Incorporated in 1902, North Powder is located in the southeast corner of Union County on the north bank of the North Powder River. A stage station was established at this spot in 1862 as a result prospectors and workers migrating to the Powder River mines. The post office was established in 1866 to serve the growing agricultural community.
Major industries in North Powder are travel services and agriculture. The community is adjacent to recreation, including Pilcher Creek, Wolf Creek, and Thief Valley reservoirs, where rainbow trout measure up to 18 inches. Camping, skiing, and snowmobiling abound, and the Anthony Lakes ski area is only 19 miles away.