John Day Fossil Beds Loop

Mount Vernon, Oregon 97865

John Day Fossil Beds Loop

John Day Fossil Beds Loop Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"A 119-mile loop through the colorful gorge of the Sheep Rock Unit of John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, and through northeastern Oregon orchards and mountains. Starting in the cattle country of John Day, the drive moves west, then switches to deep canyons of brilliant sandstone and lava as it heads north through the John Day Fossil Beds. Turning east at Kimberly, it follows a mountain ridge overlooking croplands and then returns south through the thick Malheur National Forest.

The route crosses three branches of the John Day River several times, and the stream is a continuous presence during the first half of the drive. Although elevation ranges from 1,820 feet near Kimberly to 5,000 feet near Long Creek, grades are gradual with a minimum of curves. Special attractions: Sheep Rock Unit of John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, Picture Gorge, Kam Wah Chung Museum, Malheur National Forest, North, South and Main Forks of John Day River, and colorful rock formations."

More John Day Fossil Beds Loop Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

Road Biking Oregon (Falcon Guides)
Lizann Dunegan
"This challenging two-day tour climbs more than 3,000 feet and takes you through the center of two magnificent river canyons in northeast Oregon: the John Day and the North Fork of the John Day. Dramatic canyon scenery, smooth-flowing rivers, and small, friendly towns make this tour one of a kind. As an added bonus, you’ll pedal through John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, a fantastic geologic wonder that has encapsulated the fossilized remains of plants and animals from millions of years ago. This strenuous yet beautiful route climbs more than 3,000 feet and travels through the heart of John Day River country through the Sheep Rock Unit of the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument. If you plan on camping, you can stay at Asher’s RV Park at mile 42.4, or you can camp at Lone Pine Park (mile 53.4) or Big Bend Park (mile 54.7)."
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Trail Information

Mount Vernon
Nearby City
119
Distance
Difficult
Skill Level
Year-round
Season
John Day Fossil Beds National Monument; Malheur National Forest
Local Contacts

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