Fields of fresh cut hay on Highway 203 outside of La Grande
Image: Brian Barker

The open roads of Eastern Oregon are a sirens song for cyclists. In fact, the region claims three of the state’s nine scenic bikeways—the Old West Scenic Bikeway outside of Heppner, the Blue Mountain Century Scenic Bikeway near John Day, and the Grande Tour Scenic bikeway.

Recently, I had the chance to explore the Grand Tour. The 134-mile route carves a figure eight loop through some of the most charismatic towns in the Old West, including La Grande, Baker City and Union, each rich with historical structures, Oregon Trail lore, colorful characters, and wide-open spaces in the shadow of the Wallowa and Elkhorn Mountains. Here are some highlights from the quad-crunching, sweat-dripping tour.

Find more information on the state’s scenic bikeways at rideoregonride.com/bikeways.