About Sherman County
Explore our deep canyons, campsites and parks of the John Day, Columbia and Deschutes Rivers! Follow the Oregon Trail from river crossing to river crossing, enjoy spectacular mountain vistas from the ridges, and feel for yourself the scale of wind turbines and the John Day Dam.
Challenge yourself to world class windsurfing on the Columbia, bass fishing on the John Day River, whitewater rafting on the Deschutes and upland game hunting in our wide-open spaces! For good measure, join in a problem-solving round-table discussion at the local coffee shop!
Shhh! Listen to the sound of rushing waters, the rustling of ripe winter wheat, the squeal of 4-H project pigs at the Sherman County Fair and cheering fans at school events!
Round up some history at the Courthouse and the Museum! Check out our schools, shops and services! We're definitely open for business! Let's talk!
Sherman County, Oregon lies between the deep canyons of the John Day River on the east and the Deschutes River on the west in north central Oregon. The mighty Columbia River forms the boundary on the north. Much of the boundary on the south is defined by the rugged canyons of Buck Hollow, a tributary of the Deschutes.
The open rolling hills and steep narrow canyons of the county’s 831 square miles, approximately 20 miles wide and 42 miles long, range in elevation from 185 feet on the Columbia River to 3,600 feet on the plateau in the south.
The soil is mostly loess (wind-blown glacial silt) over residual soil from the underlying basalt with interspersed layers of volcanic ash.
Six small towns – Biggs, Rufus, Wasco, Moro, Grass Valley and Kent – provide basic services for the 1,750 residents of the County. The county seat is Moro, elevation 1,807'. The economy is based on wheat, barley, cattle and tourism.
Down-to-earth, friendly, hard-working people live in the six small communities, each approximately nine miles apart, and on outlying farms. The population is equally distributed, town and country. Many are descendants of early homesteaders and have strong ties to the land.
Businesses in Biggs, Rufus, Wasco, Moro and Grass Valley provide food and beverages, variety goods, antiques, a gallery, gifts, sporting services, farm and garden implements and supplies, hardware, quilting supplies, tires, fuel and mechanical repairs.
Baha'i, Baptist, Catholic, Church of Christ, Methodist and Presbyterian organizations are represented in the county.
Volunteers provide many important services including rural and city fire protection, rescue and medical response units, local government, youth activities and educational support.
Youth activities include school athletic programs, Little League,
4-H and FFA, church groups, and county summer youth programs.
Adults participate in community organizations - Lions Club, Sherman County Historical Society/Museum, OSU Extension, Sherman County Cattlemen, Farm Bureau, Oregon Wheat Growers League, Sherman County Athletic Foundation, 4-H leadership, Sherman High School Booster Club and informal group activities.
Situated on the east side of the Cascade Mountains, Sherman County features a hybrid climate, part Mediterranean and part Intermountain Region, meaning four distinct seasons and low annual precipitation. The Columbia Gorge, however, serves as a natural conduit for normal eastward migration of ocean-conditioned air masses from the Pacific. Much of the time these air masses tend to substantially modify extreme temperatures of both summer and winter. These strong marine influences are also reflected in the occurrence of precipitation more than half of which falls from November through February.