Your 2024 Travel Guide to Pendleton, Oregon

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Situated in the heart of Eastern Oregon, Pendleton captivates with its unique combination of historical richness, Indigenous cultural heritage, thrilling adventures, and the stunning beauty of the high desert. Renowned for hosting the iconic Pendleton Round-Up rodeo, this city is an essential stop for enthusiasts of the Wild West. But Pendleton's allure extends beyond its famous rodeo. This guide will explore the top activities, scenic hiking trails, and budget-friendly options that make Pendleton a remarkable destination. Ready to dive in? "Let 'er buck" and embark on this exciting journey!

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Image via / Rick Obst / Flickr CC2

Things To Do In Pendleton, Oregon

If you're planning a trip to Pendleton, Oregon, there are plenty of things to keep you busy. Here are five of the best things to do in the area:

Visit the Pendleton Round-Up

The Pendleton Round-Up is one of the most famous rodeos in the world, and it's been taking place since 1910. Attending the Pendleton Round-Up should be at the top of your list if you're visiting Pendleton. This annual rodeo event features bull riding, steer wrestling, barrel racing, and more.

Round-Up, Pendleton, woman barrel racing on horse
Image via / Ian Sane / Flickr CC2

Explore the Pendleton Underground Tours

Take a tour of the Pendleton Underground and discover the city's secret underground tunnels used during the Prohibition era. You'll learn about the city's history and see some fascinating artifacts. This is a unique experience that you won't want to miss.

Visit the Tamástslikt Cultural Institute

Learn about the rich history and culture of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation at the Tamástslikt Cultural Institute. This museum offers a comprehensive look at the Native American history of the area, including the Cayuse, Umatilla, and Walla Walla tribes.

Tamástslikt Cultural Institute, oregon, pendleton
Image via / Tamástslikt Cultural Institute

Related: The Most Epic Oregon Trail Road Trip You'll Ever Take

Go Wine Tasting at the Echo Ridge Cellars

Located just a few miles from downtown Pendleton, Echo Ridge Cellars is a family-owned winery offering some of the region's best wine. Take a tour of the winery, enjoy some wine tasting, and take in the beautiful views of the surrounding countryside.

Take a Stroll in the Historic Downtown Area

Pendleton's downtown area is a perfect place to spend an afternoon. You'll find a variety of shops, restaurants, and historic buildings. Make sure to visit the Pendleton Woolen Mills store to buy some famous Pendleton blankets and other woolen goods.

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Image via / Timothy Bishop,CMSM / Flickr CC2

Hiking Trails Near Pendleton, Oregon

Pendleton offers some of the most scenic hiking trails in the state. Whether you're looking for a stroll or a challenging hike, there's a trail for every level of hiker. Here are five of the best hiking trails in the area:

Pendleton Adventure Trails Recreation Area

This hiking and biking area consists of over 12 miles of trail with three intermediate and one easy. Sweeping views of the surrounding landscape make for wonderful photo opportunities.

Pendleton Adventure Trails Recreation Area
Image via / Nickie Volkers / Google Local

Hat Rock State Park Trail

The Hat Rock State Park Trail is a 1.4-mile loop trail that takes you through the park's unique rock formations. The trail offers views of the Columbia River and the surrounding countryside.

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Hat Rock State Park / Image via / Wildernice / Flickr CC2

Sno Road Winery Mountain Biking Trail System

Located west of Pendleton and south of Echo, Oregon, this trail system is on private property that the owners graciously set aside for adventure seekers. Hike or bike your way through open meadows and rolling hills during any time of year.

Roy Raley Park Trail

The Roy Raley Park Trail is a 1.5-mile loop trail that takes you through the park's beautiful landscape. The trail is suitable for hikers of all levels and offers views of the Umatilla River.

Buck Mountain Trail

The Buck Mountain Trail is a 6.3-mile out-and-back trail that takes you through the Blue Mountains. This challenging trail offers stunning views of the surrounding area, including the Wallowa Mountains.

Budget-Friendly Tips

Pendleton, Oregon, is an affordable destination, and there are plenty of ways to enjoy the city without breaking the bank. Here are some budget-friendly tips to make the most out of your visit:

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Image via / Paul Land / Facebook / Hal's Hamburgers
  1. Take advantage of the free attractions: Pendleton offers several free attractions, such as touring the Pendleton Woolen Mills. You can also stroll in the downtown area, which is free.

  2. Visit during the off-season: Visiting Pendleton during the off-season, which is from November to March, can save you money on accommodation and activities. The weather may be colder, but you'll get to experience the city without the crowds.

  3. Eat like a local: Pendleton has several affordable restaurants that offer delicious food. Look for local diners and cafes instead of chain restaurants; you'll save money while supporting local businesses.

  4. Stay at a budget-friendly accommodation: Pendleton has several options, such as motels and campgrounds. You can also look for deals on websites like Airbnb and

  5. Use public transportation: Pendleton has an affordable and convenient public transportation system. You can take the bus to explore the city and save money on gas and parking.

Related: Hal’s Hamburgers: Making the Best Burger in Pendleton For 70 Years

Best Time to Visit Pendleton

The best time to visit Pendleton, Oregon, depends on your preferences. If you're a rodeo fan, the best time to visit is during the Pendleton Round-Up, which takes place in September. The weather is also pleasant during this time, with temperatures ranging from the mid-80s to the mid-60s.

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Pendleton Round-Up Westward Ho Parade / Image via / Mark Ludwick / Flickr CC2

If you prefer a quieter and more affordable experience, the off-season, which is from January to June, is a good time to visit. The weather may be cooler and potentially snowy, but you'll experience the city without the crowds.

Spring and summer are also good times to visit, with temperatures ranging from the mid-80s to the 100s, if you don't mind the heat. The city is in full bloom during this time, and you'll enjoy outdoor activities like hiking and wine tasting.

Accommodation Options

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Wildhorse Casino Resort / Image via / WRC Property /

Pendleton, Oregon, offers several accommodation options, ranging from budget-friendly motels to luxury hotels. Here are some of the best accommodation options in the city:

  1. Oxford Suites Pendleton: This hotel offers comfortable rooms with modern amenities like free Wi-Fi, a fitness center, and an indoor pool. The hotel is located near several attractions and is a good choice for families and business travelers.

  2. Wildhorse Resort & Casino: This resort offers luxurious rooms and suites, a casino, and several dining options. The resort also has a golf course, a spa, and a fitness center, making it a good choice for a relaxing getaway.

  3. Red Lion Hotel Pendleton: This hotel offers affordable rooms with modern amenities like free Wi-Fi, a fitness center, and an outdoor pool. The hotel is located near several attractions and is a good choice for budget-conscious travelers.

  4. KOA Pendleton: This campground offers RV sites, tent sites, and cabins. The campground has several amenities, like a swimming pool, a playground, and a dog park. This is a good option for outdoor enthusiasts and families.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is Pendleton, Oregon famous for?

Pendleton is famous for its rodeo, known as the Pendleton Round-Up. The rodeo has been taking place since 1910 and is one of the most famous rodeos in the world. The city is also known for its woolen goods, which the Pendleton Woolen Mills produces. The Tamástslikt Cultural Institute is another famous attraction in Pendleton, which showcases the rich history and culture of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation. Pendleton is also famous for its natural beauty, with several hiking trails, parks, and wineries offering stunning countryside views.

woolen mills, pendleton
Image via / Amy Meredith / Flickr CC2

Is Pendleton, Oregon a nice place to live?

Pendleton, Oregon, is an excellent place to live for those who enjoy a small-town feel and natural beauty. The city offers a variety of outdoor activities, such as hiking, fishing, and camping. The cost of living in Pendleton is also lower than in many other parts of Oregon, making it an affordable option for those who want to live there.

The city also has several amenities, such as a hospital, a community college, and various shops and restaurants. The downtown area is charming, with several historic buildings and local businesses. The city is also known for its friendly and welcoming community, which makes it a great place to call home.

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The patterns of blankets from Pendleton Woolen Mills are world-famous. / Image via / A.Davey / Flickr CC2

However, like any city, Pendleton has its drawbacks. The job market in the city is limited, and the winters can be cold and snowy. The city is also far from major metropolitan areas, which may not be ideal for those who want easy access to big-city amenities.

What is the weather like in Pendleton, Oregon?

The weather in Pendleton varies throughout the year. Summers can be hot, with temperatures ranging from the mid-80s to the 100s. Winters are cold, with temperatures ranging from the mid-20s to the mid-40s. The city also receives snowfall during the winter months.

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Summer Storm / Image via / Scott Elliott Smithson / Flickr CC2

How far is Pendleton from Portland, Oregon?

Pendleton is approximately 215 miles east of Portland, Oregon. The drive takes approximately 3.5 hours via I-84.

Is Pendleton, Oregon, a safe place to visit?

Yes, Pendleton is a relatively safe place to visit. However, like any city, visitors should take precautions, such as not leaving valuables in their cars and being aware of their surroundings.


Pendleton, Oregon, is a charming city with a perfect blend of history, adventure, and natural beauty. From hiking trails to wine tasting, there's something for everyone in this quaint city. Whether you're visiting for the rodeo or exploring the city's rich history and culture, Pendleton will leave a lasting impression. With this guide, you'll have all the information you need to make the most out of your visit to Pendleton, Oregon. So, pack your bags and get ready to experience the charm and adventure that await you in this beautiful rural town.