Eastern Oregon has some of the most beautiful outdoor activities in the country. From majestic mountains to breathtaking waterfalls and hot springs, the outdoor recreation opportunities in Eastern Oregon are truly second to none. Whether you’re looking for a challenging hike or a relaxing weekend camping trip, Eastern Oregon has something for everyone.
From popular landmarks to hidden trails, this region has so much to offer for those looking for a unique outdoor experience. Read on to find out about some of the must-see outdoor activities in Eastern Oregon that you have to experience.
Check out this hand-drawn Oregon map that features some of the amazing natural landmarks in the eastern part of the state.
A large lake within Eagle Cap Wilderness.
One of the most popular outdoor activities in Eastern Oregon is visiting Wallowa Lake. This beautiful lake is nestled in the majestic Eagle Cap Wilderness and is the perfect place to spend the day swimming, fishing, or boating. It also offers a variety of other activities such as hiking, camping, and picnicking.
There are a number of trails that you can explore around the lake to take in the views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing day of leisure or an adventurous way to spend your day in Eastern Oregon, Wallowa Lake has something to offer. With so many activities to do in Eastern Oregon, you won’t want to miss out on visiting Wallowa Lake!
A deep gorge along the Oregon/Idaho border.
Hells Canyon is one of the most stunning and breathtaking destinations for outdoor activities in Eastern Oregon. It is located along the border between Oregon and Idaho and is considered to be the deepest river gorge in North America. Visitors can explore the many hikes and trails that wind through the canyon, such as the Hells Canyon National Recreation Trail, which provides a great introduction to the area’s geology, wildlife, and vegetation.
With its dramatic cliffs and surrounding terrain, Hells Canyon offers some of the best views and experiences for outdoor adventurers looking for unforgettable hikes in Eastern Oregon.
A beautiful canyon in the Wallowa Mountains.
One of the most spectacular eastern Oregon outdoor activities you can experience is a hike through Joseph Canyon. Located in the Wallowa Mountains, this area is renowned for its stunning views and trails. The canyon itself is surrounded by alpine meadows, lakes, and forests of western white pine.
There are several popular hikes in Eastern Oregon that take you through the canyon, ranging from easy to moderate in difficulty. Along the way, you'll find an abundance of waterfalls, streams, and lush green vegetation.
Eagle Cap Wilderness
-A large wilderness area perfect for exploration.
Located in the heart of Eastern Oregon, Eagle Cap Wilderness is one of the most picturesque outdoor activities in the region. It's a magnificent area boasting hundreds of miles of trails, making it an ideal spot for hikers and campers alike. The terrain is varied, with thick forests, stunning alpine meadows, and rugged peaks.
There are numerous waterfalls, lakes, and streams that offer the perfect places to relax. A wide variety of wildlife can be found here, making it an amazing spot for birders and nature lovers. With its spectacular views, it's easy to see why Eagle Cap Wilderness is one of the top places to do outdoor activities in Eastern Oregon.
The Painted Hills
-A world-renowned area with colorful hills
Located in eastern Oregon, the Painted Hills is one of the most breathtaking outdoor activities in the area. This site features colorful hills made of various shades of red, yellow, and brown, giving visitors a truly unique experience. Hiking through the area is the best way to take in the beauty, with a number of trails offering up different levels of difficulty. Whether you are looking for a leisurely stroll or a challenging hike, the Painted Hills will not disappoint.
John Day Fossil Beds
-A unique destination where you can hunt for fossils.
Located in eastern Oregon, the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument is a must-see destination for outdoor activities. This geological wonder offers a number of hikes and scenic vistas, including the Blue Basin Trail. This 3.5-mile loop winds through the basin's towering cliffs, giving visitors an up-close look at the colorful formations.
There are also a variety of other trails to explore in the area, including the Painted Hills Overlook Trail, which takes visitors to a lookout point above the iconic red hills.
Make sure to check out Traverse the Pacific Northwest's Complete Guide to the Best Camping at John Day Fossil Beds.
The tallest mountain in eastern Oregon.
One of the most popular outdoor activities in Eastern Oregon is visiting Steens Mountain. Located in Harney County, Steens Mountain stands 9,733 feet high and offers some of the best hiking and camping opportunities in the region. This mountain offers breathtaking views of the high desert and alpine lake scenery of eastern Oregon.
The Steens Mountain Loop Drive is a great way to explore the area with incredible panoramic vistas. Hiking is one of the most popular things to do in Eastern Oregon, and Steens Mountain provides over 60 miles of trails, making it a popular destination for hikers of all levels. Enjoy picturesque views of the Alvord Desert, Donner and Blitzen River Valley and other canyons while you explore. Whether you’re looking for an easy stroll or a challenging day hike, there are plenty of hikes to do in Eastern Oregon at Steens Mountain.
Malheur National Wildlife Refuge
An enormous wilderness area with marshes and forests.
Located in Eastern Oregon, Malheur National Wildlife Refuge offers a range of outdoor activities for all ages. With over 187,000 acres, the refuge contains one of the most diverse ecosystems in the region, including marshes, grasslands, riparian forests, and shrub-steppe habitats. It’s a popular destination for hiking, bird watching, and other wildlife-viewing activities.
Home to over 300 species of birds and 46 species of mammals, it’s a great place to observe nature in its most pristine state. From short, easy hikes around the lakes to more strenuous treks along ridges and valleys, visitors can find something to do in Eastern Oregon that fits their interests. There are also plenty of opportunities to fish or boat on the refuge's many lakes and streams. Whether you’re looking for relaxation or adventure, Malheur National Wildlife Refuge is an ideal destination for outdoor activities.
Eastern Oregon is a great destination for outdoor activities. Whether you’re looking to explore the majestic Wallowa Lake or Hells Canyon, take in the incredible views at Joseph Canyon or the Painted Hills, or experience the awe-inspiring Eagle Cap Wilderness or Steens Mountain, there are plenty of outdoor adventures to be had in Eastern Oregon.