JOURNEY: Daytripping in Grant County | Journey

When it will come to landscapes, Grant County looks to have it all.

Dashing rivers, lush valleys, pristine lakes, towering mountains, deep forests — diversified landscape is just one of our area’s most worthwhile assets.

And to best it off, it is all easily obtainable.

Two highways — 395 and 26 — break up the county properly into four quadrants. From these significant roadways, various connecting smaller sized kinds give hassle-free loop routes to just about all corners of the county. No useless-close streets or backtracking necessary!

So what are you in search of? Whether or not it’s scenic vistas, wildlife viewing, fishing, ghost town explorations or a nature hike, you’re bound to discover it somewhere in Grant County — and nearly proper at your doorstep.

Below are a pair of loop routes each locals and people will take pleasure in. Both of these can effortlessly be appreciated on a Sunday working day trip, or choose your time for a stress-free weekend enterprise. And “not just for autos only” — these routes are properly-suited for motorcycles and bicycles, way too. All you have to do is decide a city and a course, and go!

For each, we’ve laid out the round-trip mileage, communities you are going to move by and some of the sights alongside the way. Observe that our starting up place and direction is only for locational needs as you plan your undertaking. Clearly, your journey will differ!

Food stuff, gas, provides and lodging are out there in most cities, other than as observed. Lots of places have plenty of tenting possibilities also. Grant County is house to two state parks — Bates, northeast of Prairie City, and Clyde Holliday, just east of Mt. Vernon — and various countrywide forest and BLM campgrounds.

Do your research in advance relating to tenting possibilities and business enterprise functioning hrs. And try to remember, cell assistance could be limited (or nonexistent) in some regions, so make those ideas ahead of you start out up your rig.

Grab a map, view for critters almost everywhere and don’t overlook the digicam! Reminiscences and adventures await!

Ghost Towns Galore

Route: Ritter-Prairie Town-John Day-Mt. Vernon-Fox-Long Creek (northeast segment of Grant County)

Roadways: County Street 20 (Middle Fork Street), Point out Highway 7, U.S. highways 26 and 395

• Ghost towns: Galena, Susanville, Austin, Bates, Beech Creek, Ritter

• John Day River Middle Fork

• Forest Services campgrounds involve Deerhorn and Middle Fork

• Sumpter Valley Interpretive Trail

• Clyde Holliday Condition Park

Aspect Journey: Magone Lake. At Keeney Fork Highway, just a couple of miles west of Prairie Town, head north about 15 miles — all paved — to Magone Lake and campground. Take note: Magone is also obtainable from the Mt. Vernon space. 10 miles north of Mt. Vernon, turn east on County Street 32, 10 miles — all gravel — to the lake.

If you are on the lookout for ghost towns, this is the journey for you!

From Highway 395 in northern Grant County — in close proximity to Ritter — delight in a leisurely travel together County Street 20, but have your digital camera prepared at just about every single transform. This segment features 40 miles of some of the most magnificent surroundings Grant County has to present as the street winds together the John Day River Middle Fork. Get pleasure from the fruits of restoration endeavours this place has been through in new yrs. A pullout at about milepost 11 has interpretive indications outlining the work in the Oxbow Conservation Region.

Along the way are the websites of outdated gold-mining towns Galena and Susanville. Around the conjunction of County Road 20 and Freeway 7, is Bates Point out Park, the website of logging city Bates, which closed in the mid 1970s. In 2011, the assets turned a point out park, with hiking trails and interpretive symptoms recounting the record, every day existence and reminiscences of Bates.

At Highway 7, our route turns southwest a mile to Austin Junction at Highway 26. But very first acquire a brief jaunt about a mile northeast on Freeway 7 to Austin Highway, at the time the location of yet another ghost town, Austin.

On Highway 26, about a mile earlier Dixie Butte Pass, observe for the Sumpter Valley Interpretive Trail. This internet site consists of plenty of parking, a restroom and picnic spot. An simple gravel trail qualified prospects down to interpretive indications and railroad continues to be of the Sumpter Valley Railway, which ran from Baker City to Prairie Metropolis until eventually 1933.

Do not miss the covered wagon viewpoint about 5 miles right before Prairie Metropolis for an amazing watch of the John Day Valley and Strawberry Mountain Wilderness.

Enjoy a nearer glance from the valley floor as you proceed on Highway 26, subsequent the John Day River by the towns of Prairie Metropolis, John Day and Mt. Vernon. Grant County’s other point out park, Clyde Holliday, rests ideal along the John Day River, just a few miles prior to Mt. Vernon.

At Mt. Vernon, switch north on Highway 395, into the large desert places of the county. A few passes await — Beech Creek, Prolonged Creek and Ritter. A several scattered properties remain of Beech Creek prior to the highway heads into the wide open up areas of the smaller ranching town of Fox. At Extended Creek Summit is Carter Rest Stop, in advance of the freeway turns toward a spacious forget about see of Extensive Creek and its valley.

About 13 miles north of Prolonged Creek, just after passing about the John Day River Middle Fork is the junction with County Road 20, the starting off position for this route.

Backside of the Wilderness

Route: John Day-Canyon City-Seneca-Prairie Metropolis (southeast area of Grant County)

Roads: U.S. Highway 395, Forest Road 16, County Road 62 (Summit Prairie Highway), U.S. Highway 26

• Swick Old Growth Interpretive Web-site

• Forest Service campgrounds: Starr Ridge, Parish Cabin, Trout Farm and Crescent

• Lake Creek Youth Camp

• Strawberry Mountain Wilderness

• Logan Valley Interpretive Site

Side Trip: Strawberry Mountain trailhead: About 15 miles east of Seneca, drive north on Forest Street 1640 about 11 miles to the Roadways Close Trailhead. Numerous hiking options are in this region.

Trivia: The Strawberry Wilderness Assortment is one of just a handful of in the United States that run east-west.

Prepare for a accurate “wilderness” journey — from the comforts of paved roadways — on a route that explores the much less-traveled backside of the Strawberry Mountain Wilderness.

From John Day, head south on Freeway 395 by means of Canyon Town, the seat of Grant County. For about 10 miles, the freeway meanders through the canyon, subsequent Canyon Creek and passing Canyon Mountain at the western edge of the wilderness. As the road rises towards Seneca, observe for a couple of noteworthy stops — Starr Ridge Summit and Swick Previous Advancement Interpretive Web site.

At Seneca, flip east on Forest Street 16 towards Logan Valley. Be aware that from below, there are no solutions for almost 50 miles till Prairie Metropolis. So right before leaving Seneca — or Prairie Town, if traveling from the other course — make guaranteed you are stocked with a good deal of gas, foodstuff and other supplies.

Nearly straight away you will know you have still left civilization at the rear of! Nothing at all but expansive scenery and spectacular views await you — and your digicam.

Forest Highway 16 follows Bear Creek here and later Summit Creek. Look at out Lake Creek Youth Camp, out there for teams and occasions. And really don’t miss out on the Logan Valley Interpretive Web-site, about 30 miles from Seneca. There are no restrooms, but you will discover just about almost everything else — an quick pull-out parking spot, spectacular views of the “backside” of the wilderness, wildlife viewing and wildflowers. And at nearly 5,000 ft, it’s a mighty refreshing interesting location in summer months.

Soon after about 25 miles, in the spacious and lush Summit Prairie place, flip north on County Highway 62 (Summit Prairie Highway). Now the undertaking passes on the east facet of the wilderness, and in advance of long, you will adhere to the slim John Day River, which resembles not a lot a lot more than a creek as it flows from its frigid get started in the wilderness.

The surroundings improvements to vast open up prairie and ranch land. Upon moving into Prairie City, Summit Prairie Road turns into Southwest Bridge Road.

Convert west at Freeway 26 and take pleasure in the additional familiar “frontside” sights of the wilderness and the widening John Day River, although heading toward John Working day, and the start of this route. You have just circled the complete Strawberry Wilderness Vary!