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Painted Hills

Road Trip Along Emigrants outposts with Farmers Markets Along the Way

Junata Hot Springs
Written by Oregon Media

Road Trip Along Emigrants outposts with Farmers Markets Along the Way

Travel part of the Oregon Trail in reverse as you head east to the Oregon/Idaho border, finding outposts left behind by the emigrants along the way

It’s easy to miss the little town of Juntura as you travel east or west at speeds that would shock pioneers who once crept across this landscape in wagon trains. Ease off the gas as you approach the horseshoe bend on the Malheur River. Grab a meal at the Oasis Café, and then follow the gravel road under a steel trestle train bridge to the riverside hot springs where a small soaking pool awaits.

Conestogas Were Here

Mural in Vale In Vale, history is on permanent display. Visit the rustic sandstone Rinehart Stone House, built in 1872 as a wayside stop for weary travelers until the early 1900s. Today, the museum displays interpretative exhibits about the Oregon Trail. Stroll around town to see the many Murals of Vale, depicting Oregon Trail era history. East of town at Keeney Pass Interpretive Site, find vestiges of the ruts left behind by the covered wagons of the Oregon Trail.

A Cross-Cultural Destination

The Four Rivers Cultural Center Ontario is on the easternmost border of Oregon at the confluence of the Snake, Malheur, Owyhee and Payette rivers. The Four Rivers Cultural Center documents another kind of convergence: that of cultures. The Center takes visitors on a historic journey, from the native Northern Paiutes to the settlers who came in the 19th century to the Japanese Americans interned in the area during World War II to the migrant workers who keep the fields green in modern times.

The Four Rivers Farm and Garden Trail

The I-84 corridor leads east to west through some of the richest landscape in the state of Oregon. In and around Ontario, the Payette, Malheur and Owyhee Rivers join the Snake River in a lush valley of fertile land. Garden Gallery Discover The Four Rivers Farm and Garden Trail. Along this route, detour off of the highway to fully experience the rich agriculture and delicious tastes that emerge in Southeastern Oregon.

Begin at the crossroads of Highways 26 and 201, between Ontario and Vale. Explore farms, orchards and farm stands along this journey and meet the growers, ranchers and purveyors of fresh, natural foods on the grounds of the very land they work and nurture.

Visit the multigenerational family farm at Country Corner, and tour Andrews Seed Company for heirloom seeds, nursery plants and gardening supplies. Stop by the unique Garden Gallery for plant and herb starts and local art. Boston Beef House offers Painted Hills beef, raised in the region on family ranches. When in season, don’t miss a visit through the Ontario Farmers Market. Travel this route through Ontario, Vale and Nyssa and visit farmers markets, flower stands, bistros and produce stands.

Farmland near Ontario