Jordan Valley is located in Malheur County
, southeast of Burns
, between Rome
and the Idaho border along US Hwy 95, on the banks of Jordan Creek. The town is also situated near the Antelope Reservoir, as well as Upper & Lower Cow Lakes.
Jordan Valley's history is closely tied to that of farmers and ranchers pulling a living from the sagebrush landscape of the Owyhee Desert. Settled in the 1890s by Basque sheepherders, the community has continued to rely on the rangeland grazing of sheep and cattle for the decades since then. Mining in the Owyhee Mountains provided a second industry for Jordan Valley's residents, but varying market conditions in the 1990s have created changes for the mining industry.
Jordan Valley is famous for a ball court built by the area's Basque settlers in 1915 for playing petola, a game similar to American hardball.
Jordan Crater, which erupted 500 years ago, is one of youngest volcanoes in the contiguous U.S.