Taking a leisurely scenic drive through a National Forest certainly is a better experience than enduring a traffic jam inside an overcrowded National Park. Unfortunately, the majority of mainstream tourists are pressed for time, so they tend to only visit the primary destinations, instead of meandering through the countryside just to see what is there. National Forest destinations have always been low key when compared to National Parks and great emphasis is placed on traditional attractions that appeal to the local folk, like scenic picnic spots, fishing hole recreation areas and seasonal hunting campgrounds. The National Forests also feature ghost towns, age old industrial exhibits and some obscure historic sites that have interesting stories to tell. Horseback riding, mountain biking and rafting are summer season venues too, so a scenic drive through a National Forest can provide opportunities for plenty of fun in the sun!
The Wallowa Whitman National Forest in Oregon features a long scenic drive that offers endless activities for visitors of all ages. The Elkhorn Scenic Byway actually is a 106 mile loop through the Elkhorn Mountains, so a grand tour will likely be an all day affair. The deep pine forests, jagged towering peaks and picturesque rivers along this touring loop are awe inspiring. Many historic sites, abandoned mines and even a narrow gauge railway awaits along this byway, so a little something can be learned about the historic Oregon gold rush and logging eras.
The combination of old rustic towns and deep wilderness wildlife areas are guaranteed to make a city dweller completely forget about the routine back home. This scenic drive certainly is a trip worth remembering and the best way to make plans is to refer to the official Elkhorn Drive Scenic Byway Guide, which can be found on the internet. For those who still have fuel in the tank, the Blue Mountain Scenic Byway is right next door, which presents even more National Forest vacationland adventures!
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