Ochoco National Forest

The Ochoco National Forest is located in the Ochoco Mountains in Central Oregon in the United States, north and east of the city of Prineville, location of the national forest headquarters. It encompasses 850,000 acres (3,440 km2) of rimrock, canyons, geologic oddities, dense pine forests, and high desert terrain, as well as the headwaters of the North Fork Crooked River. A 1993 Forest Service study estimated that the extent of old growth in the forest was 95,000 acres (38,000 ha).[4]

Ochoco National Forest
Steins Pillar.jpg
Steins Pillar (Known as the “Big One” around the area)
Map showing the location of Ochoco National Forest
Map showing the location of Ochoco National Forest
LocationCrook / Harney / Wheeler / Grant counties, Oregon, USA
Nearest cityMitchell, Oregon
Coordinates44°22′35″N 120°07′00″W / 44.37639°N 120.11667°W / 44.37639; -120.11667Coordinates: 44°22′35″N 120°07′00″W / 44.37639°N 120.11667°W / 44.37639; -120.11667
Area851,033 acres (3,444.01 km2)[1]
EstablishedJuly 1, 1911[2]
Visitors575,000[3] (in 2006)
Governing bodyU.S. Forest Service
WebsiteOchoco National Forest

In descending order of forestland area, it occupies lands within Crook, Harney, Wheeler, and Grant counties. The national forest also administers the Crooked River National Grassland, which is in Jefferson County.

The Ochoco National Forest is composed of three ranger districts:

  • Crooked River National Grassland, managed from the Paulina district office with a visitor center in Madras.
  • Paulina and Lookout Mountain Ranger Districts, based in Prineville. The former Rager Ranger Station in Paulina has been closed. The former Snow Mountain Ranger District is now administered by the Malheur National Forest, as part of the Emigrant Creek Ranger District.


The forest contains three wilderness areas comprising 36,200 acres (146 km2):


Popular recreational activities in the Ochoco National Forest include hiking, fishing, camping, hunting, horseback riding, stargazing, birding, rock hounding, kayaking, and rock climbing.


  1. ^ "Land Areas of the National Forest System" (PDF). U.S. Forest Service. January 2012. Retrieved June 30, 2012.
  2. ^ "The National Forests of the United States" (PDF). ForestHistory.org. Archived from the original (PDF) on February 12, 2013. Retrieved July 30, 2012.
  3. ^ Revised Visitation Estimates (PDF) - U.S. Forest Service
  4. ^ Bolsinger, Charles L.; Waddell, Karen L. (1993), Area of old-growth forests in California, Oregon, and Washington (PDF), United States Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station, Resource Bulletin PNW-RB-197

External linksEdit

  Media related to Ochoco National Forest at Wikimedia Commons