching.

Day 6 Baker, Thursday, July 14th

This morning we’ll drive the backroads north towards the route of the historic Oregon Trail. We’ll spend the evening in a vineyard in the Snake River Valley American Viticultural Area where we’ll be treated to an exclusive farm to table meal, wine tasting and camp cooking class.

Inclusions: Vineyard dining experience: private farm to table dinner, wine tasting and cooking lesson

Meals included: Dinner

Day 7 Strawberry Wilderness, Friday, July 15th

Today we’ll head south over dirt and gravel roads into the Strawberry Wilderness. This stunning region is dotted with alpine lakes. We may hike to look for mountain goats on the cliffsides or cast a fly for trout.

Day 8 Bend, Saturday July 16th

In the morning, we take in our last views of Strawberry Mountain and begin our return to Bend. We’ll stop at the rainbow-striped landscape of the Painted Hills along the way for short hikes and exploration.

*Please note that the itinerary listed here represents the intended route and day to day schedule. EarthCruiser Adventure reserves the right to make any itinerary changes with or without notice, which may become necessary, as is the nature of overlanding.

Included activities

  • Overland Expo PNW Vehicle Camping Pass and Weekend Pass
  • Donation to Tread Lightly!
  • River-to-Table dining experience
  • Naturalist guided walk of Fort Rock State Natural Area
  • Exclusive Farm-to-Table vineyard dining experience

Optional Activities

  • None

Meals Provided

  • 2 dinners

Accomodations

  • Camping (7 nights)

VEHICLE & EQUIPMENT REQUIREMENTS

EarthCruiser or Terranova purchased new from EarthCruiser, used via EarthCruiser’s pre-owned program, or used via a third party with membership to the Cruiser Crew program.

Spare tire and full set of Maxtrax recovery board

Basic recovery gear including Snatch Block, Tree Saver, one pair each hard and soft shackles, and gloves.

INSURANCE REQUIREMENTS

You will be asked to show proof of valid insurance for operating your vehicle in the state of Oregon.

Starting at $3,500.00 / guest

Pay a 50% deposit per item

Minimum 50% deposit required for booking. The remaining balance will be automatically charged 30 days before your adventure begins.

Other Upcoming Adventures