The 7 Wonders of Harney County

Natural wonders are bountiful in Harney County. Spend time exploring the Steens Mountain, which rises up to 9,733 feet and provides a stunning panorama of the area. On the other side, the Alvord Desert provides a sharp contrast with white desert sand sitting at the feet of the Steens Mountain. The Malheur National Wildlife Refuge is a must see if you are participating in the festival, but did you know they have fishing and petroglyphs in addition to the amazing wildlife? While you are out there, make a side trip to see the Diamond Craters. The 17,000 acres volcanic area, has some of the most diverse basaltic volcanic features in the nation clustered within a small, accessible area (see more below). Need a break from the sun? Head north and wander through the Malheur National Forest. The forest has some species of birds you won't see down on the refuge, such as the white-headed woodpecker. Finally, if you want to relax and recover from exploring, spend time soaking in one of three natural hot springs in the area while star gazing the vast skies.  

Charm Trail

The Charm Trail allows you to explore stores and businesses of Harney County as you create your own one-of-a-kind charm bracelet.  First purchase your bracelet and signature charm for $5 at the Chamber office or at the Chamber booth at the High School. Grab your Charm Trail map and choose which charms you’d like to purchase for $1 each at participating stores and businesses.  A new bird charm is added each year, so be sure to check the new brochure for new charms and locations. Have fun and enjoy building your souvenir bracelet from Harney County!

Self-Guided Downtown Burns History Walking Tour and Harney County Historical Society Museum

Enjoy a chance to stretch your legs between birding tours and learn more about Burns history. This walking tour covers 14 blocks in the downtown area of Burns and focuses on many of the 100+ year old buildings still in use. You will visit and get a brief historical sketch about each building on your path. Finish your tour with a visit to the Harney County Historical Society Museum, open Friday and Saturday from 10 to 4. The Historical Society Museum will be selling a fun themed charm to add to your charm bracelet.Self-guided brochures are available for free at the Festival Registration table at the High School.

Pete French Round Barn

The Pete French Round Barn is the centerpiece of a state heritage site 14 miles south of New Princeton, which is 37 miles southeast of Burns on Highway 78. Built by frontier cattle baron Pete French around 1880, the barn was used to train large teams of horses that pulled freight wagons over a nearby wagon route. The structure, which is 100 feet in diameter, has a circular 60-foot inner corral surrounded by a 20-foot track used for the horse training. Juniper posts and an umbrella-shaped center truss-like structure rise from inside the corral to support the roof. The Round Barn Visitor Center located just ½ mile from the barn has public restrooms, snacks, gifts, local history books and a small museum. Ask at the Festival Registration desk for directions to this historic site.                                    

Diamond Craters Outstanding Natural Area

Situated between Malheur National Wildlife Refuge and the Pete French Round Barn this 17,000 acres volcanic area, has some of the most diverse basaltic volcanic features in the nation clustered within a small, accessible area. Diamond Craters displays an entire range of eruptions possible in basaltic volcanism. This volcanic area was formed sometime in the past 25,000 years, with some of the eruptions taking place as late as 1,000 years ago, and now resembles a thin, rocky pancake with a few bumps. Features identifiable within the area include craters and vents, cinder cones, spatter cones, lava tubes, driblet spires, a graben, and a water-filled maar. Self-guided brochures are available for free at the Festival Registration table at the High School.

BLM Oregon’s Wild Horse Corral Facility

The Bureau of Land Management's Oregon's Wild Horse Corral facility is open to visitors on Friday of the Migratory Bird Festival.  The Corral facility currently has over 500 wild horses available for viewing and adoption by the public.  The horses were gathered from public lands in Oregon in accordance the Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act of 1971, which directs the BLM to remove animals in excess of what their rangeland can support. Horses and burros removed from the Oregon range are brought to this Corral Facility and prepared for adoption. Staff at the Corral Facility welcome the opportunity to explain the various aspects of the wild horse program, such as range management, animal gathers, animal preparation at the Corral Facility, or the adoption program. Friday – 7:30 am to 3:00 pm