Drinking water stops are few and far between on the Old West!
Water is no longer available in Kimberly. There is no water in the stretch between Bates State Park and Long Creek. Bring extra water and a water filter to pump from the river!
The Old Scenic West Bikeway offers a wide variety of terrain and scenery, from rushing rivers to friendly small towns to fossil beds, plus some attention-getting climbs.
Start in the town of John Day at Kam Wah Chung State Heritage Site, a remarkable National Landmark that you have to see to believe. Part general store, part apothecary, part religious shrine, the Museum is a snapshot of the Chinese immigrant experience in the 19th and 20th century American west.
The route rolls east on Highway 26 through picturesque Prairie City, and on to the turnoff at Austin Junction, leaving the highway for truly rural back roads, where the distances spread out and the sky gets even bigger. Ride through rugged terrain that still looks like what the area’s early settlers found. You’ll pass through tiny, friendly towns as you ride to the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, reconnecting with Highway 26 back to John Day. This ride is for serious touring cyclists; it works well as a two-day or a three-day trip. There are three state parks on this loop. Clyde Holliday State Park has a hiker-biker site as does the newest state park in the system: Bates State Park, which even plugs in for recharging cell phones. Hiker-biker sites cost $5 per night person and there is no reservation! Just pedal over!
The Grant Count Chamber (541-575-0547) has a volunteer that will assist cyclists that wish to plan your Old West visit.