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Painted Hills

Baker County

Written by Oregon Media

Baker County

Rich Heritage, Arts and Culture, and Outdoor Adventure

Baker County is the perfect getaway for history enthusiasts and outdoor adventurers. With three Oregon Scenic Byways wrapped by Hells Canyon and the Wallowa and Elkhorn mountains, exploration opportunities are limitless. A number of small towns can serve as Artist painting pottery basecamps for adventure. Americana is at its finest in historic Baker City, voted one of Rand McNally’s six most beautiful small towns in America three years in a row.

Arts for all

Baker County’s burgeoning arts community offers visitors a chance to celebrate the arts throughout the year at a variety of award winning festivals and events including the We Like’em Short Film Festival, Pine Fest Music Festival, Baker City’s Little Big Show and Open Studio Tours. For aspiring artists, the Crossroads Carnegie Art Center and Churchill School both offer a variety of classes.

Bring your bike

Cycling enthusiasts find plenty of backroads to explore including the Hells Canyon, Journey Through Time, and Elkhorn Scenic byways and the Grande Tour Scenic BikeWay. Gravel riding and mountain biking options abound, too. Find trail systems at Phillips Lake near Sumpter and Anthony Lakes Mountain Resort near Baker City, with trails for nearly every age and skill set including the Broadway Flow Trail. Cycling events include the Baker City Cycling Classic the last weekend of June each year, and the Anthony Lakes Mountain Bike Festival the 1st Saturday in August.

Mountain Biking in Baker County Oregon trail interpretive center

Just off I-84, visit with pioneers at the National Historic Oregon Trail Interpretive Center before taking a stroll in the original ruts of the Oregon Trail, first carved by wagons 175 years ago. The BLM-managed 500-acre historic site offers exhibits, interpretive programs, living history and workshops, in addition to four miles of hiking trails. Other highlights at the 23,000-square-foot hilltop facility include a full scale wagon train diorama, a replica gold stamp mill and gold panning demonstration area, all sure to round out your Baker County adventure.