Eastern Oregon has always held a special place in my heart. When I first moved to Oregon a few years ago, Eastern Oregon was my first glimpse of this new, unexplored state — it was the gateway to my future home. I fell in love with this region during my first trip to the Wallowas, and ever since, I haven’t been able to get its beauty out of my head. I swear, every time I visit this part of the state, it gets more beautiful… and this trip to Baker City and North Powder was no exception.
Baker City is a gem of a city nestled between the Blue Mountains and the Wallowa Mountains. We first arrived in this historic town on Friday night and headed straight to the Geiser Grand Hotel, which was our base camp for the weekend. Little did we know that this hotel is famously known to be haunted, including the room we were staying in! Despite all of the notorious stories about the resident ghosts, we had a great time in this beautiful hotel.
But honestly we spent most of our weekend at Anthony Lakes, 22 miles (35 km) from Baker City in North Powder, doing all types of skiing — alpine, backcountry, skate and classic skiing.
The resort, backcountry and Nordic areas at Anthony Lakes are all so amazing, so it was difficult deciding where we wanted to spend our time. We started off at the resort, and were greeted with a bluebird day with hardly any wait for the chairlift.
We took a dozen or so laps, taking in the beauty of the Wallowas every time we got to the top of the mountain. The snow was light and fluffy, and the turns were super fun.
Then we transitioned over to Nordic skis and spent some time cross-country skiing around Anthony Lake’s vast Nordic trail system.
We were able to take our dog Peanut on two of the dog-friendly loops, which we were really happy about — especially Peanut. It’s always nice to be able to adventure outside with your dog.
Next we ventured over to the other 30 kilometers of Nordic trails offered at Anthony Lakes and were astounded by both how fun the trails were and all of the beautiful views of the Elkhorn Mountains.
We cross-country skied until sunset and were lucky to witness a beautiful pink sky behind the iconic Gunsight Mountain. It was truly unforgettable.
After a long day of skiing, there is nothing better than an ice cold beer. We spent the night sampling some award winning beer at Barley Brown’s and enjoying some delicious food at Latitude 45 Grille.
The next morning, we quickly headed back up to Anthony Lakes to explore the area’s backcountry skiing. For those who want to experience backcountry skiing, but would like to have some assistance doing so, Anthony Lakes offers cat-guided trips where you can experience fresh, untracked powder on the backside of the resort. (However, you do need to be an intermediate or advanced skier or boarder.)
We opted to ski tour without the assistance of a cat and were treated to some amazing backcountry conditions. We were able to ski on untracked snow through trees and down couloirs from only a short tour from the resort. It was by far one of my favorite days of skiing this season!
The weekend went by entirely way too fast. We can’t wait to go back — if not for another ski trip this season, for a backpacking trip in the Blue Mountains or Wallowas this summer.