Vast and remote, Grant County’s wildlife far outnumbers its 7,000 human residents. It’s a place where you can enjoy a family picnic at a mountain lake, view the Milky Way in all its brilliance at night, fish a quiet stream, and motor to stunning views—without the press of crowds and urban cares. Grant County sprawls over 4,500 square miles, nearly as large as Connecticut—the county is remote from more urban parts of Oregon.
It’s not just rural, but proudly frontier. No freeway or railroad runs through it. You can’t drive in from north, south, east, or west without first crossing a 5,000-foot pass. If you don’t mind sharing a country road with a cattle drive, or pausing for a herd of elk, or stopping on the highway for a county fair parade, you will find it well worth the effort.
The sun shines on the county over 200 days a year–perfect for wonderful outdoor adventures, be it hiking, fishing, biking, snowmobiling, bird watching, kayaking, wildlife viewing, camping, horseback riding, or geocaching. There are 860 miles of groomed snowmobile trails. There are hiking trails, rating from easy to hard, to pristine alpine lakes, forest peaks, through stunning geologic formations and to remote campsites. Take your pick. Try out a bicycling route—on paved and on gravel roads. There are ponds, rivers, and lakes to try your hand at fishing. Or to take a dip on a hot summer day.
The history of the county is rich—gold rush, ancient fossils, timber, and cattle barons. The Kam Wah Chung Museum and Heritage Site offers a fascinating look into the Chinese experience in the old west.
You can explore the Age of Mammals at the renowned John Day Fossil Beds National Monument. Hike through stunning geologic formations and watch archaeologists at work.
It’s a place where people greet each other, even strangers, on the sidewalk. A place where neighbors look out for their neighbors. A place where generation after generation has worked in harmony with the land. Above all, it’s a place defined by the bounty of nature—meandering rivers, open range, towering forests, stunning rock formations and abundant wildlife. And while your new friends in Grant County may not tell you where their favorite fishing hole is, but they’ll gladly share the rest of their stories. Or where to get the best pie.
Contact the Grant County Chamber of Commerce for information about the area. You can get information about the hiking trails or the bike routes, as well.
As much as its scenery, there’s a sense of solitude that touches visitors to Grant County, Oregon—and keeps them coming back.