Blue Mountain Century Scenic Bikeway
Scenic Bikeway Itinerary
In the middle 19th century, the Blue Mountains were a formidable obstacle on the Oregon Trail – often the last mountain range American pioneers had to cross before reaching southeast Washington or passing down the Columbia River Gorge to the end of the Oregon Trail in the Willamette Valley. The range is located in the high, dry, and much less traveled country of northeast Oregon.
While pioneers traversed this formidable challenge on horseback, cyclists today can take on the challenge of the Oregon Trail on their metal and carbon-fiber steeds. Besides the breathtaking views of the Blue Mountains, the well-maintained roads with barely any noticeable vehicle traffic make this bikeway a cycling paradise.
Much of the economy in the Blue Mountains is agriculture-related, mostly wheat, with historical tourism increasing in popularity. The climate of Eastern Oregon is much drier, with much greater seasonal variations in temperature than in the cooler, moist west side of the Cascades. The area receives a significant amount of snow in the winter, making the bikeway inaccessible from late December through May, sometimes earlier depending on the season.
The rolling hills match the green Irish spirit of the small town of Heppner in the spring 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.
Click on the route name to the left of the map above to go to a separate page with a detailed route description, plus a downloadable map and cue sheet.