Eastern Oregon’s Winter Secrets
An Oregon Wintercation in Eastern Oregon
Eastern Oregon is a winter playground. You’ll discover that the east side of the state is blessed with light fluffy powder, hungry steelhead, friendly elk and day after day of bright, sunny winter weather. And then there’s the winter beer. Just do us a favor: don’t tell everyone about Eastern Oregon’s secrets.
Ski, ride and glide
Eastern Oregon is a sampler plate for skiers and snowboarders, but it’s the kind of experience that you tend to keep only to yourself and share with your best friends. Join Anthony Lakes in celebrating 50 years of powder, or try a stroll into the backcountry with Wallowa Alpine Huts.
Snowmobile miles of trails
The Wallowas, the Elkhorns, the Blues, the Strawberries…legendary names of mountain ranges that change lives for snowmobilers. Ride across trackless high mountain meadows, or punch down mile after mile of trails to find a spot that quite possibly has only been visited by rabbits and Steller jays.
Watch the wildlife
Grab a bird book, pack up the family and head out on your own to discover wildlife that you’ll never forget. Some of the stars you’ll see are Rocky Mountain elk, mule deer, bald and golden eagles, kestrels, all sorts of hawks, owls, bushy tailed coyote and big-footed bobcats.
Find a fish tale
Eastern Oregonians know this secret well: the wild and scenic rivers of summer fame are even more amazing when you land a brightly-colored steelhead after wading through a winter storm. Whether it be deep in a canyon along a fork of the John Day, or sharing the view with Rocky Mountain elk along the Grande Ronde, you’ll find hungry fish here. And the experience…well, that’s a fish tale to share with special friends.
Eat, drink and be merry
Winter in Oregon is best paired with a handcrafted brew, a local wine, and sampled a bowl of wheatberry chili. Play all day, or explore local heritage at the Tamastslikt Cultural Center or National Historic Oregon Trail Center, then end the day telling stories over great food and a local beverage. Try beers named after the ski runs in the area, like Shredder’s Wheat or Tumble Off Pale Ale from Barley Brown’s.
about author Emily Forsha
Emily Forsha is Travel Oregon’s Content & Community Manager. When she’s not road tripping around the state with her husband and two young boys, this proud native Oregonian is cooking up new recipes in her kitchen, sampling the latest craft brews and cheering on her beloved Oregon Ducks.
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