Jeep > Wheeling Areas

[Oregon] - Virtue Flat


Over view:
Roughly 6-square miles of BLM public lands, consisting of sagebrush-covered hills, twisty dirt gulches, and rock-strewn ravines, with trails and routes suitable for all kinds of vehicles and skill levels.  Because the area is specifically designated and managed for intensive OHV recreation, you can still drive cross country and explore (check with BLM for any current restrictions or closure areas). Virtue Flat is not only a great place for 4-wheelin, it's a great place for motorcycles, quads, and side-by-sides, so bring it all! And because the east side of Oregon has a very low population, you'll probably feel like you have it all to yourself, but watch out for other users hidden around blind corners and hilltops anyway.

From I-84 take Exit 304 at Baker City, Oregon. Get gas and supplies there. Then get back on I-84 westbound to EXIT 302 onto Highway 86. Take Hwy. 86 eastbound for about 5 miles. Follow the signs to the "Oregon Trail Interpretive Center". Instead of turning left to the Interpretive Center, turn RIGHT on "RUCKLES CREEK LP" road. This is a gravel road with a small green sign. Follow Ruckles Cr. road, staying to the left, and in a couple miles you will see the main staging area. There is a bulletin board there with maps and information, loading ramps, parking, and a porta-potty.

GPS Coordinates:
Lat/Lon: N44 47.83 W117 40.42
UTM: 11T 0446716, 4960423

Maps - Baker City map and the 2015 Trail Map

ATV Permits Required/ Fees:
Oregon ATV Permit required on all off-highway vehicles (see for more information). Permits from other states are generally honored in Oregon. / No other fees.

For a list of required equipment on 4x4's, please visit this above Oregon OHV link, as well as THIS thread:

Open all year, with seasonal or partial closure periods during times of high fire danger (usually July through September, depending on rain) or to manage other resource values. For current fire restrictions, call the BLM office in Baker City at 541-523-1256. They will be glad to answer all your questions. Camping (and open fires) is not allowed inside of the fenced staging area; primitive camping is allowed on any of the surrounding BLM public lands unless posted closed. If you're not sure where the public land is, visit the BLM office in Baker City at 3100 H Street or call them at 541-523-1256, and they'll be happy to get you some maps and current info.

Trail Conditions:
Variety of trails available, from stock SUV two-track roads to black diamond rockcrawls. While the majority of trails are rated "Easiest", stock rigs and beginner drivers will have a blast. Add some rain or snow and these can become very tough! The "More Difficult" trails will require careful routefinding and put your mods to the test with off-camber articulation and sneaky rocks... Virtue Flat is famous for finding the weakest link! Looking for even more challenge? There are several short but very technical runs for rock buggies and trailered rigs (look for the "Most Difficult" trails on the south and eastern ends). Bypasses are usually available for the tougher sections. Virtue tends to get very dusty when dry, and very sloppy when it's wet. Virtue Flat mud will quickly cover any tire in slick clay that makes easy trails challenging, and difficult trails crazy. Winter is fun too. The frozen dirt can be hard as rock, and snowfall tends to be light and adds additional challenges. Sudden thunderstorms in summer can turn what was a bone-dry trail into a slippery mud track in seconds. Full-size spare tire recommended. Lesser-used trails can be brushy once you leave the beaten track. Most trails are now signed, other cross-country routes can be more difficult to locate; map and GPS very useful.

Current Weather Report:

Road Conditions:

Trail Photos:

See the BLM website for more info:

NOTE:  The map is currently undergoing some updates and revisions, so bring a GPS for best navigating, and check back later (like, summer 2015) for the new and improved Virtue Flat map!

NOTE #2:  Other places to check out in Baker City include the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center and the Baker County Museum (especially if you like rocks!).

Bumped for updated info.

I just love all the work you put into this thread. Very nice.

I agree.  And that's Ed's killer CJ!  I printed one up and will mail it to the BLM.   ;)


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