Located in the majestic and scenic Northeast corner of Oregon, Baker City, is at the Intersection of three Oregon Scenic Byways, making every route the scenic route.
So when you’re ready to leave life’s fast pace behind and retreat to slower times and wilder places, Baker County has just the road trip you’re looking for.
Hells Canyon Scenic Byway – an All-American Road
Leave the fast pace and fenced-in views of Interstate 84 and follow the contours of the land into slower times and wilder places. Journey from river’s edge to mountaintop and down to valley floor. Have lunch overlooking a wild and scenic river; share a canyon road with a cattle drive.
Pass through lush valleys, rimmed by the snow-tipped Wallowa Mountains. Savor the scent of pine on the fresh mountain air. Enjoy panoramic views of rugged basalt cliffs and grassy open ridges. Stand next to the majestic Snake River as it begins its tumbling course through North America’s deepest canyon.
Place your hand in the weathered track of a wagon wheel; hear the wind rushing through the forest. You are surrounded by the music of birds and bubbling streams. Stars seem brighter, smiles friendlier.
A few favorite stops along the way include the National Historic Oregon Trail Interpretive Center, the town of Richland and Baker County’s Hewitt Holcomb Park, the town of Halfway, and of course a trip to the bottom of Hells Canyons where you can jetboat or raft the whitewater of the Snake River.
Elkhorn Scenic Byway
This 106-mile loop begins and ends in Baker City and takes you through the Elkhorn Mountains, through gold-mining ghost-towns, and along elegant lakes and rivers. .
A few favorite stops along the way include the Sumpter Valley Railroad, historic gold rush town of Sumpter including the Sumpter Dredge State Park, the ghost town of Granite and Anthony Lakes Ski Area, and the town of Haines where visitors can explore the Dick Camp Memorial Park and the Eastern Oregon Museum. While the distance is just 106 miles visitors should allow 5-6 hours to enjoy this scenic drive.
Journey Through Time Scenic Byway
Uncommonly rich in history, this route tells stories of fortunes made and lost, of Chinese laborers, of towns boomed and busted, of timber, agriculture, and pioneer settlers. It also tells a special story of the earth’s history; of sea beds which have long been dry and extinct of creatures. The Journey Through Time Scenic Byway begins in Baker City and passing over the Blue Mountains through the John Day River Valley and John Day Fossil Beds, before ending in Biggs. Travelers enjoy incredible vistas of Eastern Oregon’s diverse and stunning landscape along the way, including the Painted Hills and numerous small towns reminiscent of a Norman Rockwell era.
And, after an exciting day exploring the byways and back roads of Baker County, end your day, or spend another, exploring Baker City’s vibrant and restored historic downtown at the center of it all.