The Ultimate Eastern Oregon Road Trip is Right Here


When it comes to a Northwest road trip, anywhere along the coast is always a must. While of course there are endless places to see along Highway 101, there’s a huge part of Oregon, in fact the majority of our state, that a lot of us in the west have yet to discover. I was one of them, until recently.

I’ve always wanted to explore central and eastern Oregon, and finally got my chance as I ventured out with Danielle Denham into the Oregon Outback, who is behind thePDXphotographer and an amazingly talented photographer. We set out last month, in May of 2016.

Journey with us as we head out from Eugene, through central Oregon deep into southeastern Oregon, and head back home after 3 days of one of the most incredible, awe-inspiring road trips I have had the privilege to take.


Blue Pool

To start our trip, with Tamolich Falls on the way we decided it would be a great place to begin. Tamolich, also known as Blue Pool, is one of the most incredible places I’ve ever hiked in Oregon. In case you are wondering if the water is actually that blue, the answer is yes. The water is this blue and it’s something you definitely need to see for yourself if you get a chance. The hike in is around 3 miles give or take, and if you’d like more specific information about this gorgeous place, make sure and hit up this article here.


tamolitch blue pool

After hiking Blue Pool, we enjoyed the beautiful, as always, drive up Mckenzie River, when we eventually got to Sisters, Oregon. After stopping at Bi-Mart to get a few things we needed, I took this beautiful shot of the Three Sisters.



Several miles outside of Sisters,  we checked out this awesome old stagecoach stop off Cloverdale Road.

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After Sisters, we stopped in Millican, a ghost town in Deschutes County, Oregon.


Millican is located off  U.S. Route 20. It is approximately 25 miles east of Bend. This old store made for a great photo shoot on the way!


Crystal Crane Hot Springs


Our first place to rest our heads for the night was Crystal Crane Hot Springs. This place was without a doubt my favorite place to stay the whole trip. Talk about heaven! This place is not far from Burns, with a 7,200 pop in a county the size of New Jersey, and not a single stoplight.



Here is the amazing teepee we stayed in! While they offer very nice cabins, we felt pretty spoiled staying in the only teepee they offer. The teepee will only set you back $65 for the night, and also includes a perfect relaxing hot tub smack dab in the middle.




As you can imagine, soaking in the hot springs was incredibly relaxing. Not only that, but the host Vic Hesher, was the most down to earth guy I met the whole trip. He was fun to talk with, and gave us a lot of great tips for the rest of our adventure. The rest of the staff was also very friendly and we couldn’t have picked a better place to stay.




Here is a beautiful shot of Danielle soaking as the sun rose the following morning.


While we were in Crane, we decided to also take some gravel roads just to look around before nightfall.

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Sunset Lodgingl


  1. Nice article! Amazing timing, we are headed to Crystal Crane hot springs this weekend! Lived most of my life in Eastern Oregon, and only learned about their existence a month ago! Many hidden gems in this beautiful place we call home!