The annual Blue Mt Century Ride hosted by the Heppner Chamber is held in September and limited to just 50 people. Ride support, gourmet dinner and hills that go on for as long as the view. Date to be announced soon. To register click here for the Heppner Chamber website.
In the mid-19th century, the Blue Mountains were a formidable obstacle on the Oregon Trail. While pioneers traversed this formidable challenge on horseback, cyclists today can take on the challenge of the Oregon Trail on their metal and carbon steeds.
A century ride can imply that it can be ridden in one day. This bikeway is not that kind of century.
There are plenty of rollers and two big hills with a total elevation gain of about 8,000 feet. While the hills are long they are not that steep. The ride is perfect for riders looking for a physical challenge in a remote and beautiful setting. Breathtaking views of the Blue Mountains, well-maintained roads and barely any vehicle traffic make this bikeway a cycling paradise.
The 108-mile Bikeway is a scenic loop starting and ending in Heppner, Oregon, a full service community. The route is rich in history. Heppner itself was founded by Irish immigrants in 1887. It follows the Blue Mountain Scenic Byway east through the Umatilla National Forest to Highway 395, climbing 3280 feet followed by an exhilarating downhill to Ukiah, Oregon where you can find overnight accommodations, a grocery store and a cafe. The route then heads north climbing through forest to rangeland to Highway 74 back to Heppner.
Much of the economy in the Blue Mountains is agricultural related, mostly wheat, with hillsides full of wheat waving in the breeze.
In spring The rolling hills match the green Irish spirit of the small town of Heppner and ripen to a golden glow throughout the late summer months. Mountain prairies offer a wide array of wildflowers, while the forest is augmented with color in the late summer as the Western Larch trees turn a golden yellow.
Forest Service Road 53 is closed in winter due to snow.