Steens Mountain
Steens Mountain is a large fault-block mountain
Fault-block mountain
Fault-block landforms are formed when large areas of bedrock are widely broken up by faults creating large vertical displacements of continental crust....

 in the southeastern part of the U.S. state
U.S. state
A U.S. state is any one of the 50 federated states of the United States of America that share sovereignty with the federal government. Because of this shared sovereignty, an American is a citizen both of the federal entity and of his or her state of domicile. Four states use the official title of...

 of Oregon
Oregon is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. It is located on the Pacific coast, with Washington to the north, California to the south, Nevada on the southeast and Idaho to the east. The Columbia and Snake rivers delineate much of Oregon's northern and eastern...

. Located in Harney County
Harney County, Oregon
-National protected areas:*Malheur National Forest *Malheur National Wildlife Refuge*Ochoco National Forest -Demographics:As of the census of 2000, there were 7,609 people, 3,036 households, and 2,094 families residing in the county. The population density was 1 people per square mile...

, it stretches some 50 mile and rises from an elevation of about 4200 foot above the Alvord Desert
Alvord Desert
The Alvord Desert is a desert located in Harney County, in southeastern Oregon in the western United States. It is roughly southeast of Steens Mountain. The Alvord Desert is a dry lake bed and averages of rain a year. Two mountain ranges separate it from the Pacific Ocean—the Coast Range, and...

 to its peak at 9733 feet (2,967 m). It is sometimes confused with a mountain range
Mountain range
A mountain range is a single, large mass consisting of a succession of mountains or narrowly spaced mountain ridges, with or without peaks, closely related in position, direction, formation, and age; a component part of a mountain system or of a mountain chain...

, but is properly a single mountain
Image:Himalaya_annotated.jpg|thumb|right|The Himalayan mountain range with Mount Everestrect 58 14 160 49 Chomo Lonzorect 200 28 335 52 Makalurect 378 24 566 45 Mount Everestrect 188 581 920 656 Tibetan Plateaurect 250 406 340 427 Rong River...



It was called the "Snowy Mountains" by John Work
John Work
John Work was a chief factor of the Hudson's Bay Company and head of one of the original founding families in Victoria, British Columbia. Work joined the Hudson’s Bay Company in 1814 and served in many capacities until his death in 1861, ultimately becoming a member of the company’s Board of...

, the fur trade
Fur trade
The fur trade is a worldwide industry dealing in the acquisition and sale of animal fur. Since the establishment of world market for in the early modern period furs of boreal, polar and cold temperate mammalian animals have been the most valued...

rs who were the first Europeans in the area, but in 1860 was renamed for United States Army
United States Army
The United States Army is the main branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. It is the largest and oldest established branch of the U.S. military, and is one of seven U.S. uniformed services...

 Major, Enoch Steen
Enoch Steen
Enoch Steen was an United States military officer and western explorer. He joined the United States Army in 1832, serving at posts throughout the United States including many remote locations in the west. During his military service, Steen explored parts of the western United States including...

, who fought and drove members of the Paiute tribe
Paiute refers to three closely related groups of Native Americans — the Northern Paiute of California, Idaho, Nevada and Oregon; the Owens Valley Paiute of California and Nevada; and the Southern Paiute of Arizona, southeastern California and Nevada, and Utah.-Origin of name:The origin of...

 off the mountain.


The east face of Steens Mountain is made up almost entirely of basalts stacked one upon another. Staggering amounts of magma, with several flows hundreds of feet deep, inundated the region between 14 and 17 million years ago.

Flora and fauna

Several plant taxa are endemic to Steens Mountain, including Castilleja pilosa var. steenensis
Castilleja pilosa
Castilleja pilosa is a species of Indian paintbrush known by the common name parrothead Indian paintbrush. It is native to the western United States from California to Wyoming, where it grows in mountain and plateau habitat across the Great Basin and surrounding regions...

, Cirsium peckii, Draba cusickii var. cusickii, Penstemon davidsonii var. praeteritus, and Poa chambersii.

Environmental protection

On October 24, 2000, president Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton
William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton is an American politician who served as the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Inaugurated at age 46, he was the third-youngest president. He took office at the end of the Cold War, and was the first president of the baby boomer generation...

 approved the Steens Mountain Cooperative Management and Protective Act. The act was created by local landowners in cooperation with local and national government reperesentatives in response to a proposed National Monument. This act created the Steens Mountain BLM
Bureau of Land Management
The Bureau of Land Management is an agency within the United States Department of the Interior which administers America's public lands, totaling approximately , or one-eighth of the landmass of the country. The BLM also manages of subsurface mineral estate underlying federal, state and private...

 Cooperative Management and Protection Area, a 425000 acres (1,719.9 km²) area. This law protects 1200000 acres (4,856.2 km²) from mining, and 100000 acres (404.7 km²) from cattle
Cattle are the most common type of large domesticated ungulates. They are a prominent modern member of the subfamily Bovinae, are the most widespread species of the genus Bos, and are most commonly classified collectively as Bos primigenius...



Steens Mountain is also host to Steens Mountain Running Camp
Steens Mountain Running Camp
Steens Mountain Running Camp is a nationally known running camp.Founded in 1975, it was designed togive campers aged 13–19 a realistic wilderness running and campingexperience...

, a nationally known
cross country training camp that has been held on the mountain since 1975.

Other recreational activities enjoyed on and around Steens Mountain are: camping, picknicking, bicycling, hiking, hunting, sightseeing, and exploring. Along the base of Steens Mountain, there are numerous hot springs
Hot Springs
Hot Springs may refer to:* Hot Springs, Arkansas** Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas*Hot Springs, California**Hot Springs, Lassen County, California**Hot Springs, Modoc County, California**Hot Springs, Placer County, California...

, including Hot Lake Springs.
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