Umatilla National Forest is located in the rural Blue Mountains of northeast Oregon. The climate in this area is quite humid with winters that are short and cool and summers that get hot. The closest town is Pendleton, a town that is famous for its Pendleton Round-Up. This is not the rainy, quirky Portland that Oregon is most known for. Eastern Oregon is more of a high desert habitat with an environment all its own. The communities nearby have a small-town vibe.
Oregon Butte Trail is actually located just over the border near Dayton, Washington. This is a beautiful forest hike. The trail offers great views. It can get muddy, so you will want good boots. It will get cold fast as the sun goes down.
Length: 5.6 miles
The Jubilee Lake Loop is a popular trail that wraps around Jubilee Lake. The trail is mellow enough that you can travel it in a wheelchair or while pushing a stroller. There are a couple of nice areas along the trail where you can stop for a swim break.
Length: 2.6 miles
The Harris Park Trail boasts scenic views for hikers of any skill level. It is often used for nature trips, walking, running, and horseback riding. If you visit this trail in the spring, you will be greeted by a wide variety of butterflies. In late summer, you will be able to pick blackberries along the way.
Length: 11.3 miles
The Indian Ridge Trail is a wonderful area where you will have fun bird-watching. There are a few steep climbs, so you will want to wear shoes with good traction. Look for herds of elk, fantastic views, and wildflowers on the trail during your hike.
Length: 8.9 miles
The Tiger Canyon Trail is an out-and-back trail that features a river winding through a pretty forested area. This trail has a couple of nice picnic spots. You will have to cross the creek a couple of times, so be ready for wet feet.
Length: 19.1 miles
The forest offers numerous fishing opportunities for beginners and experienced anglers. You will find rivers, streams, high-elevation lakes, and small ponds surrounded by magnificent scenery. Try your luck at catching Chinook salmon, steelhead, or several species of trout.
If you are a treasure hunter, the forest does have some geocaches stashed away. Enjoy exploring while you search and then go online to share your adventures with others.
The forest has abundant fish and wildlife habitats. It includes one of the biggest Rocky Mountain elk herds in the country, and you will also see herds of white-tailed and mule deer. Blue and ruffed grouse live near the springs, streams, and rivers.
Dress warmly and bring a thermos of hot cocoa to check out the stars. The temperatures drop quite a bit after dark. This forest is in a rural area, so the city lights will not interfere with your view of the starry night sky.
Address: 72510 Coyote Road, Pendleton, OR 97801
Fee: Day Pass Fee $5
Fee: Annual Pass Fee $30
The Umatilla National Forest is a perfect picture of the old Wild West days. The arid forested area is home to three different wilderness areas where you may spot moose, bighorn sheep, black bear, and more. It is a beautiful area for hiking, fishing, and exploring different habitats. Since the forest covers more than a million acres, traveling by RV means you can wander throughout the area without worrying about having a comfortable place to sleep.