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Driving from Portland to Boise this weekend.....

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Portland, Oregon
posts: 4,842
Driving from Portland to Boise this weekend.....

Anyone with suggestions for stops along the way? I'll be packing a camera. Thanks.

Florence, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Oregon Coast
posts: 5,724
reviews: 13
1. Re: Driving from Portland to Boise this weekend.....

I was just in Enterprise last week (1.5 hrs NE of LaGrande) and it was some of the most beautiful scenery I've seen in some time! The Eagle Cap Wilderness and Wallowa Lake are spectacular. Worth the detor IMO.

Portland, Oregon
posts: 173
reviews: 15
2. Re: Driving from Portland to Boise this weekend.....

...and just so you know, it's an hour to Joseph. It likely is worth the drive.

One thing: out of Joseph, there's a route to Hell's Canyon that is also worth the drive. It might NOT be open at a particular summit, however, so calling to Joseph to ask about Forest Road #39 is in order. There's more information at fs.fed.us/hellscanyon/things_to_see_and_do/o…

From Halfway, there's a reasonable set of roads that take you across the Snake at Oxbow Dam that eventually lead to Cambridge, Idaho, from which you can catch US 95 to bring you back to I-84 at Fruitland. If memory serves, I took that route in the other direction last year, and it took 10-11 hours total when I can normally make the Boise-Portland run (which I do frequently) in 7 hours.

Manzanita, Oregon
posts: 783
reviews: 26
3. Re: Driving from Portland to Boise this weekend.....

Second dengay's recommendation of Enterprise, Joseph, and the Wallowas. We enjoyed our stay and dinner at the Wallowa Lake Lodge, I bought the tee shirt. If you have time the scenic hwy through the Blue Mountains is very pleasent. The OregonTrail Interprative center east of Baker City is a must see if you have an interest.

Portland, Oregon
posts: 173
reviews: 15
4. Re: Driving from Portland to Boise this weekend.....

There's another route that I improvised a couple years ago that turned out quite alright... though I did this from east to west. There isn't necessarily a big wow on this trip, but some little surprises perhaps. In reverse from my order...

84 through the Gorge (even though I'd take the Columbia River Scenic Highway up to Crown Point, then to Multnomah Falls... but us native Portlanders usually assume that anyone else in Portland has done the same thing), to Biggs Junction.

Take 97 south of Biggs for a few miles before getting off at Wasco, go southeast on Oregon 206.

A few miles out of Wasco, there's a viewpoint (facing the other way, so you have to keep an eye out) that takes in most of the nearby Cascade Mountains... when it's clear, of course.

Continue on 206 to Condon, then south on Oregon 19 through Fossil and Spray (and some reasonable canyonlands along the John Day River). You might choose to continue south to US 26, for even more scenic canyons (stay tuned), but my route turns at Kimberly on recently named Oregon 550 through Monument to Long Creek. That features a bit of rimrock that's somewhat different than the rest of Central Oregon, and some examples of fault block mountains closer to Long Creek.

Take US 395 north from Long Creek to Ukiah. I recall a state park close to Dale (didn't stop) that seemed to have some value.

Turn off 395 into Ukiah, take Oregon 244 out a couple miles, and search for Soap Hill Road / Forest Road # 052 on your right. Some of the rock formations further along are worth a few shots, though they might be a little distant for a normal camera.

This road ends after 50-some miles at Forest Road # 051, turn right, and within 2 miles make a left turn to Forest Road # 073, also known as Anthony Lakes Highway. There are 3-4 nice vistas along this route, plus some lake / meadow combinations up near the summit where Anthony Lakes ski area is located. That road descends toward North Powder or Haines, depending on your turning choice, getting you either to I-84 at North Powder or US 30 at Haines on the route to Baker City.

Another thought - if you go to US 26 through the southern units of John Day Fossil Beds, you can head east on 26 (not especially scenic at that point) through Dayville, John Day, and Prairie City, turn left onto Oregon 7, then watch for the signs to Sumpter. Sumpter is up high enough for the forests to re-emerge, and hosts a replica (I think) of the dredge to the gold mine that started the Baker County Gold Rush 150 years ago. Heading back to Oregon 7 also leads you to Baker City on a route that's probably as scenic as the road from Baker City to Halfway.

Portland, Oregon
posts: 4,842
5. Re: Driving from Portland to Boise this weekend.....

Some good stuff here. Thanks for the suggestions, guys. I might not have time to cover much on this drive, but it looks like I should be scheduling a separate trip just for these sights anyway. Been a long time since I've seen the Wallowas.

Oregon
Destination Expert
for Newport, Depoe Bay
posts: 8,207
reviews: 42
6. Re: Driving from Portland to Boise this weekend.....

Check out the Oregon Trail Vis Center in Baker City. i have driven most of trail and it is the best Center in my view, much better than Oregon City. Fort Laramie is almost as good, but in different way. i

Also between Pendleton and La Grande there was a nice Oregon Trail site managed by Forest Service. Some good examples of the trail in the Blues. If it is stiill open. FS budget is really poor any more.

both are just off I-84

Oregon
Destination Expert
for Newport, Depoe Bay
posts: 8,207
reviews: 42
7. Re: Driving from Portland to Boise this weekend.....

And if you have less time, just get off I-84 at Pendleton, La Grande and Baker City, and drive through the downtowns. All interesting old towns, at least to me.

oregon city
posts: 790
reviews: 4
8. Re: Driving from Portland to Boise this weekend.....

Pounders trip is a great one...

I also 2nd the trips thru the towns-esp. Baker City. What a great town. Also its only 25mi to Sumpter dredge. I finally went there last month-what an interesting place-at least to me.

Portland, Oregon
posts: 4,842
9. Re: Driving from Portland to Boise this weekend.....

Ooohhh.... more good ideas! Thanks again.

Oregon
Destination Expert
for Newport, Depoe Bay
posts: 8,207
reviews: 42
10. Re: Driving from Portland to Boise this weekend.....

If you do decide to check out the towns. here are suggestions

Pendleton. Leave 1-84 at exit 207. Follow US-30 to downtown. You will go past Blue Mtn CC and Round-Up grounds before you get downtown. Main street crosses US-30t. go on along US-30 to exit 213.

La Grande Leave I-84 at exit 259. That is before you even see town. Nice view of city as you com into town. US-30 is main street, unless they have done one way streets in recent years. go on through to exit 265.

Baker City. Oregon Trail Center is at exit 302. you can use this exit to drive through Baker, but 304 also works. Main street is US 30. go on through to exit 306.

Couple other thoughts. Leave I-84 at North Powder, exit 285, follow US-30 to Haines and on to Baker City .

Then in La Grande you could take OR-203 to Union, passing by historic Hot Lake. They have done some restoring there to the old hotel I think. Union still looks much like it did when i was a kid in area. Be sure to look back to Mt Emily. From Union take OR-237 to North Powder.

One last though leav 1-84 at exit 188, to to Echo and then along the UMatilla River into Pendleton. pleasant driven. When I made the drive from Heppner to Pendleton and was in no hurry took this route.

Don't bother with Hermiston unless you know where it was you can hardly find old Main Street. Ontario sort of interesting, but by then you are probably ready for Boise.