These maps and directions are for planning purposes only. You may find that construction projects, traffic, or other events may cause road conditions to differ from the map results. For travel options, weather and road conditions, visit tripcheck.com, call 511 (in Oregon only), 800.977.6368 or 503.588.2941.

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Winding through a variety of high desert habitats, the Diamond Loop Tour Route offers wildlife watching, the historic Round Barn and the fascinating geologic formations of the Diamond Craters.

Along the Marsh

You’ll begin on the Diamond Loop Tour Route by heading east on South Diamond Lane, through the southern section of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. An important stopping point along the Pacific Flyway, the refuge Refuge offers a wonderful opportunity for viewing of a variety of bird species from waterfowl and shorebirds to hawks and eagles. Mule deer and antelope also make their home here.

Diamond in the Rough

Diamond is a small ranching community that takes its name from rancher Mace McCoy’s diamond brand. It was established as a major supply center for ranchers, sheepherders, and travelers. Today, all that remains of the town of Diamond is the recently renovated Hotel Diamond, a store and a few residences. East of Diamond, an 11-mile dirt road leads to the Kiger Mustangs Viewing Area. These distinctive wild horses are believed to closely resemble the horses brought to North America by the Spaniards in the late 16th century.

Historic Round Barn

Continuing north, you’ll reach the Pete French Round Barn, built in the late 1870′s or early 1880′s by its namesake. The barn is 100 feet in diameter featuring a 60-foot round stone corral surrounded by a 20-foot wide outer circle paddock with an umbrella-type center truss and centrally supported rafters. Its unusual design was perfectly suited for its purpose: breaking horses during long eastern Oregon winters. The Visitor Center at the site offers exhibits and souvenirs.

Diamond Craters

Driving west on Lava Beds Road, you’ll soon come to Diamond Craters Outstanding Natural Area, home to some of America’s most diverse basaltic volcanic formations. The craters were formed when molten basalt spilled from fissures in the earth and flooded in a thin layer over a dry lake bed. Before the initial layer cooled completely, more basaltic magma injected underneath, creating six arching structural domes. A self-guided tour highlights Lava Pit Crater, Graben Dome and other noteworthy features of the site.

Nearby Scenic Byways

Looking for more Scenic Byways nearby? Here are some suggestions…

  1. Silver Falls Tour Route

    • Distance: 55 M / 88 Km
    • Minimum Driving Time: 2-3 Hours
    • Best Time to Drive: All Year

    Majestic mountains (such as Hood and Rainier) soar over lush green fields except in the forest areas; these areas are filled with Douglas Firs that sunlight can’t quite part. Silver Falls State Park is intimate in spite of the thunder of its…

  2. Oregon Outback Scenic Byway

    • Distance: 171 M / 275 Km
    • Minimum Driving Time: 4-6 Hours
    • Best Time to Drive: Spring And Fall

    Solitude awaits you on this adventure through Oregon’s high desert. Enjoy the play of light on the rocks, the smell of sagebrush and the sounds of silence.

  3. McKenzie Pass-Santiam Pass Scenic Byway

    • Distance: 82 M / 132 Km
    • Minimum Driving Time: 3-5 Hours
    • Best Time to Drive: July-October

    Look both ways while crossing! These two connecting Cascade passes travel among 10,000-foot peaks, over jagged lava flows, along playful rivers, and through old-growth stands in two national forests.

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Drive safely.

Keep in mind many of the routes listed here travel through remote areas where gas stations are few and far between. And since road and weather conditions can be hazardous, even into summer, we urge you to call 800-977-6368 or check Trip Check before starting out.

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