An ancient dry inland sea, Flook Lake with its dusty alkali soil looks like another planet. The lake is sited at the eastern boundary of the Hart Mountain National Antelope Refuge. Covered with sagebrushes and wild flowers, the alkaline playa is popular among rock collectors. Agate, jasper, black obsidian, and sometimes fire opal are found on the lakebed. The minerals aren't very large but the quality is good and naturally polished by weather. During our trip we have found brown- and blue-toned agates, shiny black obsidian, and jasper. Jasper tends to be brown, red and green.
Rock collectors are limited a surface hunt and seven pounds per person per day. Digging with any tools is prohibited. Artifacts more than 25 years old are protected by federal and state law. Removing arrowheads or flakes, rock arts, ancient or historical artifacts is illegal.
The road runs 1.5 miles throughout the lake flat. During wet weather, the road is getting muddy and may become inaccessible. Always check up-to-date regulations and current weather conditions.
Do not drive off the road to avoid a damage of fragile soil structure and native vegetation.
Besides rock hounding, the Hart Mountain National Antelope Refuge offers a lot of things to see and do.
The Hart Mountain National Antelope Refuge was established as an animal refuge. Wildlife observation including pronghorn antelope, California bighorn sheep, sage-grouse, and other animals is the most popular activity for refuge visitors.
A 0.6-mile trail-less route on Flook Lake leads west to Petroglyph Canyon. Google Earth satellite map shows an image that looks like a gigantic petroglyph, approximately 0.7 miles wide by 1-mile long. Also, you will find rock arts at Antelope Springs.
Another significant site with 65 petroglyph panels is located near Petroglyph Lake. Hike 1.6 miles from trailhead that is starts fro Hart Mountain road.
Hart Mountain National Antelope Refuge is also well-known as a hot springs oasis at the high elevation of 6,000 feet. Hart Mountain or Antelope Hot Springs are are a collection of hot mineral springs offering excellent soaking opportunities year-round.
Flook Lake | General Description
Managed: US Fish & Wildlife Service
Location: Hart Mountain Antelope Refuge
Rocks & Minerals: Agate, Jasper, Obsidian, Fire Opal
Tools: Not allowed - surface collecting only
Activities: Camping, hiking, soaking, rockhounding, fishing, and wildlife observing
Accommodations: Campground sites
Distance from the parking: Short
Road access: Some roads are maintained; Seasonal road closure; Four-wheel drive vehicles with high clearance are recommended.
Day-use fees: None
Popularity: Low to moderate
Elevation: 4,957 ft (1,511 m)
Flook Lake is located:
71 miles northeast of Lakeview
116 miles southwest of Burns
312 miles southeast of Eugene
390 miles northeast of Portland.
From the north end of Plush,
- Turn east on Lake County Road 3-12 or Hart Mountain Road toward Hart Lake and Mountains
- Continue 23 miles to Refuge Headquarters (the road is mostly gravel)
- Turn slight left onto Frenchglen Road and continue 6.7 miles to Flook Lake Road
- Turn right onto a dirt Flook Lake Road and drive 1.3 miles to the edge of the Lake.
If the road is dry, you can drive 1.6 miles across the lakebed. During wet weather, the road is getting muddy and may become inaccessible.