Eastern Oregon isn’t just one of the most breath-taking places for biking in the nation, it’s also one of the most bike friendly. Here traffic-free roads meet the region’s spectacular natural beauty and famed hospitality. Eastern Oregon is a haven for bicyclists in the know; a place where two-wheel is spoken…fluently. That’s one of the reasons we are home to four of Oregon’s Scenic Bikeways:
OLD WEST SCENIC BIKEWAY
One of the most beautiful and challenging routes in Oregon, The 174-mile loop begins in John Day and passes through some of Eastern Oregon’s friendliest small towns and most breathtaking scenery. It includes views of the spectacular Strawberry Mountains and the winding John Day River, as well as the world-famous John Day Fossil Beds National Monument. Along the route, be sure to look for the ‘Two Wheels Spoken Here” signs, which indicate bike-friendly businesses. (NOTE: Please be aware, the Middle Fork Lane (County Road 20) portion of the bikeway will be undergoing chip sealing beginning June 20th)
GRANDE TOUR SCENIC BIKEWAY
Your wheels will sing under the big sky as miles of remote open road beckon and your cares melt away on the Grande Tour Scenic Bikeway. Relax, inhale the fragrant sage and crank on through beautiful northeastern Oregon. Adventure cyclists seeking a challenging ride can tackle the entire 134-mile “figure-8” route. Cyclists wanting a more leisurely trip can divide their ride into segments of the route.
BLUE MT. CENTURY SCENIC BIKEWAY
The 108-mile Blue Mountain Century Scenic Bikeway is a breathtakingly beautiful loop that starts and ends in Heppner, a full-service community with secure places to leave your vehicle while you ride.
The route is rich in history — Heppner was founded by Irish immigrants in 1887 — and initially follows the Blue Mountain Scenic Byway, rolling through valleys before climbing east through the Umatilla National Forest and then offering a thrill-ride descent to Highway 395, near Ukiah, where you can find overnight accommodations, a grocery store and a cafe. There the route turns north, transitioning from forest to rangeland before heading west along Highway 74 through more of Eastern Oregon’s rolling hills and back to Heppner.
PAINTED HILLS SCENIC BIKEWAY
So new, we don’t even have a video yet. Bicycling through the Painted Hills reveals millions of years of history in the layers of earth, one color at a time. The hills get their name from the delicately colored stratifications in the soil of yellows, golds, blacks and reds, formed by shifting volcanic islands. A closer look reveals ancient plant and wood fossils. This Oregon Scenic Bikeway connects all three units of the John Day Fossil Beds, which hold the world’s best fossil record of the Age of Mammals (the last 50 million years) and exhibit a dramatic record of past climate change.
You can start and end your ride in any of the communities on the Bikeway; each has the amenities and supplies you need, plus a small town to explore. Beyond each town there are just the sounds of birds and the quiet.
SUMMER ROAD WORK
It’s summer! And seasonal road work is underway to improve our scenic roadways. For the latest information on ODOT projects, please visit the Oregon Department of Transportation’s website.
MORE GREAT RIDES
We’re just scratching the surface here. For more great Eastern Oregon rides and routes, please visit our cycling partner: Ride Oregon Ride
TREO BIKE TOURS
TREO Bike Tours offers guests all-inclusive cycling retreats catered to fit each cyclist’s interests and abilities. Hit the pavement for a journey through time and a glimpse of Eastern Oregon’s world-famous John Day Fossil Beds. Along the way you can stop for freshly picked fruit from Thomas Orchards in Kimberly or spend the afternoon cooling off with a raft trip down the John Day River.
Want to try something a little different? How about a tour of Eastern Oregon’s gravel roads. You’ll experience challenging climbs, quaint ghost towns, and scenery rarely seen from the saddle.
Regardless of what you choose, you can count on a fully supported ride. A custom-built support trailer provides everything from bicycle racks and tools for minor repairs (owner Phil is a trained bicycle mechanic) to lunch, blankets and water.
TREO Lodge serves as base camp for cyclists. There you’ll find comfortable beds, hearty meals, and a cozy atmosphere to recover after a long day in the saddle. A tip: Be sure to save plenty of room for TREO’s pheasant and jalapeno pot pie.
OVER THE HILL BIKE TOURS
Over the Hill Bike Tours, supporting rural communities of Eastern Oregon, offers 2-8 day sag supported road bike tours with lodging every night in a different town. Join one of the pre-arranged tours that includes lodging, dinners, breakfasts, snacks and sag support or bring your group for a custom tour. Joining one of Christy’s tours you will find yourself pedaling 35-100 miles a day (depending on the tour) on quiet scenic roads, climbing to 5,000 ft and descending to river level before climbing again. There are planned rest stops every 12-15 miles and catered dinners after happy hour. The group size is 10-18 cyclists and 1-2 sag drivers, and often one is a massage therapist.