Grande Tour Scenic Bikeway

Catherine Creek State Park

Catherine Creek State Park on the Grande Tour Scenic Bikeway. Oregon State Parks Photo.

The State of Oregon has developed another national first in the form of series of scenic bikeways (12 to date) that will entice you to get off the main highway and explore great vistas around the state.  One of the state bikeways is the Grande Tour Scenic Bikeway in the Grande Ronde Valley in the northeast part of the state.

Grande Tour Scenic Bikeway Map


The valley 35 miles long (north to south) and 15 miles wide (east to west) and is bordered by the Blue Mountains (Elkhart Range) to the west and the Wallawa Mountains (Eagle Cap Range) to the east.  Much of the route is flat although there are some good climbs between the flat sections.  Elevations range from 2,685 feet to 4,157 feet.

As shown in the above map (click the map for a larger version),  the route makes a figure eight for a total length of 134 miles.  For the most part it sticks to little used roads where traffic will not be an issue.  It does pass through a couple of cities, La Grande (population 14,000) and Baker City (population 10,000 ) and both have bike shops if you need that sort of help.  Other small communities offer authentic country food and some amenities.

The more energetic can make the trip in a day, but there are several parks and communities along the way that offer various sorts of accommodations for those that want to explore.  One approach would be to spend the night in Union, make the north loop and stay in Union again.  Then bike to Baker City, spend the night there and return to Union to complete the trip.  Being a figure eight,  anyplace can be your starting and ending point.

Whatever your interests, you’ll find something to compliment your bike ride along the way.

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