2014 update:Jackass Mountain was included in the more than 1 million acres of Harney County burned by wildfire during the summer of 2012. Its blackened state has been replaced by wide expanses of grassland, however, due to extremely dry weather conditions, vegetation is recovering slowly. To a great extent, the soil remains exposed and fragile.The views from Jackass Rim are stupendous. This is a small scarp by Basin and Range standards, but its vertical rise of a thousand feet or so, loses nothing by its size. It seems as if one step will send you soaring, just like the golden eagles, hawks and falcons that nest here. This is a grand place for cloud watchers.
For some twenty miles, the rim provides stunning views of Steens Mountain and vast Harney Basin. Directly below, the Donner und Blitzen River winds though the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge cuts a green strip through the desert as it makes its way toward landlocked Harney Lake. To the east, snowy Steens Mountain fills the view.
Hidden behind its face of Jackass Rim, a complex of broken layers hold ephemeral lakes and bonsai juniper forests. On the long gentle western slope, herds of wild horses, pronghorn, and mule deer wander.