Baker City is nestled in a beautiful valley in Eastern Oregon between Portland and Boise along Interstate 84. The town is known for its preservation of over 100 historic buildings, many of which are remnants of the town’s glory days at the turn of the century. While Baker City today boasts a modest population near 10,000, it is considered the recreation hub of Baker County, where nearly a dozen small towns are strewn about the Eastern Oregon wilderness.
The best attractions within Baker City are historical. One of the biggest draws is the old Oregon Trail, a portion of which is preserved just outside town at the National Historic Oregon Trail Interpretive Center. Here one can walk among 150 year old wagon ruts carved into the soil from pioneers past. The Baker Heritage Museum in town displays artifacts from the area’s early days, which were tied to regional mining. There is an impressive exhibit of rocks, fossils, and minerals from the area. Baker City’s early residents included many Chinese, and the museum offers information on these residents, along with the Chinese Cemetery and Memorial in town. A short drive outside Baker City visitors can hop aboard the Sumpter Valley Railway—an old steam train that runs from Sumpter to McEwan through the area’s historic gold country.
Baker County offers access to activities such as hiking, fishing, camping, biking, skiing and snowboarding. The Anthony Lakes Ski Area, just 20 miles from Baker City, has the nearest slopes and offers premier Nordic skiing. Hundreds of hiking trails weave throughout Baker County and appeal to all ability levels. There are at least eight lakes and reservoirs in the area, and the eastern edge of the county borders Idaho, bound by the Snake River which runs through Hells Canyon. Hells Canyon National Recreation Area has almost 900 miles of hiking trails, and several companies offer jet boat tours of “North America’s deepest river gorge.” Hells Canyon Scenic Byway, a 218 mile drive through Eastern Oregon, runs through Baker City and several other historic Baker County towns. Baker County towns include Sumpter, Halfway, Huntington, Haines, Oxbow, Richland, Bridgeport, Hereford, and Unity.
Baker City dining ranges from typical fast food to locally owned cafes, restaurants, and brewpubs. There are major and independent hotels in town, as well as historic hotels and bed and breakfasts. Baker City is located on Interstate 84—128 miles northwest of Boise, Idaho, and about 300 miles southeast of Portland, Oregon. The nearest major airport is about two hours drive away in Boise. To learn more about Baker City and Baker County, explore the links to the left.