The North East corner of Oregon is also called the Alps of Oregon due to the presence of the Blue Mountains in the region. The area is a perfect mix of wilderness and luxury. The tall mountains, deep canyons, rivers and lush valleys surrounded by thick forests can surely get rid of your blues. The Blue Mountains also stretch over to South Eastern Washington. Gelogically it is part of the massive Columbian River Plateau. The the Elkhorn Mountains at an elevation of 9108 is the highest peak here. The range posed a problem for Americans in the 19th century who had to cross it in order to reach Washington or the Columbian River Gorge. Interstate 84 was a perfect solution for this. A sizable portion of the Mountain range has been converted to National Forests like the Malheur National Forest, Umatilla National Forest, and Wallowa–Whitman National Forest. Remote area in the range include the Umatilla wilderness, Strawberry Mountain wilderness, Monument rock wilderness.
Interstate 84 in Blue Mountains
If you are traveling by the Interstate 84 don’t forget to keep your camera handy. It is one of the most scenic roads in America and with some luck you can also come across some wild animals. The whole drive is for 145 miles. The best time to drive around is in Fall.
The first area you would cross is the Lowlands. It starts from Heppner junction. The area near Willow Creek in Cecil is really scenic. As you pass by you wills see pastoral lands, ranches, and wheat fields. Beyond Lexington is a recreational gateway to the Blue Mountains. The Marrow County Museum here tells of the history of the Mountains, the early day settlement, and the flood of 1903.You can also boat and fish in the nearby Willow Creek Lake. Take a detour into Road 53 from Willow Creek for the Umatilla National Forest. Huge pine and firs abounds this area. There is a picnic spot near the Cutsforth Park.. You can get a good view of the North Fork John Day River from the Potamus point.
Ukiah in the forest descends into an old Lake which is connected to Indian legends. The lake was supposedly emptied by an earthquake. The total population of the region is less than 250.This small town has preserved its culture and socio economic ways.You can hike, and do mountain biking in the area. You will soon pass the Bridge Creek Wildlife Area, which houses a wide variety of wildlife population and the Rocky Mountain elk. There are hiking trails and camping ground sin the area. The Fishing Spot of North Fork John Day Campground is much visited by tourists.
Anthony Lakes in Blue Mountains is one of the important skiing destinations. It has three important skiing trails.