Take your place on the Oregon Trail and explore the frontier when you stay at Choice Hotels in Ontario, Oregon. Ontario is the gateway to Oregon, and combines agriculture with rugged landscapes that reflect the pioneer experience of days gone by. The city was founded on June 11, 1883 by developers William Morfitt, Mary Richardson, Daniel Smith and James Virtue, in anticipation of the planned railroad. It was named after Virtue's home province in Canada. Stay with Choice Hotels in Ontario, Oregon, and enjoy amazing scenery and wildlife, historic attractions and much more when you visit.
Experience Oregon’s waves of immigration at the Four Rivers Cultural Center and Museum, where you can trace the settlement patterns of Northern Paiutes, Basque, Japanese/Americans, Hispanic and Euro-American immigrants. The stories of Japanese-Americans during World War II come alive as you walk through a recreated barracks in an internment camp, an experience visitors find profoundly moving. If you are ready for some exercise, then grab (or rent) a bicycle and head out to the Owyhee Loop, 32 miles of bike trails that wind in and out of Idaho. There also is a similar loop that can be done by car. Either way, you are in for breathtaking scenery and lots of wildlife sightings, including red-tailed hawks, mule deer, red foxes, river otter and many kinds of songbirds. Now that you have seen a little of the scenery, take the Leslie Gulch—Succor Creek Back Country Byway, which you can do in your vehicle (though RVs and trailers are strongly discouraged). It first crosses sagebrush-covered hills, then descends into the Succor Creek Canyon before climbing to rolling stretches of open landscape. The side trip on Leslie Gulch Road provides a lovely drive through a narrow and winding canyon of steep cliffs; the road ends on the banks of Lake Owyhee.
If you would like to learn more about eastern Oregon, the National Historic Oregon Trail Interpretive Center offers living history demonstrations, interpretive programs, exhibits, multimedia presentations, special events and more than four miles of interpretive trails. The Flagstaff Gallery has changing exhibits, and you will be able to follow the very ruts created by pioneer wagons on the trails. Take your time, the exhibits take about an hour to explore, and the theater program and interpretive trails will take an additional three to four hours.
You may remember that Ontario was founded by four developers in anticipation of the railroad’s arrival, and you will learn about the railway’s role at the Historic Union Pacific Train Depot. The exterior of the building has remained exactly the same since it opened in 1884. Since 1907, thousands of people have passed through the depot, especially during World War I and World War II. Malheur Butte is a weathered volcanic plug that rises sharply above the lush farmlands along the banks of the Malheur River. It was used by Native Americans as a vantage point to observe approaching wagon trains on the Oregon Trail on the 1840s. Facilities in Ontario still use the area's geothermal energy.
Ontario is a great place to go for family activities, whether you want to walk, cycle or ride through beautiful rugged landscapes or explore the history of the Oregon Trail. With Choice Hotels in Ontario, OR, you have a great place to stay and return to, when you find yourself exhausted from having had too much fun.