W E L C O M E T O
A K E R C O U N T Y
O R E G O N
There's gold in Baker County, Oregon, and
you can see it in the gold display at the U.S. National Bank in
Baker City. Exhibits include gold dust, leaf gold, and the impressive
80.4 ounce Armstrong Gold Nugget, found in the
area by George Armstrong in 1913. This frontier town was the hub
of the Eastern Oregon gold rush in 1861, and the history of that
era can still be seen in Baker City today.
For those who like trains, ride the Sumpter
Valley Railroad and see the nations's largest gold dredge. The
train is a restored gear-driven Heisler steam locomotive, and
it takes two observation cars on seven miles of narrow-gauge railroad.
The trip passes through a wildlife game area, where muskrat, beaver,
geese, herons, and other waterfowl and animals may be seen. It
also passes through the Sumpter mining district, which is the
location of the Sumpter gold dredge. Operated from 1935 until
1954, this enormous dredge could move 280,000 cubic feet of gravel
in one month. This area is now being developed as one of Oregon's
newest state parks. The railroad is operated from Memorial Day
through the last weekend of September, on weekends only.
Not only history, but recreation abounds
in Baker County. The Wallowa-Whitman National Forest covers more
than two million acres and has 60 campgrounds and more than 1,700
miles of trails. The national forest includes the Hells Canyon
Wilderness, the Monument Rock Wilderness, Eagle Cap Wilderness,
the North Fork John Day Wilderness, the Minam River, rare wildflowers,
alpine meadows, snowcapped peaks, Anthony Lake and Phillips Reservoir.
Phillips Reservoir, west of Baker City, and Unity Lake, 45 miles
southwest of Baker City, both offer swimming, boating, fishing
and camping. Drive the scenic Hells Canyon Overlook to see the
deepest river carved canyon in North America, averaging 6,600
feet in depth. In the national forest, there are opportunities
for hiking, camping, picnicking, hunting, boating, jet boat trips,
and saddle and pack trips.
Visit Baker County, and have an adventure
or see history come alive!