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Where can we have a dog sledding adventure this winter?

Did you know that the Wallowas are the site for the only qualifier for the Iditarod in the lower 48? The event is called the Eagle Cap Extreme and it’s held every January.

So, I’d recommend getting in touch with the organizers for more detailed information about routes in the Wallowas, and there are lodgings that accept dogs as well, including Barking Mad Farm.

That should certainly get you started in the right direction. Let me know if you need any more on-the-ground information.

Answered by Lynne Curry, Ask Oregon Eastern Oregon Expert on October 31st, 2013 - Post Your Answer

Is September a good time to visit the Painted Hills?

September is an excellent time to visit the Painted Hills, since the days will still be sunny but cooler and more comfortable for seeing the sites. The main site of the Painted Hills, one of 3 units in the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument is just outside of Mitchell, OR. This is where you’ll find the closest lodging as well as restaurants.

This website gives you a great overview of the area with photos. http://mitchelloregon.us/

Here are links to available lodging:

The Oregon Hotel http://www.theoregonhotel.net/

Painted Hills Vacation Rentals http://www.paintedhillsvacation.com/accommodations.htm

Sky Hook Motel http://www.visiteasternoregon.com/entry/skyhook-motel/

The Painted Hills Cottage http://www.homeaway.com/vacation-rental/p164794

Answered by Lynne Curry, Ask Oregon Eastern Oregon Expert on September 5th, 2013 - Post Your Answer

What’s the best route to see the John Day Fossil Beds?

You can make a great loop between Portland and John Day. The most exciting route will be to take Highway 26 all the way. It will take you over Mt Hood into central Oregon and through The Painted Hills. Total driving time is about 5 hours.

For a return trip, I recommend heading north through The John Day Fossil Beds on OR 19 to Arlington. There you will join Interstate 84 and make the riveting drive along the Columbia River and through the Columbia River Gorge. Driving time is about the same.

I think this is the most scenic tour that will offer up several slices of Oregon for you, though there are other variations. You will find lots of small towns and amenities along the way, which you can check out via traveloregon.com. You can also request printed travel guides.

Enjoy your trip!

What should I stop and see between Portland and Pendleton?

There are so very many things! I recommend you request the most current copy of the Travel Oregon Visitor’s Guide, which will serve you for this trip and many others since it covers the whole state, region by region from local travel experts.

As a frequent traveler on I-84 between Portland and Pendleton, I wish I stopped more often at natural sights along the way: Rooster Rock State Park and Multnomah Falls are quick, accessible stops that let you pause to appreciate the Columbia River Gorge. Hood River is always a good stopover for food and drink. Doppio on Oak has coffee and lite lunch fare. Sixth Street Bistro is also a recommended lunch spot. If you’re driving through during the dinner hour, Brian’s Poorhouse and Celilo are sit down options with good wine lists.

Another great way to stretch your legs is to look out for kite board beaches between Hood River and Arlington and pull in to watch.  I also recommend two natural areas: Deschutes River State Recreation Area, only a few miles off the freeway outside the Dalles (an important crossing point on The Oregon Trail) and McNary National Wildlife Refuge, which has hiking trails.

In Boardman, you can visit the state’s newest museum, the SAGE Center, slated to open in May. http://blog.oregonlive.com/terryrichard/2013/01/boardmans_interactive_sage_cen.html

If you’d like to jump off of the freeway to get a sense of the landscape along the Columbia Plateau, consider taking the Blue Mountain Scenic Highway. Exit I-84 to Highway 206 through Heppner to 395 and come in “the back way” to Pendleton.

Have a great road trip!

What is there to see in Pendleton?

Pendleton is a great place to get a sense of the Native American, pioneer and cowboy history of Oregon. This guide will give you an overview of the history-related activities. Not to be missed are the Tamastslikt Cultural Institute and The Umatilla County Historical Museum.

The town is most renowned for the annual Pendleton Roundup Rodeo. If you’d like to travel there at that time, you will want to book your accommodations well in advance.

Can you recommend a good dude ranch in Oregon?

Wilson Ranches Retreat located near Fossil, Oregon is one of the most well-regarded dude ranch B&Bs in the state. You can learn more about them here /trip-ideas/oregon-stories/oregon-dreamers-2/ and contact them via info@wilsonranchesretreat.com.

Enjoy!

Answered by Lynne Curry, Ask Oregon Eastern Oregon Expert on February 19th, 2013 - Post Your Answer

We are travelling along I-84 from Pendleton, Oregon to Salt Lake City, Utah. Are there any State Parks that are close to (or along) that stretch of I-84? –Zig

Hi Zig,

Between Pendleton and the Oregon-Idaho border, there are 4 state parks close to I-84.

Heading west to east, they are:

You might also consider stopping near Baker City at the National Historic Oregon Trail Interpretive Center open 9-4 daily until December.

Happy trails,
Lynne

Answered by Lynne Curry, Ask Oregon Eastern Oregon Expert on November 10th, 2012 - Post Your Answer

Are there any ghost towns or other places of interest off of I-84 in Eastern Oregon? -Harold

You’re headed in the right direction for ghost towns. There are several near Baker City, including Bourne and Whitney, but they’re still a bit of a drive off I-84. If you pick up Highway 7 west of Baker City, you’ll traverse the Sumpter Valley to the near-ghost town of Sumpter, 28 miles away, which is a beautiful drive with good photo opportunities of the rural landscape.

If you have less time, I recommend visiting the historic district of Baker City. Here’s an excerpt from a Travel Oregon article:

Today, Baker City’s historic downtown boast more than 100 buildings on the National register of historic places including the beautifully restored Geiser Grand Hotel, and the monumental Carnegie Library now restored and home to the Crossroads Art Center. The downtown is full of locally owned shops, restaurants and galleries. The Leo Adler Memorial Pathway now follows the Powder River through the historic downtown and surrounding neighborhoods connecting them with the iconic Geiser Pollman Baker Heritage Museum and the Baker City Sports Complex.

Also convenient for the traveler is The Oregon Trail Interpretive Center, which lies east of Baker City. It features living history exhibits and interpretive trails bringing the experience of immigrants to life.

Answered by Lynne Curry, Ask Oregon Eastern Oregon Expert on October 24th, 2012 - Post Your Answer

What are the best hikes in the Eagle Cap Wilderness? Are they crowded?

Honestly, I have never had a bad hike in the Eagle Cap because it is big enough to absorb the few people who venture in each summer.

I love Glacier Lake and topping out on Eagle Cap is terrific. Bonney Lakes are at a lower elevation and can be buggy depending on the year. Certainly the Lakes Basin is the most popular camping spot, but again, I’ve never experienced crowds.

Answered by Lynne Curry, Ask Oregon Eastern Oregon Expert on August 30th, 2012 - Post Your Answer

I would like to visit Eastern Oregon. I know it is very remote, so I would like to know the places to see by car. I plan for 3-4 days on the road, after which I will return to Portland. Any suggestions on where to go?

Eastern Oregon is off the beaten path, but you’ve planned the right amount of time for exploring it by car. There are several incredible summer routes, depending on how far you want to venture and your interests.

Here are two dramatic driving routes to check out with key points of interest:

Since you only have a few days, you will probably want to make a loop out of one of these driving routes. I recommend a different stop each night to get the full experience and to lighten the driving load.
I hope you’ll let me know where you go and how it turns out for you.

Answered by Lynne Curry, Ask Oregon Eastern Oregon Expert on August 29th, 2012 - Post Your Answer
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