Eastern Oregon is a completely underrated travel destination. The west side of the state offers thick forested areas and of course the famous Oregon Coast beaches. Out east though there are still thick forests and raging rivers, but there is also a serene beauty. Eastern Oregon has a very desert-like appearance and a starkness about it. It really is quite something. When you go there, here is a look at five awesome off the beaten path attractions worth checking out.
Located in the Jordan Valley in southeastern Oregon, the Jordan Craters definitely qualify as off the beaten path. When you go there though you will get to enjoy a scenic area that covers over 25 square miles and gives great examples of a basalt lava flow. The entire area is peppered with open craters of all sizes, spatter cones, and even exposed lava tubes. Jordan Craters will give you an eyeful and is definitely something that most people never get to see.
Cove Hot Springs Pool
Cove Hot Springs Pool is located in the northeastern part of the state of Oregon and is a rather unique geothermal feature that you can not only experience as a viewer, but also as a participant. It sits on the edge of the small town of Cove in the beautiful Grande Ronde Valley. This natural warm water swimming pool is good for having a relaxing soak and also playing in. This is a popular stop for kids and adults. Surrounding the pool are grounds that offer the perfect chance to stop and enjoy a picnic or play in the open green spaces.
Eagle Cap Excursion Train
Another great Northeastern Oregon attraction you can take advantage of is the Eagle Cap Excursion Train. This awesome train takes you to places that no car can go. The train’s route will take you from Elgin to Minam and back and along the way you will pass through some incredible scenery that includes rolling hills, forested low mountains, and pristine rivers and streams. Whether you are a railroad enthusiast, fan of the Old West, nature lover, or just someone looking for a fun time in a part of the country that most people never get a chance to go to, the Eagle Cap Excursion Train is right for you.
Pillars of Rome
Pillars of Rome sounds like an unusual name for an attraction located in the state of Oregon, but once you see it you it will almost immediately be clear how it got its name. Located in Southeastern Oregon, this is one of the must visit places in Oregon if you are a photographer looking for some unique subject matter. The Pillars of Rome are odd looking white bluffs that were passed by travelers coming out west on the Oregon Trail. The strait walls, flat tops, and at times column looking formations reminded these travelers of the structures of ancient Rome. The colors visible at different points of the year here are amazing. Located nearby is the Owyhee River which is popular with white water rafters so it is kind of a two for one attraction if you would like to take advantage of both.
Wallowa Lake Tramway
If you love a nice view, a unique experience, and the chance to take gorgeous scenic photographs, then you should book passage on the Wallowa Lake Tramway. The Wallowa Mountains are a very beautiful part of the northeastern part of the state of Oregon and viewing them while relaxing on or near Wallowa Lake is very enjoyable. You can enjoy them even more though when you step aboard the steepest vertical gondola ride in all of North America. It takes just under 15 minutes for you to climb to the 3,700 foot high summit of Mount Howard but when you get there the scenery is the payoff. If you are a mountain biker, you can take your bike up on the tram ride and then ride back down the daring series of gravel roads and dirt pathways for an exhilarating experience. You can also get a bite to eat at the Summit Grill at the top of the mountain too. The Wallowa Lake Tramway is an excellent attraction that treats you to a very unique experience.