K Comandich

photo: K Comandich

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Overview

Eastern Oregon is really the West: the ranches and wheat farms east of the Cascade Range are visually and culturally very different from the western part of the state. History is pretty recent here: there are many places where travelers can walk along ruts left by Oregon Trail wagon trains, and in Pendleton, rodeo cowboys still holler "Let 'er buck!" as they have every September since 1909. Even prehistory is exposed at the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument.

In far northeastern Oregon, the Wallowa Mountains have great hiking trails and fishing streams. At the base of the mountains is the ancestral home of Chief Joseph and ...

Eastern Oregon is really the West: the ranches and wheat farms east of the Cascade Range are visually and culturally very different from the western part of the state. History is pretty recent here: there are many places where travelers can walk along ruts left by Oregon Trail wagon trains, and in Pendleton, rodeo cowboys still holler "Let 'er buck!" as they have every September since 1909. Even prehistory is exposed at the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument.

In far northeastern Oregon, the Wallowa Mountains have great hiking trails and fishing streams. At the base of the mountains is the ancestral home of Chief Joseph and his band of Nez Perce; today the town of Joseph is an artsy outpost. In the southeastern part of the state, the Malheur Wildlife Refuge and nearby Steens Mountain attract birdwatchers, especially when spring migrations make it easy to spot nearly 100 species in a weekend.

Judy Jewell
About the Expert

Judy Jewell and W.C. McRae are frequent collaborators: together they have written Moon Handbooks to Montana, Utah, and Zion-Bryce and updated the Moon Handbooks to Oregon and Coastal Oregon. Judy wrote the Compass American Guide to Oregon.

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Judy Jewell for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Summers can be hot, especially in the valleys, but this is when you can get up mountain roads.