The Wild Tales of Eastern Oregon

Take a step — or gallop — back in time
March 11, 2018

To witness wild Kiger Mustangs run through the Steens Mountain Wilderness and disappear into the vast, neverending horizon is an experience you won’t soon forget.

That’s kind of what it’s like in Eastern Oregon. Just when you’re satisfied exploring a scenic landscape, something unexpected and even more magical happens. Before you know it, the view gets grander, the meal gets more savory or you learn a piece of history that unravels a deeper understanding and sense of place.

Out here history and adventure collide — along canyons, twisting rivers, alpine wilderness and lonesome ghost towns. This is Oregon’s corner of the Wild West. You might spend the morning at a ranch, the afternoon in the desert and the night at an alpine lake under a blanket of stars. The opportunities are as endless as the night sky. Here are some suggestions for your own adventures in Eastern Oregon.

A Trip to Oregon’s Secret Mountain

It seems like most people don’t know about Steens Mountain, and fewer have been. Steens exists in a land beyond most, and that makes all the difference. Now is the time to truly experience the magic of Steens.

A Road Trip Back in Time

Enter what feels like a new universe at the John Day Fossil Beds, where magnificent palisades, geological wonders and Mars-like landscapes await. You can even dig for your own fossils in Wheeler.

Cowboy Camp

Not every vacation calls for luxury. When you’re looking for something more exciting, consider a stay at a working guest ranch. There’s a whole lot more to the experience than bragging rights.

Wallowa Lake by Joni Kabana

Hells Canyon Scenic Byway

America’s deepest river gorge, Hells Canyon, and “Little Switzerland,” the Wallowa Mountains, star on this 208-mile horseshoe route through the state’s northeast corner, the rich ancestral homeland of the Nez Perce tribe.

Living History in Northeast Oregon

History comes alive in northeast Oregon. Visit the gravesite of Old Chief Joseph; marvel at the towering Sumpter Dredge; and imagine life as a pioneer on the Oregon Trail as you walk along wagon ruts left behind 175 years ago.

The Secrets of Oregon’s Ghost Towns

Oregon’s ghost towns hold secrets of the speculators, gold miners, traders and Oregon Trail pioneers who once called them home. Visiting ghost towns is the ultimate Oregon history road trip.

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