Andy Kerr

Conservationist, Writer, Analyst, Operative, Agitator, Strategist, Tactitian, Schmoozer, Raconteur

5. Warner Peak and DeGarmo Canyon (Warner Peak Unit)

Suggested Citation: Kerr, Andy. 2000. Oregon Desert Guide: 70 Hikes. Seattle: The Mountaineers Books. p. 101.

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What to Expect: Panoramic views; beautiful rugged canyons full of aspen, willow, and alder; old-growth white fir, western juniper, and ponderosa pine; dry and wet meadows

Distance: 11.6-mile loop

Elevation Range: 5,840-8,017 feet

 Drinking Water: Yes 

Best Times: Summer, fall

USGS 7.5' Maps: Campbell Lake, Hart Lake, Warner Peak

Oregon Map Starting Point: Plush


Drive north 1 mile and then northeasterly approximately 25 miles (following signs) to Hart Mountain National Wildlife Refuge headquarters. Drive southerly 1.1 miles to a fork. Go southwest (right) 2 miles to the Hot Springs Campground. Park.

Hike (Campbell Lake quad) 2 miles on the old jeep route, which initially parallels Rock Creek but then heads uphill to Barnhardy Meadow (Warner Peak quad). Continue on the old jeep route to the pass (elevation 6,899 feet) in 1.3 miles. Climb cross-country to Hart Mountain ridge. Throw down the pack and bag the Warner Peak summit (0.3 mile south). On a clear day, the views are fantastic. If you are day hiking to summit, return as you came.

From Hart Mountain ridge, backpackers continue cross-country into the headwaters of South Fork DeGarmo Canyon. Game trails exist along most of the way to the confluence with the North Fork DeGarmo Canyon (Hart Lake quad) in 2.7 miles. Continue up North Fork DeGarmo Canyon to the headwaters. Camp spots are numerous along both forks (or camp at Barnhardy the first night out). In 2.2 miles from the confluence of the forks, catch the jeep trail to the east. After 1.6 miles you are on the original jeep route, 1.2 miles from Hot Springs Campground. Return as you came. It is time for a relaxing bath.

Backpacking permits are required on the refuge.