Nestled amid the Lewis-Clark Valley's rolling hills and serpentine Snake and Clearwater Rivers, Bryden Canyon's 6,359-yard, par 71 course poses an intermediate challenge for both golfers and cup-and-string phone conversationalists. Sparkling ponds lap at the banks of the course's bookending greens, ensnaring rogue balls in its watery depths, where they are used as game pieces by the course's hungry, hungry hippos. As the cleat-clad chip, drive, and putt their way through 18 holes dotted with devilish sand traps and howitzer-lined bunkers, cunning eyes might catch glimpses of deer, coyote, and mountain goats as they steal into the mist surrounding the grounds.
Feet and hooves treaded the steep peaks along the Columbian Plateau long before Anthony Lakes ever brought skis to the natural powder. Oregon Trail wagon trains and the railroad system braved the mountains' jagged spires, giving rise to buildings, towns, and, eventually, a community of winter enthusiasts. Families of Telemark skiers gradually made headway into the area and attracted fellow adventurers to what was then the North Powder Lakes. During the Great Depression, the Oregon Civilian Conservation Corps built the historical Nordic Center Lodge, which is now surrounded by 29 kilometers of groomed lanes and 11 kilometers of single-track and snowshoe trails. The construction of a rough road, a day lodge, and chairlift fueled the resort's snow-based fire in the postwar boom, and modern-day additions such as a new mountain road and triple chair attract athletes from far and wide. As detailed in a feature on OutdoorsNW.com, the ski area became county property in 2010 so that it could remain in the hands of the locals whose families helped develop it.
Today, skiers might opt for a quick lesson before hitting the slopes or they can refuel with a warm cinnamon roll or bowl of housemade chili in the lodge. Near the Nordic-area campground, overnight guests can rest their bones inside a 20-foot yurt that sleeps up to eight people at a time or a 16-foot yurt that sleeps up to five—each with prime views of Gunsight Peak. Here, campers pile split firewood into a wood stove and recall the days when pioneers had to slow-roast their TV dinners over an open flame.
Beamers Hells Canyon Tours ferries passengers through the vacillating rapids of one of the deepest river gorges in North America. Along nearly 200 miles of majestic landscapes and American history, certified tour captains delve into detailed narratives on geological landmarks, Native American history, and how U.S. mail delivery developed from horseback to the modern-day jetpack. Wine-tasting and brunch cruises complement degustation with stunning scenes of mountain ranges, rivers, and rare glimpses of local wildlife foraging for food or preparing their tax-return forms, and fishing charters let anglers test their mettles against the river’s crafty steelhead, sturgeon, and bass.
Snake River Adventures makes the scenic waterways of the Snake, Salmon, and Clearwater rivers accessible to outdoor enthusiasts and curious sightseers alike. Licensed jet-boat captains ferry groups through natural wonders, such as Hells Canyon—America's deepest and most inaccurately named river gorge—and manmade locales including the Kirkwood Historical Ranch and museum. Hunting and fishing expeditions may be chartered to snare the bass, trout, steelhead, and sturgeon swimming the waters as well as the big game roaming the shore. Comfortable camp may be made at Historic Sheep Creek Ranch—furnished with wood cook stoves and oil lamps—or the Kirby Creek Lodge bed and breakfast.
Trophy bass are nothing unusual to the licensed fishing guides at Mountain River Outfitters. Armed with more than 15 years of experience, they lead trips through local waters—including the Salmon and Snake Rivers—in search of prize catches such as bass, salmon, steelhead, and sturgeon. Mountain River Outfitters also has expert guides that lead whitewater-rafting trips, horseback rides, and camping and hiking trips in local canyons and mountains.
Bright lights and an energetic vibe pulsate inside each of Rock Star Tan Bar's three locations. Clients can treat themselves to a bevy of tanning options from horizontal and vertical tanning beds to UV-free spray tans, which augment skin tone without the harmful side effects that come with tanning in the actual sun.