They say it’s best to arrive at the painted Hills in Oregon early. So it seemed that an overnight stay in nearby Prineville was the best way to get the most out of our Painted Hills visit. Prineville is a small pioneer town founded in 1877 and it has not grown dramatically since. In 1877, Thomas Edison invented the photograph, kicking off a long march of innovation that led to today’s iPhone. And, as it happens, Apple and Facebook have recently purchased vast tracts of land near Prineville for new data centers. So this sleepy town is in for some growth in the next few years
Which brings me to the accommodations in Prineville and the surrounding area. I would say the selection is average at best. So staying overnight is just a means to get an early start. I would love to tell you about a nice little inn on the plains of central Oregon, maybe at one of the many ranches that dot the rough landscape. Well, if one exists in proximity to the Painted Hills it eluded us. Maybe once Apple and Facebook come to town some other options will show up. Here’s hoping.
The hour-and-a-half drive from Prineville to the Painted Hills is quite scenic. The road crosses through the Ochoco National Forest and the landscape changes from rolling hills to high prairies to forested mountains. We were fortunate to have had great weather and were treated to vistas of the wide-open landscape, grazing cows and skies dotted with puffy clouds.