Location: Between Burns and Riley, Oregon
Type: Rest Area
Access: Highway 20
Elevation: 4,560 Feet
Road Conditions: Pavement
Phone Coverage: Verizon 3/5; AT&T 3/5
Length of Stay: 12 Hours
Amenities: Restrooms with running water, picnic tables, RV dump station
Sage Hen Rest Area is a traditional, roadside rest area located on Highway 20 between Burns and Riley. The rest area serves both eastbound and westbound traffic. The parking areas for cars and trucks/RVs are large with ample spots.
This rest area is actually quite nice, and features modern restroom facilities with running water. Picnic tables and a concrete walking loop are available in a grassy area that is dotted with trees and wildflowers.
A stone memorial to Harry C. Smith is located in the rear of the rest area. Smith was a local resident who is credited with helping to improve roads in Harney County, including a portion of what would later become Highway 20.
One curiosity that we noticed at Sage Hen Rest Area is that there are no trash cans or dumpsters outside. The only trash can we could find was in the restroom.
Traffic noise is moderate during the day, but it is fairly quiet at night. The rest area is fairly well lit during the night.
Oregon Department of Transportation regulations allow parking at rest areas for up to 12 hours during a 24 hour period. Setting up tents is not allowed.
Verizon and AT&T cell coverage is decent at this rest area with both networks showing 3 out of 5 bars of coverage. A Verizon speed test showed 10.0 Mbps download, 3.2 Mbps upload, and a ping of 79 ms – not blazing fast, but usable for everyday needs. AT&T was considerably faster with 46.5 Mbps download, 12.1 Mbps upload, and a ping speed of 51 ms.
We enjoyed our stop at Sage Hen Rest Area as we were traveling east across Oregon. It is not somewhere that we would want to “camp” for an extended period of time (nor is that allowed), but it was perfect for a dinner/overnight stop and a few hours of work the following morning. (Actually, I am writing this review in the rest area parking lot).
We arrived just as the sun was setting and were treated to a lovely sunset in the west, a rainbow in the east, the moon rising behind scattered clouds, and birds flitting about the trees and wildflowers.
Sage Hen Rest Area is located on Highway 20 between Burns and Riley, Oregon. The rest area is 18 miles west of Burns at milepost 114.