Your Southern Oregon Guide


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Frenchglen is located in southeast Oregon, Harney County, near Steens Mountain. It is about 60 miles near Burns. Frenchglen was named after Pete French and Dr. Hugh Glenn who was Pete French's father-in-law. The "P" Ranch was established in 1872 as the headquarters for French-Glenn Livestock Co. Pete French owned 150,000 acres at the base of the Steens Mountain, in what is now known as the Frenchglen Valley. He was unarmed when allegedly shot and killed by Ed Oliver on December 26, 1897 over a fencing dispute.

Frenchglen is a very small town. It consists of the historic Frenchglen Hotel, offering meals and lively conversation, Frenchglen Mercantile for ice, gas, snacks, local information and collectables and another ten buildings that make up the rest of the town.

Points of interest: Frenchglen Hotel, Steens Mountain Loop Drive, Wild Horses, and the Malheur Wildlife Refuge. Steens Mountain Packers, a guide service located near Frenchglen, offer pack trips, trail rides, helicopter tours, and the annual Steens Mountain Rim Run.

Crops grown in the Frenchglen area consist of meadow hay and in the Catlow Valley alfalfa is grown. The ground is good for gardening due to the run off, and the sandy, rich and fertile soil. The growing season is from mid- May to mid-September, with an occasional unexpected freeze in mid-July. Soil is great for gardens (if you can keep the wildlife from eating it!).

The climate in the winter is mild, seldom below zero. The summers are mild, not too hot with temperatures ranging between the high 70's and 80's. The storms seem to just pass over Frenchglen and the weather is warmer than much of Harney County. Frenchglen only gets about 10 inches of rain a year.
Harney County is an area of over 10,000 square miles. It is the largest county in Oregon and the ninth largest in the US.
Nearby, the Malheur Wildlife Refuge is an internationally famous bird watching destination and Malheur Lake forms one of the largest freshwater marshes in the country. Over 50,000 birders, from all over the world visit each year.

Other places in the Frenchglen area are: Diamond Valley, the Peter French round barn, the Steens Mountain loop road, the Alvord Desert and Crane Hot Springs. This is the kind of place where you may be lucky enough to see the wild Kigar mustangs, giant mule deer bucks, rattlesnakes, any number of the 340 species of birds, AND some nice rainbow, cutthroat and brook trout. There is fishing in Mann Lake, Krumbo Res., the Blitzen River, as well as other small streams and lakes. The fishing can be very good if there has been enough rain or snow in the high country. Fishing Conditions can vary due to rain.

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