Living in Harney County

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A Place to Work, A Place to Live

Harney District Hospital takes its name from the community we serve: Harney County. This is a friendly, welcoming rural community of diverse talents and backgrounds, with rich traditions and history. We work and live amidst stunning, wide-open landscapes that provide a generous variety of recreational pursuits.

Envision yourself in Harney County.

Harney County mountain lake

Wide Open Spaces

From forested mountain lakes, to the surreal expanse of the Alvord Desert, the enormity and quiet strength of the Harney County landscape is palpable. Here is a place where long horizons blend into starry night skies. A place where the sun shines the majority of the year, providing a comfortable dry heat in the summer and glistening snowfalls in the winter. Those who live here find the natural beauty and climate of the area perfect for a whole spectrum of recreational pursuits, including fishing, hunting, camping, hiking, biking, horseback riding, photography, and much more. And all of it without the traffic or the crowds.

At more than 10,200 square miles, Harney County:

  • Is the largest county in Oregon
  • Is the 10th largest county in the United States
  • Is bigger than six different eastern states
  • Has a population density that is less than one person per square mile

In this place, there is room to roam, to breathe deeply, and to dream big.

Diverse Roots

The roughly 7,200 residents of Harney County are made up of a family ranching community, the vibrant Burns Paiute Tribe, a strong network of artists, employees of natural resource management agencies, and a bevy of small business owners—among many other groups. Some of us are recent transplants to the community, while others can trace their roots here back to the 1860s. The timber industry created boomtowns of Burns and Hines from the 1930s to 80s, and its decline in the early 90s took many jobs and a chunk of the population away. But Harney Countians have remained resilient by developing new visions for the future, while continuing to celebrate our rich traditions.

We have a history of working collaboratively in the face of challenges—economic, political, and otherwise. When you live in a rural community like Harney County, you will be faced with people who have beliefs or a lifestyle that may differ greatly from your own. You will see and work with many of these same people across many different parts of your life, whether you’re at the annual county fair, picking up the kids from school, or competing with your team at the Chili Cook-off. The great thing is this exposure, by necessity, leads to an acceptance of and respect for one another that is rare to find in today's polarized world. This is a place where people of diverse backgrounds are able to put aside differences and come together to work toward common interests and goals.

A teacher instructing young students
  • Harney county aerial scenery
  • Employees walking a dog in a Relay for Life
  • Harney County lake scenery
  • Harney County citizens eating lunch outdoors
  • Harney County road views
  • Hospital employees shaking hands
  • Harney County mountain scenery
  • Young students working around a table
  • Harney county mountain scenery
  • Young children in cowboy attire
  • Harney County mountain scenery
  • Harney County mountain scenery
  • Harney County citizens taking photos
  • Harney County citizens playing volleyball