Haystack Butte - Oregon
Haystack Butte

• Haystack Butte is a remote area known for its distinctive colorful brecciated jasper

Rockhounding OregonCamping OregonWildlife Viewing

Haystack Butte, also known as Haystack Rock, is a remote high desert destination within the Owyhee area, located approximately 24 miles southeast of Nyssa and 30 miles south of Vale. This rugged landscape, covered with sagebrush, is a haven for rock enthusiasts with promises of extraordinary discoveries, including colorful jasper-agate, jasper, clear, white, or gray mossy agate, petrified wood, chalcedony, and occasionally common opal.

Haystack Butte Jasper, also refereed to as Jellybean Jasper, is famous for its diverse array of hues including red, green, and yellow. This brecciated jasper is prized for its ability to take on a brilliant polish, making it ideal for crafting cabochons.

Agate can be found in clear, white, or gray variations, often adorned with a mossy appearance or intricate botryoidal or crystalline cavities.

The landscape is rich with float material, offering ample opportunities for exploration. Spend some time searching steep hillsides, traversing dry washes, and hounding around washed gullies. Dig into old pits left behind by others if you find promising chips nearby.

Exercise caution and respect any claim markers encountered to avoid trespassing.

Haystackbutte Rockhounding

Know Before You Go

Haystack Butte is a remote desert destination that requires careful preparations. There are no services for 25 miles, including gas stations, drinking water, or cell phone reception.

Extreme summer heat and no shade can lead to dehydration and heatstroke. Take plenty of water and avoid extended exposure to direct sunlight and excessive heat.

Rattlesnakes are common here, so pay attention to your surroundings.

Do not try to go to this site during rains and when roads are wet. It's recommended to have a rugged 4WD high clearance vehicle and off-road driving experience.

Be especially careful exploring spur roads. Most spur roads might be washed down or be deeply rutted. So, any vehicle can be straddled.

When going to the area, ensure you have spare tires, sunscreen, and plenty of water. Since there's no cell service in the area, inform someone about your trip or have satellite communication for your safety.

Check desert safety tips before heading out.

Hatstack Butte Rockhounding Road

Haystack Butte Rockhoundin Area: Camping, Lodging, and Vacation Rentals

Camping is allowed throughout of BLM land. The closest campground, Twin Springs is located 15 miles away. This campground is a great base for exploring other rock collecting sites in the area such as Twin Springs and Negro Rocks.

Lodging is available 50 miles east in Homedale, Idaho or 50 miles northeast in Ontario, Oregon.

Lodging in Homedale, ID

Affordable vacation rentals for short and long term stay in Homedale, ID

Lodging in Ontario, OR

Affordable vacation rentals for short and long term stay in Ontario, OR

Haystack Butte Landscape

Haystack Butte Rockhounding Area | Facts

Best time: May through October
Managed by: Bureau Land of Management (BLM)

Rocks & Minerals: Jellybean jasper, agate, petrified wood, chalcedony, and common opal
Tools: Shovel, geology pick, hammer, and chisel

Amenities: None
Activities: Rockhounding, camping, and wildlife observing

Distance from the parking: Vary
Road access: A high-clearance 4WD vehicle
Day-use fees: None

Elevation: 2,700 ft (820 m)

Haystack Butte is located:

  • 24 miles southeast of Nyssa
  • 270 miles east of Bend
  • 400 miles southeast of Portland.

Adventures Nearby

Driving Directions to Haystack Butte Rockhounding Area

The road from Vale (Highway 20/26) is longer and more bumpy. We recommend to use Nyssa as a start point.

From Nyssa,

  • Take Highway OR 201 and drive for 8 miles to Owyhee Avenue
  • Turn right onto Owyhee Avenue and head 6 miles east to Mitchel Butte Road
  • Turn left onto Mitchel Butte Road and continue 0.5 miles to a fork; at the fork, bear right
  • Drive 4.9 miles to another fork and take the left road
  • Continue 2.5 miles to the next fork
  • Bear left onto Haystack Road and follow for approximately 1.5 miles.

Check any promising dry washes and gullies on your way.

GPS coordinates were taking along the road at one of a dry wash where we found great specimens during our recent trip.

GPS: N 43°42.434' W 117°15.430' | 43.707, -117.257

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.