Description - With a relatively small population, this huge region is truly one of the west's last great wide open spaces. Eastern Oregon is a land of high deserts cut by mountain ranges and canyons. The vast amount of public land helps create some excellent outdoor recreation opportunities for the more adventurous traveler.
- Established in 1975, the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area covers more than 650,000 acres of some of the roughest country in the world. Designated a Wild and Scenic River, the Snake is a natural border between Oregon and Idaho. With twice the volume of the Colorado River, its white water is home to jet boats and rafts in the summer months. For 40 miles of the river, the canyon averages 5,500 to 6,000 feet deep. The towering rim on the Idaho side averages only 10 miles from the Oregon side, creating a dramatic curtain for the deepest canyon in North America.
Eastern Oregon encompasses the Wallowa-Whitman, Umatilla, Malheur National Forests and and a portion of the Ochoco National Forest. These National Forests cover much of the mountainous terrain in northeast Oregon including the Wallowa and Blue Mountains.
The region boasts 26 State Park sites ranging from scenic areas to geologically significant sites to historic sites. Blue Mountain Forest State Scenic Corridor lies along the Old Oregon Trail Highway between Deadman's Pass and Spring Creek. Tranquil, crystal-clear waters and towering ponderosa pines frame the landscape at Catherine Creek State Park. Cradled in a canyon created by the creek, the park provides visitors a cool, quiet and peaceful setting for outdoor activities. The Frenchglen Hotel is an historic hotel in southeastern Oregon. Offering rooms for rent, the accommodations are rustic and the food is excellent.
Frenchglen is located adjacent to the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, one of the largest National Wildlife Refuges in the country. Other National Wildlife Refuges in the region include: Cold Springs, McKay Creek, Umatilla and the Hart Mountain National Antelope Refuge.
Recreation - Eastern Oregon provides some excellent outdoor recreation opportunities for those seeking quiet and solitude. some of the most popular activities in the area include bird-watching, viewing wildlife, hiking, backpacking, camping, hunting, fishing, boating, viewing scenery, and viewing historic sites.
Climate - Climate in Eastern Oregon varies greatly with elevation. The higher elevations experience colder temperatures and higher precipitation than the lower elevations. The region is much more arid and experiences greater temperature variations than western Oregon. Much of Eastern Oregon is considered high desert, where in some areas annual precipitation is less than 10 inches. Summer temperatures often reach 90 degrees in the lower elevations. Winters can be bitterly cold here, although there is little humidity. The mountains can receive heavy snowfall. If visiting the region during the summer months be prepared for afternoon thunderstorms and chilly evening temperatures. Snow may be encountered on high country trails throughout the summer months.
This region covers the entire eastern half of the state. It includes towns such as Pendleton, La Grande and Burns.