Since movies began, followed by radio and then television, Americans have had a love affair with the wild west. Oregon wild west adventures were often a part of the films and programs that made the old west seem bold and romantic. Childhood characters like The Lone Ranger and his side-kick Tonto, or Roy Rogers were eagerly invited into homes. John Wayne made the first talking western called “The Trail” that launched his career and told the story of the pioneers challenged by the Oregon trail on there way west.
Millions since, have dreamed of living the life of the old west – Black hats and Native Americans were bad, white hats were heroes and everyone else were just ordinary folk. If you think think that the days of yore were golden, Cultural Oregon wants you to visit Central Oregon where you can live an Oregon Wild West Adventure today.
Central Oregon Wild West Adventures
There are a number of highly rated guest ranches in Central Oregon. Two that Cultural Oregon recommends, will immerse you in the cowboy life. Both are around Bend, the heart of Central Oregon.
The Rock Creek Spring Ranch is found just outside of Bend. During the summer months, this ranch has terrific package deals that include a very nice room, meals and guided horseback riding all day. Next to the 80 acre ranch are 1,500 acres of forest that is under management of the United States Bureau of Land Management. Equestrian trails criss-cross the forest and there are clearings within it to.
While the rides are guided, the wranglers evaluate your riding ability and allow you to ride at your level. Experienced riders can cantor to their hears content over trails that may have first been used by one of the several nations of Native Americans that first inhabited these lands. After a days ride, return to the ranch, clean up and a splendid gourmet western cook out will end your hunger and thirst.
For information and reservations call: 531-382-1957.
Close to Bend is the town of Sisters. This is where Long Hollow Ranch is found. Long Hollow Ranch immerses guests in the life style of the Oregon wild west. West. Long Hollow is a working cattle ranch with a 100 year history. During the era of settlement of the Old West, the ranch was a scheduled stop for stage coaches and a post office. The existing ranch house was once Long Hollow’s ranch commissary and sold needed supplies to the ranch hands when they were getting ready to make trips to the fence lines or go on a round-up.
The commissary had been renovated and is now a B&B for guests. Long Hollow also has private cabins available too. Guests groom their own horses, ride on guided trails and take part in cattle drives. Staying at Long Hollow Ranch is almost an instant time trip back more than 100 years.
Long Hollow also replicates the experience of a covered wagon train such as the ones that made the trek along the Oregon trail. The cowboys who guide the wagon train do add a bit of atmosphere as they will frequently break out in song and serenade the wagon train with songs such as “Home on the Range.”
Following dinner, campfire entertainment is provided by a male and female western couple who sing old west standards and tell great stories. Usually, the evening ends with an outdoor sing-along illuminated by the stars. The location of Long Hollow is a working ranch that helps create an authentic Oregon adventures that take guests to the times they have seen in movies like the trail.
For more information and reservations call: 541- 923-1901
After a day or two of riding, your urban body may not want to sit. Continue your Oregon Wild West adventures by visiting the High Desert Museum in Bend. In addition to exhibits relating to the days of the Oregon Trail and pioneer life, there are Indian artifacts on display too. Also make sure to visit the their living exhibit where characters in period dress interact with visitors and explain the challenges of the Oregon Trail and life as a settler. For detail call the High Desert Museum at 541-382-4745.
Schedule your Oregon adventures in central Oregon to cover the dates of June 8th 2012 through June 10th 2012 and you can attend the annual town of Sisters’ rodeo.
The event features working local cowboys and professional rodeo stars competing in exciting rodeo events such as bucking broncos and bull riding. Call the Sisters’ Rodeo Hotline at 541-549-0121 or 1-800-827-7522.
Wallowas Horseback Adventure
If you are determined to relive the old ways of the west, then forget about spending money at a posh resort hotel and going out for fine dinging. For only $225 per day, you can join a horse pack adventure that takes you through the stunning Eagle Cap Wilderness in Oregon’s unsettled and precipitous Wallowa Mountains. These guided group expeditions are conducted by Del Sol Wilderness Adventures in Wallowa, Oregon. Reservations are a must, call them at 541-398-2088.
The trips with pack horses do not begin in Wallowa. You will be given the location for the group meet-up at the trail base by Del Sol. The company provides terrific campsites throughout the trip that have full amenities. Meals are prepared fresh each night and are of great quality. Horse lovers and history lovers will always remember the ride on Spanish mustangs, selected especially because of how sure footed they are, the outstanding views of land and geologic formations as well as wildlife.
The ride itself is the no different than how Native Americans, cowboys, pioneers and explores traversed the area long ago. You are living history! The company has luxurious campsites and provides all meals. Outdoors lovers will be thrilled by the place.
Trips do not start from their place but from the base of trails going through Eagle Cap Wilderness or Hell’s gorge. The company has luxurious campsites and provides all meals. Outdoors lovers will be thrilled by the panoramic views, the opportunity to see wildlife and travel the way pioneers, explorers and cowboys did over 100 years ago.
Travel East to get to Oregon Wild West
Pendleton, Oregon is the heart of the Oregon wild west. Every September the city is host for the Pendleton Roundup. The Pendleton Roundup is one of the largest and most renown rodeos on the circuit. This four-day event has been held in Pendleton for 102 years. In 2012 event is scheduled for September 12th through September 15th. For additional details about this world-class event click here.
Only four miles from Pendleton is The Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation. Created by a treaty that was signed in 1855 with the three tribes that make up the confederation. The Walla Walla, Cayuse, and Umatilla peoples.
This 172,000 acre Indian Reservation was an exchange for any claims the three nations had on 6.3 million acres of what is now northeast Oregon and part of southern Washington state.
Only 2,652 Confederation member live on the reservation, and half of the reservation is now owned by non-Native Americans.
The tribes have tries and succeeded in restoring Salmon to the Columbia and other area rivers. Salmon can be caught on the reservation as well as other fish. You must buy a fishing license from the Confederated Tribes. Hunting is also available on their lands. For hunting and fishing information call 541-276-3165.
The Umatilla Confederation opened the Wild Stallion Resort and Casino in 1995. It has had amazing growth and is a popular destination spot. Since 1995 it has grown seven-fold and hires the residents of the reservation. Since it opened unemployment on the reservation had been cut in half. The Wild Stallion is a great place to stay as a base to explore the Pendleton area and learn about the history of the Native Americans in the area.
The Confederated Tribes of The Umatilla Indian Reservation own a wonderful interpretive learning along with the well-respected Tamastslikt Cultural Institute. The 45,000 square foot facility records 10,000 years of history for the tribes in the Confederation. The exhibits are made up of three sections named : “We Were,” “We Are,” and “We Will Be.” From Memorial Day through Labor Day the museum has a living interpretive exhibit about tribal life in the past.
Adventures that follow the paths of the Native Americans, explorers and settlers of Oregon are powerful learning experiences that give those lucky enough to participate new understanding and appreciation of the culture of Oregon and the almost indescribable results of our planet’s evolution and the remarkable land forms that make up the beautiful land of Oregon.
Topics on this page: Oregon, Oregon Wild West, Central Oregon, Oregon Adventures