Most people don’t think of Central Oregon as the place to go to get in some desert riding, but the Millican Plateau Off-Highway Vehicle Trail System offers a variety of desert riding experiences.
The trail system, which is near Prineville, has 111 miles of trails open to ATVs and motorcycles. Some 37 of those miles are also open to side-by-sides and Jeeps.
Horse riders, mountain bikers and others also share the trails, so be sure to respect the rights of other users.
There is no fee to ride, but there are conditions. To ride, you will need a spark arrester, a valid OHV sticker, an engine muffled at or below 99 decibels at 20 inches, a valid drivers license (or ATV permit as appropriate) and a helmet for riders 18 years old or younger.
This riding area is managed and maintained by the Prineville District of the federal Bureau of Land Management (under a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Forest Service), the Oregon Department of Parks and Recreation ATV Funds, and support from user groups and volunteers.
The Millican Plateau is mostly sand with rock outcrops. The vegetation is a mix of sagebrush and juniper. The riding area is open for riding year round. During the summer, the area is hot, dry and dusty. The best riding season is during the winter when there is good ground moisture. There are only a couple weeks during the late fall, winter and early spring when the trails can’t be ridden because of snow or frost.
There is no water available, so bring plenty. There are chemical toilets at the staging areas.
There are three staging areas: Four Corners, Alfalfa Curves and Corrals. All three have an information kiosk that provides maps and brochures about the area. Each staging area also has picnic tables, fire rings and port-a-potties. There is no garbage collection, so plan to pack out your trash.
Access to the staging areas is immediately adjacent to a paved road, so road conditions are good for any type of vehicle. The Four Corners staging area is large enough to accommodate groups, fifth wheels and motor homes. Camping is also allowed at any of the many dispersed sites.
To get to Four Corners from Bend, follow Highway 20 east about four miles and turn left on the Powell Butte Highway. Go about a half mile and turn right on Alfalfa Market Road. Once you have turned onto Alfalfa Market Road it is 16 miles to the Four Corners staging area.
To get to the Alfalfa Curves staging area rom Bend, go east on Reservoir Road. The staging area is about two miles prior to the intersection of George Millikan Highway.
To get to the Corrals staging area, head to the Four Corners staging area. When you reach George Millikan Highway, turn left and head north for about one and a half miles. The staging area is on the right side and is posted with a sign on the highway.
For information on Oregon OHV laws, go to OregonOHV.org.
For information on the Millican Plateau OHV Riding Area, call Central Oregon OHV Operations at (541) 383-4000.