Indian Trail Springs--- During June of 1992, the infant OSP Committee made its first formal group visit to the Indian Trail Springs site in the Ochoco Mountains. We pronounced the site a joyful "GO," and in August, the first-ever Ochocos Oregon Star Party was held!
The road signage in the picture vanished at some point after 1992... As of 2007, I could not find even a trace of where this big sign used to stand.....The sign removal marked the Forest Service's official desertion of the forest road that had led to Indian Trail Springs, a perennial spring about 1/3 mile downhill from our site.... By 2007, even though our Star Party is named and referred to as "ITS" or "Indian Trail Springs," any newcomers are likely to completely miss the reference, given that the USFS seems quite intent upon hiding the Springs completely......Sign removal also meant that dusty OSP'ers began to forget that a mere four mile drive could lead them to an afternoon of water play at Upper Falls
HOW TO FIND THE SPRINGS: In recent years, the hike down into the area of the springs is a short jaunt that starts alongside where the giant metal dumpster is usually situated. The road is now blocked and obscured by numerous downed trees and other debris, but following the road remains the basic route; follow it downhill, and the springs are on your right side (the downhill side) in roughly 1/3 to 1/2 a mile from the dumpster.
Below, and in the following webpage, I will present the namesake of our star party, the little-known Indian Trail Springs.
Indian Trail Springs was a favored camping place for many generations of Native Americans traversing a major interstate trail that passed through the area headed northwest toward the Columbia River fishing and trading grounds.The pine forests sheltered game and permanent water at the springs. One must also imagine that the ancient peoples looked upward and had eyes for the quiet beauty around them at the spring--- Red bark of old-growth ponderosa, white delicacy of golden-haired aspen, intense blue of sky and warmth of fall mountain sun.... If the Forest Service Geologist and/or archeologist are giving talks at your next OSP, be sure to ask questions about the pre-white man history of Indian Trail Springs.