Explore The High Desert

Spectacular Bird Watching

Spectacular Bird Watching

Millions of years ago the Summer Lake Basin was a giant lake.  Native Americans resided here.  Pictographs, tepee rings, and arrow heads are visible in different areas of the valley and hillsides. Neighboring Fort Rock also has Native American history.  Homesteaders came, but most left due to the harsh conditions.  Traces of their homesteads and artesian wells can still be found.

The Summer Lake Basin and surrounding area is a geologists dream.  Excellent examples of interesting and scenic geologic features such as volcanic vents, cast lava flows, dramatic fault block mountains and valleys, and the effects of millions of years of sedimentation can be found.

The University of Oregon Department of Anthropology has done several dig sites in this area.

Bird Watchers and Explorers

Bird Watchers and Explorers

Bird Watching

For the Bird Watcher, the Sanctuary and surrounding areas are nesting sites and staging areas for both North and South Migration periods.  We are located in the Pacific Flyway. Migrating snow geese, swans, nesting and migrating Canada geese, and many species of ducks are here annually.  Sandhill cranes, pelicans, heron, eagles, osprey, hawks, countless shore and song birds are among the species that you will encounter.


The Sanctuary, valley floor, and hillsides provide and constant array of nature sites and sounds waiting for you to discover and appreciate.

Fishing for Fun

Fishing for Fun



Our ponds are stocked with Rainbow Trout that grow to trophy size.  We also have monster large mouth Bass.  It is Catch and Release Fly Fishing. You may keep and eat any bass that you catch.  Youth groups fish free. All other fishing is Fee Fishing.  Our rates are posted under Lodging and fishing rates.

Star Gazing

Clear night skies without surrounding lights provide a wealth of adventure for all levels of astronomers.

Wildlife Observation

Year round residents of the Sanctuary and Summer Lake Basin are: deer, antelope, coyotes, bobcats, raccoons, badger, weasels, cougars, black bear, muskrats, plus many more animals.

Just enjoy the peace and quiet and beauty of nature on your visit.