From the depths of Hells Canyon to the heights of Steens Mountain, Eastern Oregon’s ancient landscapes burst at the seams with rugged beauty and teeming wildlife.
Hike the Sheep Rock Unit of the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument for an immersion in colorful cliffs and ancient fossil beds. Moderate trails here range from 0.25 miles to 3.25 miles. The Thomas Condon Paleontology Center provides an epic history lesson with its 40-million-year-old fossil collection.
The deepest river gorge in North America at nearly 8,000 feet, Hells Canyon National Recreation Area is the experience of a lifetime. Splash through the rapids on a multi-day rafting trip or speed upriver on a jet boat. Watch for nimble-footed Rocky Mountain sheep, deer and elk on the shore as well as soaring hawks and eagles overhead. Wildlife abounds in other Eastern Oregon wide-open spaces — like the wild mustang herd near Steens Mountain and pronghorn antelope on the Alvord Desert plain.
Experience pioneer history at the National Oregon Historic Trail Interpretive Center in Baker City with a walk in the wagon ruts that saw more than 300,000 westward emigrants. Nearby Sumpter Valley Railroad provides a glimpse into Oregon’s steam-powered past with thrilling rides on two vintage locomotives.