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The Umatilla National Forest, in the Blue Mountainsmarker of northeast Oregonmarker and southeast Washingtonmarker, covers an area of 1.4 million acres (5,700 km²). In descending order of land area the forest is located in parts of Umatilla, Grant, Columbiamarker, Morrowmarker, Wallowamarker, Unionmarker, Garfieldmarker, Asotinmarker, Wheelermarker, and Walla Wallamarker counties. (Columbia, Garfield, Asotin, and Walla Walla counties are in Washington, while the rest are in Oregon.) More than three-quarters of the forest lies in the state of Oregon. Forest headquarters are located in Pendleton, Oregonmarker. There are local ranger district offices in Heppnermarker and Ukiahmarker in Oregon, and in Pomeroymarker and Walla Wallamarker in Washington.

Human history

Tollgate Ranger Station, 1935
The Umatilla National Forest takes its name from the Umatilla Indian word meaning "water rippling over sand." Explorers Lewis and Clark passed through the area in 1805 on the Columbia River, and Marcus and Narcissa Whitman passed through in 1836 to establish a mission at Wailatpu near Walla Walla, Washingtonmarker. Thousands of emigrants later followed the Oregon Trail west, and many remained in the Blue Mountain region. Discovery of gold in Oregon in 1851 led to the settlement of the North Fork John Day River area. More than $10 million in gold and silver were mined, and remnants of the era are still visible in the National Forest. Some claims are still being mined.

Umatilla was established on July 1, 1908 from part of Blue Mountains National Forest and all of Heppner National Forest. Wenaha National Forest was added on November 5, 1920.


Common wildlife in the Umatilla National Forest include blue and ruffed grouse, bighorn sheep, Merriam's turkeys, chinook salmon, steelhead, and rainbow trout.


More than 20 percent of the Umatilla National Forest is classified as wilderness:


A 1993 Forest Service study estimated that the extent of old growth in the forest was


Common recreational activities in the Umatilla National Forest include camping, hiking, fishing, hunting, wildlife watching, skiing, and rafting.Spout Springs Ski Areamarker in Oregon and Bluewood Ski Areamarker in Washington operate under special use permit within the forest.

See also


  1. Table 6 - NFS Acreage by State, Congressional District and County - United States Forest Service - September 30, 2007
  2. USFS Ranger Districts by State
  3. Umatilla National Forest - About - US Forest Service
  4. Umatilla National Forest Wilderness - US Forest Service

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