Outside of the Beaver State, few know about the plethora of gorgeous natural wonders sprinkled throughout the eastern side of Oregon. From crystal clear alpine lakes to otherworldly deserts, here are some of eastern Oregon’s most stunning hidden gems:
10. Wallowa Lake
Located near the remote town of Joseph, Wallowa Lake is a jaw-dropping body of crystal clear water nestled into the rugged Wallowa Mountains.
9. Steens Mountain
The beautiful Steens Mountain is located in a remote area of southwest Oregon. This gorgeous slice of wilderness is a perfect place for sightseeing, camping, spotting wildlife, and more.
8. Alvord Desert
Just over Steens Mountain to the east is Oregon's most remote location: the Alvord Desert. This stunning playa is flat as could be and goes on for as far almost as the eye can see. There's also a wonderful hot spring (called Alvord Hot Springs) here, where you can soak in hot mineral water, surrounded by otherwordly scenery.
7. Painted Hills
Speaking of otherworldly scenery, Oregon's Painted Hills are an amazing natural wonder. Walking through these ancient, colorful hills will make you feel like you've landed on mars.
6. Eagle Cap Wilderness
Located in the Wallowa–Whitman National Forest, the Eagle Cap Wilderness is simply astounding. This huge wilderness area is full of rugged peaks, hidden lakes, alpine forests, glittering streams, wildlife, and more.
5. Journey Through Time Scenic Byway
One great way to experience eastern Oregon is by taking a long drive on one of the many stunning byways. One great country drive is the Journey Through Time Scenic Byway, which starts just east of The Dalles and winds through gorgeous plains, forests, canyons, small towns, and ghost towns before ending in the lovely Baker City.
4. Hells Canyon and the Snake River
Did you know that the deepest river gorge in North America is right here in Oregon? The Hells Canyon Recreation Area is a stunning stretch of wilderness that has been chiseled away over thousands of years by the beautiful Snake River.
3. Strawberry Lake
This lovely alpine lake sits high up in the Strawberry Mountains of Grant County. It's a great place for camping, hiking, fishing, and more.
2. Owyhee Canyonlands
The Owyhee Canyon in southeastern Oregon is a wild, magical expanse of rugged desert terrain carved by glittering rivers. It's a great place for hiking, rafting, fishing, viewing wildlife, and more.
1. Leslie Gulch
Leslie Gulch is an incredible hidden gem in Malheur County, part of the Owyhee Canyonlands. Full of unusual geological formations, this amazing desert canyon is simply out of this world.