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Your guide to Baker City
All About Baker City
Located in eastern Oregon close to the border of Idaho, Baker City earned its spot on the map when the 1860s Gold Rush transformed it from a dusty outpost to a vibrant town. Today, Baker City is home to more than 100 historic buildings — churches, movie theaters, private homes, many dating from the mid-19th century — and many of its attractions revolve around the town’s history.
Check out the Baker Heritage Museum, for example, which traces the town’s local and natural history, and the Adler House Museum, formerly the private residence of a billionaire and philanthropist. A 15-minute drive east of Baker City will bring you to the National Historic Oregon Trail Interpretive Center, which gives you the chance to learn more about the experiences of the settlers who made their way from the Midwest to the West Coast. Also nearby, the Hells Canyon Scenic Byway can take you through some of the area’s most magnificent scenery.
The best time to stay in a vacation rental in Baker City
Eastern Oregon’s temperate, four-season climate does swing from hot to cold and wet to dry, but extremes are rare. The summer sees the warmest and longest days, which is great if you want to explore the nearby hiking trails or go for a drive on the Hells Canyon Scenic Byway. It can get very crowded from June through August, so you may want to book your Baker City vacation rentals well in advance. During the spring and fall, things are a bit quieter and you can see the surrounding areas explode into a sea of colors as spring flowers bloom or autumn foliage erupts in reds and golds. The weather can get pretty cold in the winter, but this is a good time to explore Baker City at its quietest.
Top things to do in Baker City
The National Historic Oregon Trail Interpretive Center
The Oregon Trail passed near Baker City, and throughout town, you’ll encounter reminders of the impact of this historic trail, which led hundreds of thousands of people to Oregon. One of the best places to experience this history is the National Historic Oregon Trail Interpretive Center, which uses living-history re-enactments, multimedia displays, and interpretive trails to tell the story of these migrants.
Hells Canyon Scenic Byway
This roadway, stretching an impressive 218 miles, encircles the Wallowa Mountains, which soar into the air and culminate in white-capped, jagged peaks. Along the route, the byway passes the 8,000-foot-deep Hells Canyon, one of the deepest river-carved canyons in the United States, as well as striking rock formations and the fast-moving Snake River. You’ll have plenty of excuses to stop for an hour or a day — there are plenty of opportunities to hike, fish, and go white-water rafting along the way.
Baker Heritage Museum
This museum, housed in a 1920s former natatorium, will take you through the history of Baker City and the Oregon Trail as you explore two floors of exhibits. It is also home to the Cavin-Warfel Rock Collection, one of the biggest collections of rocks, minerals, and gems in the western United States.