W E L C O M E T O
N T A R I O
O R E G O N
Oregon begins at Ontario. Located on the eastern edge of Oregon,
midway between Salt Lake City and Portland, it is the largest
city in Malheur County. Ontario is also in the area known as Oregon's
Western Treasure Valley. This land has spacious, rugged areas,
as well as prime agricultural growing land. Ontario grows onions,
russet potatoes, sugar beets, peppermint, and much of the world's
zinnia seeds. South of Ontario along Highway 201, the summer zinnia
flowers paint the prairies in bright colors.
Ontario is close to the Leslie Gulch-Succor Creek National Back
Country Byway. This byway allows you to view some of the most
rugged and spectacular countryside in eastern Oregon. There are
many striking geologic formations, such as vertical towers, pinnacles
and deep gorges, as well as the vibrant colors of pinks, oranges,
purples and reds painted across the sandstone cliffs. You'll want
to bring plenty of film when you take this scenic drive.
There are several festivals in the area, such as Ontario's Japanese
Obon Festival, the Mexican Cinco De Mayo, and Thunder egg Days
at Nyssa. Rockhounding is a favorite pastime, and you may even
find Oregon's state rock, the thunder egg. Thunder eggs are oblong
rocks that look rough on the outside, but many contain beautiful
crystal formations or mineral patterns inside when cut open. Some
of the other rocks found here are jasper, petrified wood, agate,
obsidian and sunstone, Oregon's state gem.
The Four Rivers Cultural Center, in the heart of Ontario, is
named for the four rivers that converge in the western Treasure
Valley. The museum at the Center features information about the
diverse cultural heritage of the settlers of the Ontario area.
These include people of Basque, European, Hispanic, Japanese and
American Indian ancestry. The center also includes a theater,
conference center, cafe and gift shop.
Visit where the Oregon Trail crosses the Snake River into what
would become Oregon. Walk by the wagon wheel ruts, and experience
a part of Oregon's history. Ontario reflects the pioneer spirit
of those days, and can share it with you.