U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIORBUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
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Diamond Craters Outstanding Natural Area
Geologic Sightseeing > Diamond Craters Outstanding Natural Area (OR) 
Location
55 miles south of Burns, Oregon.
 
Description
Diamond Craters contains hundreds of pristine volcanic features. Geologists maintain that the 17,000-acre area has some of the best and most diverse examples of basaltic volcanism in the United States. The 64-mile Diamond Loop Back Country Byway meanders through a sagebrush-covered landscape, which is punctuated by buttes and rimrock above broad, water-filled valleys. Wild horses, including the famous Kiger mustangs (thought to be one of the purest herds of Spanish mustangs existing in the wild today), mule deer, pronghorn antelope, hawks, and eagles are among the many species of wildlife that can be seen.
 
Directions
From Burns, take State Highway 205 south approximately 41 miles to the Diamond turn-off. Travel east 7 miles to Diamond Craters junction, turn left on Lava Beds Road, and follow signs 2 miles north to Diamond Craters.
 
Visitor Activities
Picnicking, geologic sightseeing, scenic drives, wildflower viewing, wild horse viewing, and wildlife viewing.
 
Special Features
Features include blast craters, small calderas, unusual lava flow formations, a water-filled crater (known as a maar), and unusual plant communities. A self-guided tour identifies the craters, cinder cones, lave tubes, and other features. Wildflowers are in bloom from May–August.
 
Permits, Fees, Limitations
No permits or fees are required. Vehicle access is permitted on designated roads only. No removal of rock materials, plants, or animals is permitted.
 
Accessibility
None.
 
Camping and Lodging
There are no facilities on-site. Year-round camping (36 sites) is available at BLM’s Page Springs Campground near Frenchglen, 23 miles south on State Highway 205. No services are available from October–April. In season, a fee is charged, which includes some amenities (toilets, water, picnic tables, fire rings, parking pads, but no waste water disposal). Lodging is available in Diamond (5 miles east of Diamond Crater junction on Diamond Grain Camp Road), Frenchglen, and Burns.
 
Food and Supplies
Supplies are available in Diamond, Frenchglen, and Burns.
 
First Aid
There is no first aid available on-site. The nearest hospital is in Burns.
 
Additional Information
The area is open all year; however, winter weather can restrict travel. This is an isolated area of rocky terrain, inhabited by rattlesnakes and ticks. The best times to visit are May–June and September–October. The weather is very hot and dry in July and August. There are no facilities of any kind on-site. The Kiger Mustang Viewing Area, located approximately 14 miles east of Diamond and accessible from Happy Valley Road, requires a high-clearance vehicle and is reachable only in dry weather.
 
Contact Information
BLM - Burns District Office
28910 Highway 20 West
Hines, OR 97738
Tel: (541) 573-4400              

Little Red Cone

Little Red Cone is one of the many well-preserved volcanic features that highlight the landscape at Diamond Craters. (Mark Armstrong, BLM Burns District Office)

Diamond Craters Map


 
Last updated: 10-23-2009