These aren’t your typical bike journeys. Oregon Scenic Bikeways are official state-designated routes selected and curated by experts, with printable maps, GPS and signage. They are the state’s best road rides, showcasing incredible, only-in-Oregon scenery — along high-desert highways, past geologic wonders, on covered bridges, next to roaring rivers, over snowy mountain passes and through charming communities. Not one Oregon Scenic Bikeway is just like the other, so we don’t blame you for trying to experience them all.
Geologic splendor and a variety of routes await on the Painted Hills Scenic Bikeway, connecting all three units of the John Day Fossil Beds.
Best season: Late spring through fall
Please be aware that the Bikeway information here is advisory only. You assume all risks as far as the quality and accuracy of the information; in other words, you’re agreeing to use it at your own risk. Scenic Bikeway routes include roads with car and truck traffic, and are for cyclists that are comfortable riding in some amount of traffic. Cyclists must obey the rules of the road. For car-free riding, check out the Banks-Vernonia State Trail on the Tualatin Valley Bikeway and the Row River Trail section of the Covered Bridges Bikeway.
A must-know: In Oregon, a bicycle is legally considered a vehicle (and the same laws apply). Riding with the direction of traffic is the law; it’s also the best way to be seen by motorists.
To demonstrate the best riding etiquette and promote good relations with motorists, please ride single-file. Riding side-by-side is legal, but only if doing so does not impede traffic. Be aware that many rural roads are used daily for commerce; there’s a good chance you’ll encounter large trucks carrying oversized loads.
Never forget about drivers’ blind spots — especially when the vehicle is turning right. If you’re going straight at an intersection with stopped vehicles, pull in behind the first stopped vehicle in the lane and wait your turn to go, as if you were a motorist.
All bicycle riders in Oregon under 16 must wear a helmet.
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Thanks for the question! I biked the Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway in 2011 (read my blog from the ride) and it was one of the best trips I’ve ever been on. I rode in the opposite direction you’re planning, finishing the ride at Champoeg State Park. Champoeg State Park offers RV spaces that you can reserve online….