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MVBC Loop Tour 2018 John Day


Start Date
Number of Days
Total miles

When I did my Northwest Passage Tour in 2010 there were several places I said "I have to come back and explore this further". One was the Wallow Mountain Road that was closed in 2010 due to the road washout. I got to do that one on the Wallowa tour a couple of years ago. Others were the Strawberry Mountains and the John Day Fossil Beds. On this tour we spent the first night in the Strawberry Mountains and the second to last day riding through the Fossil Beds. Very fulfilling.

We had some extreme heat to deal with on the tour but a combination of early starts and getting wet a lot got us through. Plenty of hard climbing as well. It was definitely harder for me this year. I'm slower than ever, a trend that I guess will continue.

John Day Tour Map


Route Date Miles Bike Buddies Notes
Day 9 - John Day 34 Ravn
Day 8 - Dayville 38 Ravn
Day 7 - Spray 56 Ravn
Day 6 - Layover at Heppner 5 Ravn
Day 5 - Heppner 48 Ravn
Day 4 - Ukiah Dale State Park 38 Ravn
Day 3 - Ritter Hot Springs 52 Ravn
Day 2 - Austin Junction 45 Ravn MVBC

Cold morning but the route started climbing right away. Back up from the wide prairie to 5,889' at the summit. Then 20 miles downhill to Prairie City. Second breakfast which I regretted because the service was so slow and the day was getting hot. 

Then east on 26, now following the route of my 3010 tour.  Soon came a brutal hot climb. The first part to the prairie schooner was the worst. We all stopped and took shelter inside the display which was funneling through a nice cool breeze. Spent a good deal of time recovering before heading out. 

The rest of the climb was not as bad. Still very hot but every now and then a cloud would roll by or a breeze would spring up. I stopped a lot. There were some shady places which were delightfully cool as we gained elevation. The summit was 5280'. 

Then a long downhill to Austin House. The heat picked up as we lost altitude. Camping out back is very nice. 

Day 1 - Big Creek CG 31 Ravn MVBC

Left Canyon City and immediately started climbing at a very gentle grade. We slowly made our way out of the valley and up into the trees.