Category Archives: Central and Eastern Oregon Region

Oregon Birding

It’s that Time of Year again:  Time to follow the Spring Bird Migration

With the Spring Bird Migration about to begin it’s time to book your room, pack your binoculars and set out on your bird watching adventure to 7 superb Oregon Birding locations.  The state’s diverse and spectacular landscape provide varied habitats ranging from sandy beaches to verdant forests, from desert playas to alpine meadows. More than 500 species of birds call Oregon home year round or migrate through, sometimes stopping to nest.

The Oregon Bed and Breakfast Guild has over 50 quality assured inns scattered throughout the state, each near a unique birding opportunity. Our innkeepers know the most favorable viewing areas and after providing a comfy bed, hearty breakfast and useful information, will send you off on an extraordinary birding adventure.  The Guild recognizes this popular activity and has dedicated a page to Birdwatching that includes inns where innkeepers can share the best observation sites and what you might expect to see.

1. Watch surfbirds and black oystercatchers scramble over rocky headlands along the Oregon Coast.

2. Explore the alpine meadows, picturesque lakes, mountain streams, and dense conifer forests of the Cascades in search of Lewis’s woodpecker and Clark’s nutcracker.  Listen to the song of hermit warblers among majestic pines framing the snowy volcanic peaks. Mt. Jefferson, Oregon’s second highest peak.

3/4. The murmur of thousands of snow geese will mesmerize as they settle to rest in the tule marshes of the Klamath Basin and Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.

5. Salem, is a leader in urban forestry, with tree-lined streets and 40 city parks and is located in the heart of the Willamette Valley alongside the Willamette River so no wonder there are many birding sites in its backyard.

6. Supporting one of the highest concentrations of breeding hawks and eagles in North America, the Zumwalt Prairie in Eastern Oregon, is also home to falcons making this a haven for birds of prey and 17 species of grassland songbirds. The nearby Wallowa Lake has a wide variation in habitat and terrain drawing a large number of species.

7. The Mt. Hood Loop of the OCBT rises from the Columbia River to Mt. Hood and combines some of the best of the region’s birding with legendary Oregon scenery.  This loop traverses the Columbia River National Scenic Area and the Mt. Hood National Forest and visits 19 birding sites.

When your journey ends, your bags are unpacked, and you’re scrolling through your vacation photos you will reminisce on memories of great accommodations, food, conversation and of course birding in Oregon.

Oregon Bed and Breakfast Guild is ready to share Oregon with you: it’s environment, culture, and heritage. Combine gracious hospitality with ambiance at an inspected and approved Oregon Bed and Breakfast Guild member Inn.

Wilson Ranches Retreat

Welcome, Partner, to Wilson Ranches Retreat

At Wilson Ranches Retreat, your hosts, Phil and Nancy Wilson, are fifth generation Oregonians, whose families homesteaded in Wheeler and Gilliam Counties over 100 years ago.  A 9,000 acre working cattle and dude ranch takes you off the beaten track to a rustic hideout, located in the beautiful Butte Creek Valley three miles West of Fossil, Oregon off Highway 19.

Although the ranch has been running for over 100 years the Wilson’s opened the farmhouse to B&B guests 15 years ago.  Breakfast with the Wilson’s is about much more than just good food and nourishment, it is truly a unique dining experience.   Phil and Nancy sit down with the guests and share about ranch life, local history, and the funny and serious sides of rural living. Whatever the topic at the breakfast table, expect the conversation to be intelligent, informed and often humorous. You are likely to have a large helping of fun and laughter with Phil’s stories

Let your inner Cowboy or Cowgirl out!  Visit Wilson Ranches Retreat for an authentic Ranch experience.  Not the riding type?  Not a problem.  Sit under the cottonwoods, sipping lemonade while the rest of your party is out ‘working’! But you might want to join in. There may be an inner cowhand you’ve never even met!

This incredible, secluded scenic Oregon Lodging Ranch with spectacular sunsets and brilliant star-studded nights will captivate you.  Enjoy horseback riding in a geologically and historically rich area with a magnificent view of the Cascade Mountain Range or a quiet hike to view the wildlife and diverse flora and fauna on Wilson Ranches Dude Ranch. Wheeler County is home of the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument and has the richest find of prehistoric fossils in the world.

Oregon Bed and Breakfast Guild is ready to share Oregon with you: it’s environment, culture, and heritage. Combine gracious hospitality with ambiance at an inspected and approved Oregon Bed and Breakfast Guild member Inn.

windmills of sherman county

Windmills of Sherman County GC1X205

The Windmills of Sherman County, GC1X205, is a geocache with expansive views of Oregon’s Windfarms.  Head east on I-84 out of Portland, through the Columbia River Gorge, where the spectacular river canyon opens up to the rolling high desert wheat fields of the Columbia Basin.  It is stunning, big skies and vast views.  Rock formations left over from the Ice Age Missoula Floods, floods that shaped the landscape and the Columbia River Gorge.  And wind, sometimes gentle but often times strong.  The perfect place for hundreds of wind turbines.  Oregon’s goal:  to capture 20% of our energy needs from the wind.

Traveling south off the Interstate into the heart of Oregon, along the John Day River, be sure to explore the three units of the John Day Fossil Bed National Monument.   Take a Journey through Time on a scenic byway into ancient Oregon where paleontological research is ongoing.  Millions of years ago the west coast states, Oregon, Washington, and California were sea beds and the fossils discovered throughout the monument are evidence to that.

Plan your road trip around an Oregon Bed and Breakfast Guild Member Inns located in Central Oregon.

Oregon Bed and Breakfast Guild is ready to share Oregon with you: it’s environment, culture, and heritage. Combine gracious hospitality with ambiance at an inspected and approved Oregon Bed and Breakfast Guild member Inn.

Hells Canyon

Hells Canyon Scenic Byway

Hells Canyon is the deepest canyon in the US.

Start planning your Oregon Road Trip. Oregon has more designated scenic byways and tour routes than any other state.  The Oregon Bed and Breakfast Guild is the only State B&B Association and a welcoming inn awaits you as you travel the backroads. Thanks to Travel Oregon and the Oregon Department of Transportation for sharing this information.

Listed in an article of the deepest, longest, tallest, etc., record-setting places to visit in the US are two Oregon Locations:  the deepest canyon, Hells Canyon and the deepest lake, Crater Lake which will be mentioned in a future Scenic Back Road blog.  Both are also listed as one of the 7 Wonder of Oregon.  Oregon geotourism at its finest!

‘A Mile-Deep Gorge and Two-Mile-High Mountains. Oregon’s northeast corner has always been wild and untamed. From the unfathomable depths of Hells Canyon to the 10,000-foot peaks of the Wallowas, much of it remains inaccessible. The middle of this incredible drive is usually closed by snow from October through May.

Joseph is the premier small town for art and culture and is home to art galleries, unique shops, interesting restaurants and the delightful Bronze Antler Bed and Breakfast, a member of the Oregon Bed and Breakfast Guild.  The Bronze Antler features three cozy guestrooms and a modern Asian Suite with many upscale amenities.

Surrounded by an acre of lawns and gardens and bordered by the Wallowa River, the garden setting of Belle Pepper’s Bed and Breakfast is as lovely as the home.  The inn is located just one block from Joseph’s charming main street.

Winter and spring guests will enjoy unencumbered snowmobiling, snowshoeing and backcountry skiing opportunities.  But if it’s the Hells Canyon Scenic Byway you’d like to travel now’s the time to start planning your summer trip.  A reminder:  The center section of the Hells Canyon Scenic Byway is seasonal – it usually closes in early November and doesn’t open again until May or June depending on the snowpack.  If you’re planning to drive entire Byway, check in with the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest Office at (541)426-4978 or 426-5546 or by visiting their website.

Oregon Bed and Breakfast Guild is ready to share Oregon with you: it’s environment, culture, and heritage. Combine gracious hospitality with ambiance at an inspected and approved Oregon Bed and Breakfast Guild member Inn.

Oregon Outback Scenic Byway

Oregon Outback Scenic Byway ~ A View into Oregon’s Past and Dynamic High Desert Scenery

We recently spent a few weeks in Taos visiting our daughter.  A long road trip that brought us back into Oregon from Nevada onto one of Oregon’s 26 Scenic Byways, Oregon Outback Scenic Byway.  This byway takes you through a slice of the Great Basin, an isolated diverse landscape, where lush green forests of the Oregon Cascades are replaced by sagebrush and stunning rock formations.

See striking evidence of mysterious rock formations left behind by volcanoes at Fort Rock.  The Abert Rim is a 30-mile-long fault escarpment, one of the nation’s longest and most continuous fault escarpment that rises more than 2,000 feet above the Byway.

Take a few minutes to stop at Picture Rock Pass, named for ancient Indian petroglyph-decorated rocks that are within walking distance of the highway.  I discovered these while seeking Geocache GC18MWG ‘Between Basins’.  Yes, I am a cacher and, as everywhere in Oregon, there are plenty for you to hunt for.  Don’t miss Lakeview Geyser Earthcache GC23CK7, the Old Perpetual Geyser.

Picture Rock Pass offers panoramic views of the lakes and forests. Stunning Winter Rim divides forest and desert and as the Geocache ‘Between Basins’ suggests, ancient lake basins.  The Paisley Caves, discovered in the cliffs above the Great Basin, have revealed fossils and evidence of human habitation as long as 14,000 years ago.

We also took advantage of a soak in the mineral baths of Summer Lake Hot Springs.  You won’t want to miss that.

Oregon Bed and Breakfast Guild is ready to share Oregon with you: it’s environment, culture, and heritage. Combine gracious hospitality with ambiance at an inspected and approved Oregon Bed and Breakfast Guild member Inn.

McKenzie River Koosah Falls

McKenzie Pass Scenic Byway

These Scenic rides/drives can be taking in your car or on your bike or maybe both.  Either way there is an Oregon Bed and Breakfast Guild member inn where you can rest your tired bones at either end.   Plan either your two or 4-wheeled vacation in Oregon on one of Oregon’s Scenic Drives in the Central Cascades.  Oregon has 15 routes in the Scenic Bikeways program. These routes were created, inspected, ridden and officially approved by Ride Oregon Ride and those cyclists who have made Oregon a bike friendly state at the head of the pack.

I’ve included links for both the McKenzie River Scenic Bikeway and the McKenzie Pass/Santiam Pass Scenic Byway.  Both allow you to start your journey in Sisters, Oregon, at the Long Hollow Bed and Breakfast before heading over the McKenzie Pass to inns along the McKenzie River.  Finish the 82 mile ride by taking the McKenzie Pass/Santiam Pass Scenic Byway back to Sisters.  Lava fields, snowcapped peaks and rushing rivers mark this 82-mile loop around two of Central Oregon’s Cascade Mountain passes.

Oregon Bed and Breakfast Guild is ready to share Oregon with you: it’s environment, culture, and heritage. Combine gracious hospitality with ambiance at an inspected and approved Oregon Bed and Breakfast Guild member Inn.

Dude Ranches

Dude Ranches in Central Oregon

Looking for a dude ranch vacation?  Look no further.  These working cattle ranches, members of the Oregon Bed and Breakfast Guild, provide horseback vacations, cattle drives, and fly fishing vacations.   After a day in the saddle the friendly ranch style atmosphere, the cozy guest rooms and home cooked meals will satisfy and refresh hungry, tired guests.

Howdy!  Welcome to the Long Hollow Ranch
Long Hollow Ranch is a guest ranch with good old fashion values. The newly remodeled 100-year old ranch house welcomes you to historic Central Oregon.  Explore the ranch on horseback or hike the bordering high desert rimrock. Fish to your heart’s content in the ranch reservoirs or spend a relaxing afternoon reading on the veranda, pitching horseshoes in the yard by the campfire or practicing your roping skills

Long Hollow Ranch is located in the heart of one of the Northwest’s most scenic recreation areas, just a stone’s throw from Bend, Oregon.  Golf courses manicured to perfection abound, whitewater rafting awaits the adventurous.  Roaming the antique and quilt stores of Sisters, a true town from the Old West just minutes away, revives the spirit.

Welcome, Partner, to Wilson Ranches Retreat
Your hosts, Phil and Nancy Wilson, are fifth generation Oregonians, whose families homesteaded in Wheeler and Gilliam Counties over 100 years ago. Wilson Ranches Retreat is a 9,000 acre working cattle and dude ranch takes you off the beaten track to a rustic hideout, located in the beautiful Butte Creek Valley three miles West of Fossil, Oregon off Highway 19. This incredible, secluded scenic Oregon Lodging Ranch with spectacular sunsets and brilliant star-studded nights will captivate you.

Enjoy horseback riding in a geologically and historically rich area with a magnificent view of the Cascade Mountain Range or a quiet hike to view the wildlife and diverse flora and fauna on Wilson Ranches Dude Ranch. Wheeler County is home of the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument and has the richest find of prehistoric fossils in the world.

What are you waiting for?
Work with ranch hands on authentic ranch activities from fixing fence to moving irrigation to working with cattle.  These ranch adventures of a lifetime are just a click away and will take you on the ultimate Oregon
Geotourism adventure.

Journey Through Time Scenic Byway; An Oregon Scenic Byway

Journey Through Time Scenic Byway ‘reveals tales of pioneers, towns boomed and busted, and creatures that wandered this terrain million of years ago.  The Journey Through Time Scenic Byway stretches 266 miles through north central to eastern Oregon.  Beginning in the community of Biggs and ending in Baker City, this Byway meanders through ghost towns and small farming communities that bring to Old West to Life.

‘The ‘Wild and Scenic’ John Day River, North America’s second longest undammed river, parallels much of the route, offering excellent rafting, fishing, and camping.   Geology buffs, and anyone who’s curious about fossils, will take great pleasure in the interpretive trails at the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument.  The monument is made up of three units, one of which is the Painted Hills, recently labeled one of the 7 Wonders of Oregon.   Thanks to Travel Oregon for sharing this information.

You might consider bringing the bikes and trade out 4 wheels for two. The Old West Scenic Bikeway is a rugged piece of the Old West that you can check out, offering different terrains and scenery, from rushing rivers to hot springs to fossil beds and some attention-getting climbs.

Wilson Ranches Retreat in Fossil, Oregon, a member of the Oregon Bed and Breakfast Guild provides the perfect accommodations when traveling the Journey Through Time Scenic Byway and the Ranch offers up true Oregon hospitality and an Old West Experience.

Complete your Journey Through Time at the Baker City Blue Door Inn, centrally located in the heart of the downtown historic district of Baker City, Oregon.   Stroll through the beautiful tree-lined neighborhoods or visit one of several museums.  Walk to local restaurants, shops and breweries. Hop back on your bike and cruise the lovely Leo Adler trail which meanders along the beautiful Powder River.

The innkeepers of the Oregon Bed and Breakfast Guild are ready to share Oregon, it’s environment, culture, and heritage with you. Get to know our State like a local; stay with one of our nearly 100 hosts in any one of our many regions. Experience romantic getaways, historic treasures, and tucked away rustic retreats.  Whether your trip is for a quiet escape to a quaint rural or coastal town, taking in Oregon Geotourism, for a World Class City experience, or for a new spin on business travel, you can be assured of combining gracious hospitality with ambiance by staying at an inspected and approved Oregon Bed and Breakfast Guild member Inn.

Total Solar Eclipse

Total Solar Eclipse to sweep across 14 states in 2017.  Are you an Eclipse-Chaser and do you have your accommodations reserved?

A Total Solar Eclipse will occur in America for the first time in 26 years and it will sweep across Oregon, first touching land at a rocky spot of ground just north of Newport at about 10:15 in the morning on August 21, 2017. This lucky little piece of earth will experience a full minute and fifty seconds of totality.

This total solar eclipse is the first on American soil since 1991, the first to sweep across the entire country since 1918, and the first on the mainland since 1979.  It will be spectacular and people from all over the world will converge on the United States. Eclipse-chasers are already making a plans to position themselves in a spot carefully chosen to ensure they see the the most beautiful celestial event on the planet.  Just ask the innkeeper at the Baker City Blue Door Inn.  She has already booked eclipse-chasers from the UK, making the trip to Oregon to observe one of the most spectacular things they might ever see in their lives.

The actual centerline of the eclipse path hits solid ground a 10:21 am and plunges Lincoln Beach and Depoe Bay into darkness for 1 minute and 58 seconds!  It will only take about two minutes for the shadow to race eastward toward cities in the Willamette Valley, each experiencing various durations of totality.  Salem is the first of 5 state capitals the shadow will visit and lucky viewers will be treated to 1 minute and 54 seconds of shadow just after 10:17am.

The eclipse continues traveling east through the forests of the Oregon Cascades, reaching Madras at about 10:19 before crossing the high deserts of Central Oregon.  And at about 11:25 am the shadow leaves Oregon just north of Ontario, continuing its journey through 13 more states.

Many inns of the Oregon Bed and Breakfast Guild will be in the path of the 2017 Total Solar Eclipse.  I’ve linked their cities throughout this blog. Contact one to see how close they are to the shadows path.

The innkeepers of the Oregon Bed and Breakfast Guild are ready to share with you their version of Oregon Culinary Tourism and Geotourism.  Get to know our State like a local; stay with one of our nearly 100 hosts in any one of our many regions. Experience romantic getaways, historic treasures, and tucked away rustic retreats.  Whether your trip is for a quiet escape to a quaint rural or coastal town, taking in Oregon Geotourism, for a World Class City experience, or for a new spin on business travel, you can be assured of combining gracious hospitality with ambiance by staying at an inspected and approved Oregon Bed and Breakfast Guild member Inn.

Hells Canyon

Hells Canyon Scenic Byway

Hells Canyon is the deepest canyon in the US.

It’s that time of year again. Time to start planning your Oregon Road Trip. Oregon has more designated scenic byways and tour routes than any other state.  The Oregon Bed and Breakfast is the only State B&B Association and a welcoming inn awaits you as you travel the backroads. I have created a series of blogs to assist you in creating amazing getaways and tour in Oregon.  Thanks to Travel Oregon and the Oregon Department of Transportation for sharing this information.

Listed in an article of the deepest, longest, tallest, etc., record-setting places to visit in the US are two Oregon Locations:  the deepest canyon, Hells Canyon and the deepest lake, Crater Lake which will be mentioned in a future Scenic Back Road blog.  Both are also listed as one of the 7 Wonder of Oregon.  Oregon geotourism at its finest!

‘A Mile-Deep Gorge and Two-Mile-High Mountains. Oregon’s northeast corner has always been wild and untamed. From the unfathomable depths of Hells Canyon to the 10,000-foot peaks of the Wallowas, much of it remains inaccessible. The middle of this incredible drive is usually closed by snow from October through May.

Joseph is the premier small town for art and culture and is home to art galleries, unique shops, interesting restaurants and the delightful Bronze Antler Bed and Breakfast, a member of the Oregon Bed and Breakfast Guild.  The Bronze Antler features three cozy guestrooms and a modern Asian Suite with many upscale amenities.

Winter and spring guests will enjoy unencumbered snowmobiling, snowshoeing and backcountry skiing opportunities.  But if it’s the Hells Canyon Scenic Byway you’d like to travel now’s the time to start planning your summer trip.  A reminder:  The center section of the Hells Canyon Scenic Byway is seasonal – it usually closes in early November and doesn’t open again until May or June depending on the snowpack.  If you’re planning to drive entire Byway, check in with the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest Office at (541)426-4978 or 426-5546 or by visiting their website.

The innkeepers of the Oregon Bed and Breakfast Guild are ready to share with you their version of Oregon Culinary Tourism and Geotourism.  Get to know our State like a local; stay with one of our nearly 100 hosts in any one of or many regions. Experience romantic getaways, historic treasures, and tucked away rustic retreats.  Whether your trip is for a quiet escape to a quaint rural or coastal town, taking in Oregon Geotourism, for a World Class City experience, or for a new spin on business travel, you can be assured of combining gracious hospitality with ambiance by staying at an inspected and approved Oregon Bed and Breakfast Guild member Inn.