If you’re looking to get far away – and over the past year, who hasn’t been? – you can’t get much farther away in Oregon than the Owyhee Canyonlands.
Located along the far eastern border of Oregon — about six hours from Portland — the Owyhee Canyonlands unfold over more than 2 million acres. Cut by just three paved roads, it’s considered one of the largest expanses of undeveloped land in the lower 48 states.
Out here, the Owyhee River has has sculpted the land into stunning canyons amidst colorful remnant volcanic features, rock formations and rolling sagebrush hills. Pronghorn antelope, bighorn sheep, badgers, horned lizards and rattlesnakes are just a few of the wild creatures who call the Owyhee Canyonlands home.
The stay-at-home order has made traveling around Oregon a little tougher than normal.
But that doesn’t mean that we can’t still be thinking of all the great places we’ll want to visit once we get this all under control.
One such place to consider? The Wild West town of Pendleton, Oregon.
A scene from the Grand Entry Parade at the 2004 Pendleton Round-Up. Photo by Bobjgalindo/Wikipedia.
Home to the famous Pendleton Round-Up rodeo, the distinctive wool blankets and shirts of Pendleton Woolen Mills and a burgeoning craft beer and artisan whiskey scene, Pendleton is also a great place for something else: Families.
That’s right, Pendleton can make for a great family-friendly destination in Eastern Oregon, with its history and culture, parks aplenty, hiking trails, swimming pools, sports galore and even spooky underground tunnels.
It’s easy to get out of Portland and into the Great Outdoors in the summer. Sunshine, blue skies and long, light evenings set the stage for warm weekend getaways or after-work jaunts.
The winter, however, with its rain and gray and darkness, can be a little less inspiring.
But what if there was a place close by where you could escape the city quickly and feel like you’re way outside, far from home? A place where you could almost lose yourself paddling through slim streams and curving channels, watching majestic birds soar overhead or strolling along the mighty Columbia River just a half-hour from home?