Snake River-Mormon Basin Back Country Byway

Bureau of Land Management, Oregon.

Explore the rangelands and immerse yourself in the pastoral settings of eastern Oregon’s Baker and Malheur counties along the 150-mile Snake River-Mormon Basin Back Country Byway. This byway offers a variety of bucolic rural and backcountry travelling options for your high-clearance two-wheel drive vehicle.

The area's high relief is on display in steep canyons, prominent cliffs and massive rock outcrops. The Snake River Canyon high above Brownlee Reservoir has striking color variations included in large basaltic rock outcrops above the Snake River Road, until this road reaches the reservoir, where metamorphic/sedimentary rock is dominant down to the historic hamlet of Huntington. One also sees high, velvety light green hills with many wildflowers in the spring. A wide variety of other natural scenery includes sagebrush plateaus, lush riparian vegetation along waterways. Historic wagon roads traverse the area; ranching, mining, logging, and homesteading occurred throughout the area in the late 1800's.

Know Before You Go:

Point of Interest:

The Snake River canyons and draws were great hiding places for outlaws, especially on the wilder Idaho side. They could cross the Snake River by rowboat and hide in a cabin in an Idaho canyon, away from the Oregon lawmen. Moonshiners were undisturbed; the locals did not consider it or bootlegging a criminal offense. Counterfeiting also occurred in the canyon draws.

Nearby Activities


From Baker City, Oregon: Use this online map to navigate the byway:

Additional Information