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Malheur Butte

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In Oregon, a bicycle is legally considered a vehicle, and the same Oregon road laws apply. Please “be seen” and practice safe riding. Vehicle traffic, farm equipment and narrow shoulders exist on many Oregon roads, and you may find that construction projects, traffic or other events may cause road conditions or signage to differ from the map results, ride descriptions and directions. For travel options plus weather and road conditions, visit tripcheck.com, call 511 (in Oregon only), 800.977.6368 or 503.588.2941. Routes listed on this website are for informational purposes and intended as a reference guide only.

The most distinctive natural landmark in the Ontario-Vale area is Malheur Butte. The butte, once known as Kennedy Butte after a pioneer who homesteaded at its base, is a weathered volcanic plug that rises abruptly above the lush farmlands along the banks of the Malheur River. Malheur Butte was used by Indians as a vantage point to observe approaching wagon trains on the Oregon Trail in the 1840s. Although Malheur Butte has been inactive for millions of years, Malheur County is still alive with geothermal activity in the form of hot springs. Today, Oregon Trail Mushroom uses geothermal energy at their processing plant in Vale, and efforts are being made to further utilize this unique energy source throughout the county.

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