North Fork John Day River

North Fork John Day River

  • Easy (to Bigfoot Hilton)
  • 5.2 miles round trip
  • 350 feet elevation gain
  • Open May through November
  • Use: hikers, horses

  • Difficult (to Crane Creek)
  • 13.5-mile loop
  • 1280 feet elevation gain

Deep in the Blue Mountain’s gold rush country, the 24.6-mile North Fork John Day River Trail traces a wilderness river through a rimrock canyon dotted with the decaying log cabins of ancient prospects. To sample the scenery, hike 2.6 miles downriver from the North Fork John Day Campground to the “Bigfoot Hilton,” a cabin featured in William L. Sullivan’s adventure narrative, Listening for Coyote. If you’re on horseback, or if you don’t mind wading across the chilly river, continue on a 13.5-mile loop that follows a side canyon back to your starting point.

To drive here from …

Other Options

For a longer trip, continue …

This chapter taken from the book 100 Hikes/Travel Guide: Eastern Oregon.