Pendleton Oregon sits north of a sweeping patch of national forests, the perfect setting to enjoy many things to do outdoors. Known best for a rich Western past, Pendleton emerged as a community thanks to those emigrants who first established the Oregon Trail close to the mid-1800s. They traversed the magnificent Blue Mountains, emerging in the west and settling in the vast and diverse lands. The many struggles that ensued during the settlement are relayed by Pendleton Oregon attractions such as Deadman’s Pass and Pendleton’s Emigrant Springs.
Exploring Oregon history and culture are some of the finer things to do in Pendleton, along with visiting the various museums, galleries, and theaters available. Woolen Mills is another revered landmark and major economic contributor in Pendleton Oregon. The mill receives and re-distributes handmade tapestries and blankets made by Pendleton locals. The textiles exhibit distinct regional styles and patterns that were first woven for Native communities settled in the area. Today Woolen Mills is one of the largest Pendleton Oregon attractions and a great place to find a souvenir to take home. Tours of the mill and some shopping afterward make an ideal morning or afternoon outing.
One of the top Pendleton attractions is the Pendleton Round-Up, one of the most exciting and celebrated of all rodeo’s in the United States. Initiated in September of 1910, the Pendleton Round-Up features shows that capture the essence of the West. More than 6,500 people attended the first rodeo which was the largest gathering Pendleton has ever had. Today, the rodeo welcomes more than 50,000 people to watch rodeo events such as bareback riding, steer wrestling, calf roping, barrel racing, and saddle bronc. Other things to do in Pendleton during the Round-Up include attending the pageant, parades, native American arts & crafts booths, music concerts, and even a children’s rodeo.
Getting outside and enjoying the outdoors is another of the best things to do in Pendleton. Pendleton Oregon is the gateway to two scenic byways that reveal a genuine representation of the region. Both Hell’s Canyon Scenic Byway and Elkhorn Scenic Byway are inspiring state routes that careen through ghost-towns, by rivers and lakes, through valley floors, over mountain tops, and traverse an avalanche of postcard-worthy backdrops.
Hiking and climbing are more easily accessible pursuits via Pendleton Oregon. The Steens Mountains lead the way to three distinct and short routes that culminate at points, leading hikers to scenic locations like the Steens Summit, Kiger Gorge, and East Rim. Alpine lakes and granite ridges are show-stoppers, while hiking around Anthony Lake is another of the top Pendleton Oregon attractions. Still another, Eagle Cap, attracts the intrepid for a two-day arduous climb over almost 10,000 feet to the summit of the Wallowa Mountains.
The city offers excellent tourist infrastructure, including many Pendleton hotels, motels, and bed and breakfasts. Local events are a great way to get involved with the community. There are steakhouses, grills, staple fast food chains, and enough Northwest cuisine—fresh game meat, seafood, and cedar-plank fish to name a few main ingredients—to feed an army.