The North Fork John Day River Trail is a 22.9-mile dirt pathway that tracks along the North Fork John Day River. The waterway here is an official Wild and Scenic River. Enjoy hiking along the tumultuous water as it cascades over boulders into pools and eddies. During spawning season, you're likely to see salmon and steelhead swimming upstream in this tributary. As a former supply route for gold and silver mines, the pathway still has cabins, waste piles, and rusting equipment. Hiking this trail will take you a full day, or you can select a section of the route for a shorter trip.
A pawtastic spot to start your trek is at the upper trailhead near the North Fork John Day Campground. From here, you'll head east along the river toward the Oriental Creek Trailhead. Near the beginning of the route, there's a bridge over Trail Creek. Take care as you cross since most of the structure lacks a handrail.
From here, the pathway tracks along the river. You and Fido will be hiking on a gentle grade through mixed forest with mostly pine and spruce. You'll also pass sections of willow, aspen, and alder from time to time. The area has some pawesome wildflowers like columbine, Indian paintbrush, and purple lupine. In addition to colorful flora, be on the lookout for Rocky Mountain Elk and Mule Deer.
As with many Forest Service properties, this wilderness is open to dogs on a leash. Bring adequate refreshments with you for your outing. Remember to pack out any waste.
Take a hike with your furry pal by the roaring waters of the North Fork John Day River in the Umatilla National Forest. The trail by the same name offers a pawesome adventure in the wild. On the way, take time to see pieces of history from earlier mining days and past inhabitants of the area.