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Nisqually River

Southeast of La Grande the highway climbs rapidly into rugged country, skirting the canyon rim and often scratching into great rocky cliffs. So precipitous are the walls that in places solid rock had to be blasted away for the entire width of the roadbed. These abrupt and rocky cliffs are tinged brown and orange. Turnouts are provided at points of unusual scenic beauty; far below, the railroad winds in a serpentine course along the canyon floor, where giant firs strive to reach the level of the roadway. Mountain farms with tiny orchards appear along the road, and cattle graze in the fields among clumps of young alder.