I guess it depends on how much time you have. There are so many great things to see along the back roads of Oregon.
Even if you are just planning on travelling down the I84, you will go right through Baker City. I would definitely recommend you stop there. Baker City has over 110 buildings which are listed on the National Historic Register. The architecture there will blow you away.
There is also the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center, about 5 miles east of Baker City on highway 86. The original wagon ruts from the Oregon trail are still visible here. The interpretive center is really well done.
You could also take a drive out to Hells Canyon, but that would take a little more of your time, it's about a two hour drive out there and back, if you go all the way to the dam.
Would just add that if you're coming anytime but the springtime, Shoshone Falls doesn't have a lot of water going over it. Still an interesting site though, and if you take the Centennial Walking Trail you can go pretty close to Even Knievel's jump site. (No motorized vehicles, however.)
If you're not making time, you might want to consider taking State Highway 20 rather than Interstate 84 from Mountain Home over toward Idaho Falls. You'll go right through Craters of the Moon, which I would rate as "do not miss." If you're REALLY not making time, take Highway 21 out of Boise and go up over Galena Summit, past the Sawtooths, past Sun Valley, catch 20 at the foot of Timmerman Hill and proceed on to Craters of the Moon.
SO I am definately not a geography whiz by any means but if you are going to go through Eastern Idaho, then I have a site recommendation for you! There is a place over towards Idaho Falls called Bear World. It is really very cool. You drive around the park in your car and there are no cages! And there aren't just Bears, there are many wolves and buffalo etc... They also have a petting zoo area where there are baby black bears, the cutest things you have ever seen. Anyway, we thought it was very memorable when we went throught it a couple years ago. They have Black Bears and a couple Grizzly Bears and I think they had some elk. The wolves just came right up to our car.
So, I have no idea what the price is and what the hours are but it is worth a little investigation if you are going through the area. I think it was between Idaho Falls and Rexburg maybe?
Also, Boise has many things to offer if you are stopping here for awhile. Take a look at some of the previous forum posts.
Jamie, we went to Bear World on the way to Yellowstone a couple of years ago and I agree, it was definitely worth the trip. Reminded me of the "good old days" at Yellowstone when the bears would come and look in your car windows!
They have a website which tells hours and prices. I'm sure a Google search would bring them up.
We also went to Bear World a few years ago. It was great. They a;so have a petting zoo (although I was probably the only adult without kids petting the animals)
Its about $10 per car and you can go through as many times as you want to.
They take in some injured animals from the area so its good that they get visitors to cover the expenses.
On our way to Yellowstone this past May, we also visited Bear World and had a great time. The price is now $13 or $14 for the car, but we were there on one of the first days it was open this season and got in for half price. We weren't able to help or watch the feeding of the cubs because they were still a little too young, but we did get to watch them at play. In addition to the ride through in your car, they have a high feeding truck in which you can ride and toss treats to the bears (they loved the Twinkies).
W. A. Robison-- www.warobison.com
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