For those who would like to explore local attractions near the ranch there are plenty to see. Geological wonders such as Abert Rim and Crack in the Ground are within easy driving distance. Hart Mountain National Antelope Refuge provides excellent opportunities to view prong horns, Bighorn sheep and mule deer. Lake County has many, many examples of petroglyphs, some of which are more than 10,000 years old.
Those who hike or bike may want to visit Gearhart Wilderness or Fremont National Forest with its over 200 miles of trails. Fishing enthusiasts will find 500 miles of secluded fishing streams and many lakes in Lake County from which to choose. It’s not so much a question of what to do, but when to do it!
Abert Rim is a quick 10 minute drive from the ranch and can also be viewed from a number of places of higher elevation on the ranch. It is 30 miles in length and rises over 2,000 above the valley floor. It is just one of the many geological wonders in Lake County. Crack in the Ground, Hole in the Ground, Table Rock are a few of the nature-crafted sights and all are within an easy drive from the ranch. On the ranch itself you will find rim rock formations that catch the fading end-of-day light to create a panolpy of banded colors.
Fishing is a time-honored pastime and as a visitor to Lake County you will have many choices of where to wet your line. There is a small stream on the ranch and many within a short drive that provide native trout. The Chewacan River is close by and is a favorite of the fly fisher. Lakes, you bet. Some hybrid striped bass inhabit the waters of Ana Reservoir, an easy drive from the ranch and an abundance of high mountain lakes provide opportunities to land nice sized rainbows and Eastern brookies
You will find examples of petroglyphs right on Willow Springs Ranch. Here the past is evident in these ancient Native American etchings. You will also find remnants of a homestead, an old sheepherder’s campsite, stone fences and dates scratched into the rim rocks that date back to the early 1900’s. There is a sense of history that you can almost feel when you walk the canyons and wander along Willow Creek. Here that history is a part of the present and we live each day grateful for the stewardship of this land.
Birders will find opportunities to view everything from migratory songbirds, to upland game birds to nesting waterfowl. As the elevation climbs from 4,600 feet at the ranch base to 5,400 feet in the high meadows, it is amazing to see the vegetation and the variety of birds change. Eagle sightings are fairly common as are falcons, which nest in the rimrocks, and other birds of prey. Having seen meadow larks and bluebirds in other parts of Oregon, it seems to us that these species are even more brilliantly marked here on Willow Springs Ranch. Come see for yourself.