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Painted Hills

A Local Perspective: Dan Sizer

Written by Oregon Media

A Local Perspective: Dan Sizer

Dan Sizer Dan Sizer grew up on 13 acres at the base of the Elkhorn Mountains outside Baker City, and spent his childhood exploring the outdoors. A degree in Anthropology from Lewis and Clark College led him around the world, but he came back home in 2015 to launch his company, Go Wild, and share his love of the region with visitors. Sizer leads newcomers into the wild, focusing on fun, food and understanding the natural world. “The sense of wonder I found as a kid in the outdoors is what I try to pass along to our guests today,” he said. “All our tours try to tick the boxes that make a good vacation: the people you meet, the food you eat, and the experiences that push you ever-so-slightly out of your comfort zone.”


1. Seek out music and art.

This region has remarkable art and music scenes attracting both local and traveling talent. I play drums and trombone in my two-man funk hip hop band, Good Sax. Catch us or other acts at Barley Brown’s Brewpub in Baker City, Side A Brewing in La Grande, or Terminal Gravity Brewing in Enterprise. Find a friendly place, grab a pint, enjoy the tunes, and strike up a conversation with the folks next to you.

2. Go snow skiing.

Mount Emily Recreation Area If you like dry powder and sunny days for your skiing adventures, check out the pistes at Anthony Lakes. We tout no lift lines, but remember if you come, the lines will get longer. Anthony Lakes also has terrific off-the-beaten-path trails for cross country skiing. You can also find wonderful places to break trail through the trees on cross country skis at Mount Emily Recreation Area and Meacham Divide.

3. Take a tour with Go Wild.
We have a knack for helping people make the most of a visit to Eastern Oregon. A few tours that are quickly becoming staples are our private family backpacking tours, our Taste of History Baker City walking tour, and our beginner fly fishing tours/lessons. New things we’re excited about are dating singles backpacking adventures and urban fly fishing experiences with a river revitalization component.

A Personal Tour Go Wild Tour Group

Dan Sizer and his business partner Pat Vaughan lead Go Wild tours themselves, to a growing audience of visitors from around the globe. “The key to getting newcomers to care about conservation, responsible recreation, and the outdoors lies in how they are introduced to the outdoors,” he said. “That’s why our focus is on creating incredibly fun introductory outdoor experiences that lead to appreciation of the natural world.” Food is a key component: “This ranges from the cast-iron elk sausage hash that we serve for breakfast on an overnight family backpacking tour to the homemade sourdough and hors d’oeuvres that we pair with the wine tasting on an alpine stargazing tour.”