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  • Writer's pictureAmy Hindman

Mason Dam Picnic Area

Difficulty: Easy

Length: 1 mile loop

Elevation Gain: 0

Season: April-November

Location: Below Phillip's Lake (20 minutes from Baker City, OR)

This short, fun trail is the perfect spot for even tiny hikers. On one side of the river is a natural trail that wanders through the woods for about 1/2 mile and on the opposite side of the river is a paved trail. The trails are connected by bridges on both ends. At the end closest to the dam, there are some picnic tables and a vault toilet.

We visited in March this year and the paved trail was melted off, but the natural trail on the other side of the river was still covered by snow. Both sides are normally clear sometime in April. The river is very calm in early spring, so it's a great time to visit if you have a dog who likes to swim :) In the summer months, the Powder River is very fast and has a strong current. There are a couple spots you can safely wade right next to the shore, but it's not a river you can play in easily.

The paved trail is perfect for strollers or wheelchairs and a great accessible spot to enjoy nature.

Getting there: From Baker City, travel south on Highway 7. Turn left off the highway just before the dam at the sign for the Powder River Recreation Area or just past that the Mason Dam Picnic Area.

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