55. Bluebucket Creek (Upper River Unit)
Suggested Citation: Kerr, Andy. 2000. Oregon Desert Guide: 70 Hikes. Seattle: The Mountaineers Books. pp. 214-215.
What to Expect: A strenuous hike down canyons, across talus slopes, through forest, on open hillsides, and with rattlesnakes
Distance: 4.6-mile loop
Elevation Range: 4,020-4,856 feet
Drinking Water: Yes
Best Times: Spring, summer, fall
USGS 7.5' Map: Moffit Table
Oregon Map Starting Point: Drewsey
Go upriver (northwest) for 13 miles on the Van-Drewsey Road to a major Forest Service road (if you've crossed the river, you've gone too far). Proceed northeasterly approximately 5 miles and park where an unimproved way takes off to northwest.
Hike westerly across Moffit Table toward elevation 4856 on the rim of Malheur River Canyon. It is rugged looking, but one can scout routes down to the river. Cattle and game trails will lead you to the confluence of Bluebucket Creek and then up Bluebucket Creek to the side canyon that takes you south, up, and back to your vehicle. This can either be a day hike or an overnight trip with a campsite near the river. Lots of rattlesnakes (guess which subspecies).