Why You’ll Love the Painted Hills Scenic Bikeway

Oregon is full of breathtaking bike routes, from rocky coastlines to winding hills, lava buttes to forest trails. But nowhere in the state is the landscape quite like the Painted Hills in Eastern Oregon, the dramatic display of high desert foothills with multi-colored ribbons that reflect millions of years of geologic history. Fall is the…

: Painted Hills


Aptly named as a hotbed of natural-history relics, this Eastern Oregon hamlet offers multiple ways to explore the stories of the landscape.

Delve into paleontology at the Oregon Paleo Lands Center and dig for fossils at Wheeler High School. Hiking trails at John Day Fossil Beds National Monument reveal awe-inspiring views of the multicolored landscape. Cowboy up at nearby Wilson Ranches Retreat B&B, and do-si-do at the annual bluegrass festival in July.

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What’s the best route to see the John Day Fossil Beds?

You can make a great loop between Portland and John Day. The most exciting route will be to take Highway 26 all the way. It will take you over Mt Hood into central Oregon and through The Painted Hills. Total driving time is about 5 hours. For a return trip, I recommend heading north through…

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