Tuesday, June 28, 2022
Home Adventure Perfect your cowboy skills in authentic Pendleton

Perfect your cowboy skills in authentic Pendleton

Visitors with Wild West dreams can test horse and lasso skills on a ranch vacation

PENDLETON (OR): In Eastern Oregon you will find an authentic slice of the American West. Expect endless prairie, abandoned gold mining towns, and ranches where life is lived as it has been for generations. Just visit Pendleton, the old cow town near steep hills along the Umatilla River.

Visitors with Wild West dreams can test their horse and lasso skills on a ranch vacation. Get up early and enjoy a hearty breakfast time with the hosts, who usually love to chat about local history and life as a cattle farmer. Guest ranchers help out with driving the cattle or go for a scenic horseback rides around the ranch. At night, guests pass the time stargazing or chatting with other guests around the fireplace.

Wilson Ranches Retreat has been a cattle ranch for generations. 10 years ago the owners, Nancy and Phil, started up a bed and breakfast, and they are happy to give lessons in driving cattle and riding a horse like a true cowboy.

At Willow Springs Guest Ranch hosts Patty and Keith welcome visitors to a genuine cattle ranch experience. Help out by gathering eggs for breakfast and looking for newborn calves. End the day by enjoying a delicious meal cooked over the open fire.

Native American history

Before the Europeans arrived, more than 50 Indian tribes lived in Oregon, including the Cayuse, Umatilla and Walla Walla tribes. Tamástslikt Cultural Institute near Pendleton is one of the best places to immerse yourself in Native American history and culture. It is also the one of the only museums to tell the story of the Wild West from a Native American perspective. The exhibition includes traditional Native American clothing, basketry and artefacts and is divided into three parts – about past, present and future of the tribes.


The Parade

Beginning with a big bang at 10am the Westward Ho! Parade begins its trek through the town of Pendleton. Here you will see most of the Indians who are camped at the Round-Up grounds. Dressed in their tribal finery from grandmother to the tiniest tot. All types of early transportation are featured, from mules with a jerk line to oxen-drawn covered wagons.  The Westward Ho! Parade pays tribute to the early days in the West and to the pioneers.

Shaina The Queen

Shaina Zollmann is daughter of past Round-Up President Garry Zollman. Shaina has been riding horses for sixteen years and served as Round-Up-princess in 2013. “The Pendleton Round-Up is one of the most unique events in the world. The people change and the grounds change but the feeling of Round-Up and the sense of being home with your family never do”, Shaina said.

Make it Happen!

Touch Down: Pendleton is 44 miles from Tri-Cities Airport (Pasco, WA). Several airlines fly into Tri-Cities Airport.

Stay: Pendleton was named the Top True Western Town of 2011 by True West magazine. Museums celebrate the rich traditions of pioneers, cowboys and Native Americans.

Eat: Pendleton has 73 restaurants

Play: The unique Westward Ho! Parade

Mini Guide: Pendleton attractions: Tamastslikt Cultural Institute, Pendleton Underground Tour, Heritage Station Museum, Wildhorse Golf Course to name a few. Visit the Hall of Fame Museum located in the same building as the retail store. The Hall of Fame contains the entire 100 year plus history of the "World Famous Pendleton Round-Up".

Gudmund Lindbaek
Gudmund Lindbaek
Journalist founded King Goya a few years back. Meeting people, local food and engaging stories are my passion. I plan for ambitious once-in-a-lifetime trips. My delight is the prospect of Future Travels: Longer, Slower, Farther! I just want a tiny slice of adventure to be alive, and then excited to return home.

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