Elkhorn Scenic Byway
The Elkhorn Scenic Byway ‘packs plenty of sights into a 106-mile/171-kilometer loop through the mountains west of Baker City, long the lucrative hunting grounds of the Plateau Indian tribes and, later, where miners came to seek their fortunes. The true treasures are the Elkhorn Mountains and Baker Valley themselves, rich in beauty and history.’ Travel Oregon
The byway passes through farmlands along the Powder River before climbing up into a beautiful area of mountain lakes and outdoor adventure. The fall foliage starting here around October is absolutely gorgeous.
Around 1900, thousands of miners chiseled and dredged millions in gold from the Elkhorn Mountains and Powder River to Sumpter. The massive Sumpter Valley Dredge still floats here, and has been recently restored. The town of Granite was also big during the gold-rush, and many buildings here, now abandoned, remind us of a once flourishing place in Oregon. John Cabell operated the La Bellevue Mine in Cabell City. All that remains of the settlement is the cemetery, which houses the graves of Fred and Johanna Cabell and their 8-year-old daughter, as well as a few abandoned buildings and mining equipment.
There is plenty to do on this road trip: hiking, biking, picnicking and photo opps. Start and end your journey at the Baker City Blue Door Inn. The inn has four comfortable guests room, two with private baths, and all are comfortably air-conditioned and include robes, luggage racks, fresh filtered water and chocolates upon arrival. Guests sit down to a hearty buffet breakfast in the formal dining room after a freshly brewed cup of coffee and a morning treat.
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