DescriptionExtending from northeast Oregon into the southeastern corner of Washington, Umatilla National Forest encompasses 1.4 million acres in four ranger districts. Its name is derived from a Native American word meaning “water rippling over sand.” The highest point in the forest, at 8,131 feet, lies within the Vinegar Hill/Indian Rock Scenic Area. A drive to Indian Rock Lookout offers a view of the subalpine area.
Trips along the summit of the Blue Mountains on the primitive Kendall-Skyline, the paved Blue Mountain National Scenic Byway and the gravel Summit Road offer panoramic views. More than 2,000 miles of other forest roads offer wildlife viewing opportunities for visitors. Although these roads provide roadside viewpoints into the wilderness, travel within the wilderness areas is served by many trails and can be toured only by foot or horseback.
There are ample opportunities for winter sports as well as fishing, hunting, hiking and pack-and-saddle trips. Many picnic and camping areas are provided.
The Wenaha-Tucannon Wilderness, 177,465 acres astride the Oregon-Washington border in the northern Blue Mountains, is characterized by rugged basaltic ridges and deep canyons. Two additional wilderness areas are the North Fork Umatilla Wilderness encompassing 20,144 acres, and the North Fork John Day Wilderness, which stretches over 121,800 acres.
For further information or to obtain a permit contact Umatilla National Forest, 72510 Coyote Rd., Pendleton, OR 97801; phone (541) 278-3716.