Editor’s note: Face coverings (ages 5 and up) are required at all indoor public spaces statewide, regardless of vaccination status. Learn more here.
Wildhorse Resort & Casino is the only resort of its kind in Eastern Oregon, emerging unexpectedly among miles of rolling wheat fields. With numerous amenities, the resort is an easy three-hour drive east of Portland with scenic views of the Columbia River along Interstate 84. Owned by the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, the resort sits on tribal land where the Cayuse, Umatilla and Walla Walla people have existed for thousands of years.
Whether you’ve visited Wildhorse or have only read about it, here are five things you may not know (and will be glad you learned).
1. You can stay in a tipi with Wi-Fi and a pool.
Wildhorse RV Park isn’t just for RVs. Within the park, you’ll find a camping area where you can pitch your tent or spend the night in an authentic tipi. (Reservations are recommended but not required. To reserve one of the five tipis, call 800-654-WILD.) Tipi and RV campers have full access to the RV Park amenities, including the outdoor pool and hot tub, showers, bathrooms and laundry. In 2018 the park was upgraded with stronger Wi-Fi to accommodate the growing numbers of visitors. To accommodate RVs, Wildhorse also added 30/50 amp electrical and two dumping stations at each space to accommodate front or rear tanks.
2. You can fuel any size vehicle and curb your dog 24/7.
Right next to Wildhorse Casino, Arrowhead Travel Plaza accommodates every vehicle, from a Spark to a Kenworth. Roomy diesel stations for big rigs in the back and gas/diesel stations for other vehicles in the front allow for easy access. There’s plenty of grassy space to exercise your pet after you’ve shopped for supplies and souvenirs in the store. The air for your tires is free (as it should be). For truckers, Arrowhead provides showers, laundry facilities, a TV room and more. Electric vehicles can recharge nearby.
3. Wildhorse Resort has two golf courses.
Wildhorse Golf Course is a well-known course, enjoyed by golfers in the region for years. But did you know Wildhorse has an off-site course south of Pendleton? The Golf Course at Birch Creek sits near a historic Cayuse campsite and is divided by a creek that is host to fish, deer and other wildlife. With 18 holes, a swimming pool, a pro shop, a restaurant and a full bar, this well-kept secret is open to the public.
4. You can sit down to an excellent steak and cocktail here.
At the resort, Plateau provides everything you want in a fine-dining experience. Covertly located on the second floor, Plateau is accessed via an obscure curving stairway or a solitary elevator. Upon entering the dining room, guests witness the incredible view of the Blue Mountains. Impeccable service and a distinctive menu featuring tempting Northwest cuisine are paired with inspired cocktail creations. A favorite entree choice is the Pendleton Whisky steak — a New York cut with a Pendleton Whisky demi-glace.
For something more casual, in the heart of downtown Pendleton, Hamley Steakhouse & Saloon offers more than just excellent food. While waiting for your USDA Prime steak or your fire-roasted salmon, take in the colorful Western-era decor. From the bank teller wall that was once robbed by Butch Cassidy and Kid Curry in 1897 to the 6-foot-wide Tiffany chandelier, there are wonderful stories to be told and retold.
5. Wildhorse Resort & Casino is a family destination.
A focus on the younger members of the family makes Wildhorse an easy, year-round vacation spot for all ages. Kids can enjoy bowling and playing in the arcade at Quaking Aspens Lanes; taking in a movie at the Cineplex; swimming in the outdoor or indoor pools; or listening to stories from Spilyáy, the magical coyote in “Coyote Theater” at Tamástslikt Cultural Institute next door. For the littlest family members, the Children’s Entertainment Center provides safe, secure childcare in a fun, entertaining environment. Top it all off with a sweet treat from the ice cream and pastries counter in the food court.