The Elkhorn Scenic Byway 106-mile loop takes you through the Elkhorn Mountains, gold-mining ghost-towns, and along elegant lakes and rivers. You can learn a lot of history here, and also hunt, fish, camp, boat, ski, and hike.
1. Crane Flats
- The Crane Flats Archeological Site represents at least two spatially discrete “snapshots” of the prehistoric life ways in the Blue Mountains. It contains the remains of a least four different occupations spanning the period from about 2300 years ago to the present time. The site probably was not occupied during the winter months due to snow depth but was visited during spring, summer and fall as the natives went about their seasonal rounds of hunting and gathering. Most probably, the predominate activity that took place at Crane Flats was the collection and processing of roots and other vegetation. Big game hunting almost certainly took place also as evidenced by the large projectile points found. A Northwest Forest Pass is required to park at this site.
- 2. Granite
- The tiny town of Granite has an extensive mining history. Following the decline of mining activity in the California gold fields, miners headed north in their search for gold. Albert C. Tabor struck gold in Granite Creek on July 4, 1862, and appropriately named his claim the Independence. Some historians claim the town was then named Independence, but when applying for a post office, the residents discovered a town by this name already existed in Oregon. The name was then changed to Granite, after the abundance of granite rock through out the area. Visitors will find many amenities and friendly down-home folks in this tiny high-mountain hamlet.