Take a ‘journey through time’ on this 3-day eastern Oregon adventure

Posted by on July 27th, 2017 at 2:10 pm

Treo Bike Ranch trip Day 1-16

Fly down smooth and nearly empty roads as you cross the John Day River at Cottonwood Canyon State Park.
(Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)

Note: This post is part of a paid promotional partnership between BikePortland and Treo Bike Tours.

Imagine following in the tracks of Oregon Trail pioneers and ancient dinosaurs from the perfect perch of your bicycle. Now imagine doing it in a weekend with all-inclusive support from one of Oregon’s premier bike tour operators.

Treo Bike Tours has put together a “Journey Through Time” ride that departs from Portland on August 25th and they have a limited number of spaces available.

For $565, you’ll get an all-inclusive ride that includes, lodging, food and snacks, full ride support, and door-to-door shuttle service (via a fully-stocked bus with nice big windows) from Portland to the dream-worthy roads of eastern Oregon. I’m not just promoting this trip because Treo is paying me. I’ve done these rides and can vouch not only for the excellent routes and mind-blowing landscapes they roll through; but also for the world-class hospitality of Treo proprietors Phil and Cathy Carlson. To get a better sense of what to expect, check out the photos and reports I did from a trip on these same routes back in 2014.


Here’s the daily breakdown of the ride:

Click for full routes on RideWithGPS.com.

–> Day 1: Ride 60 miles southeast from Wasco on quiet winding roads, crossing the John Day River and stopping for a rest at Cottonwood Canyon State Park. (BikePortland images and recap of this route.)

–> Day 2: Pedal another 60 miles through the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument and end your journey through time at the Thomas Condon Paleontology Center. BikePortland images and recap of this route.)

–> Day 3: Now you’re feeling it! A final roll of 70 miles north back to the Columbia River via Cecil crossing tracks left behind by Oregon Trail pioneers. (BikePortland images and recap of this route.)

Other highlights might include (subject to change): a rest stop at Cottonwood Canyon State Park, a dip in the North Fork of the John Day River after noshing fresh fruit from Thomas Orchards in Kimberly, a peek into an old general store that served Oregon Trail pioneers in Cecil, and more.

Treo Bike Ranch trip day 3 - Hardman to Columbia River-33

Treo Bike Ranch trip day 3 - Hardman to Columbia River-28

Treo Bike Ranch trip day 3 - Hardman to Columbia River-7

Treo Bike Ranch trip Day 1-4

Treo Bike Ranch trip Day 2 - John Day River Valley-41

Treo Bike Ranch trip Day 2 - John Day River Valley-55

You’ve got a month to get your bike and legs sorted (keeping in mind that the Treo bus is always there to rescue you if needed!). But you don’t have long to reserve a spot. Treo’s Eclipse package sold out quickly and there are only 12 spots available for this ride. You can book online via this special page on BikePortland.

Special thanks to Treo for supporting BikePortland with this advertising partnership.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org

BikePortland is supported by the community (that means you!). Please become a subscriber or an advertiser today.

NOTE: Thanks for sharing and reading our comments. To ensure this is a welcoming and productive space, all comments are manually approved by staff. BikePortland is an inclusive company with no tolerance for meanness, discrimination or harassment. Comments with expressions of racism, sexism, homophobia, or xenophobia will be deleted and authors will be banned.

Leave a Reply

11 Comment threads
1 Thread replies
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
12 Comment authors
Adam LewisNeal BurkeChuck PRide With GPSBen McKinley Recent comment authors
newest oldest most voted
Notify of

I can vouch that these roads are fantastic and low-traffic– but it may be very hot, so be aware of your capabilities in heat.


I have done this tour and can say it is really amazing. Phil is one outstanding host. The food, riding, and scenery are top notch. The year I did it was crazy warm over there, but it really didn’t matter. The distances aren’t that huge and Phil does a great job of supporting riders as needed. Stay on the water/electrolytes and it is a non-issue (and I typically wilt in the heat). Highly recommend!


Jonathan, thank you for highlighting rural rides from time to time. There is some magical riding waiting for us out there. In the long run though, the greatest benefit is having city-folk and country-folk experience one another as individuals rather than political stereotypes.


The TREO ranch ride we did in June was perfect. Phil was a great host, the food was exceptional, sag support well-delivered, landscapes amazing, ranch house beautiful. I recommend this one.


Another thumbs up on TREO from this guy. Had a blast doing a blend of pavement and gravel rides out there in 2014 (I think). To date, my most liked instagram photo – of the most picturesque ancient barn in a field ever – came from just a few miles outside their front gate.


Having done a three day tour with Phil, I can attest to the hospitality, incredible roads and food! An amazing trip. We did slightly longer rides, but during a bit cooler weather. It’s great knowing there’s an out, or the ability to climb in the bus for a bit to cool off or grab some food or a drink.
Back at the ranch, the evenings are amazing as well. Food is outstanding and recovery in the cold and hot tubs is a pleasure. The lunch and snack set up always comes at an appropriate time and even showing up a bit less than fit, I never felt I was going to be left out to suffer.
Do not miss this! Can’t wait to do another one next summer!

Ben McKinley

I’ve made it an annual tradition the last three years and look forward to many years of memories with a Phil and his exceptional crew. We’ve seen sprinkles in June and heat in august. Phil manages it all with a smile and grace. Two thumbs up!!

Ride With GPS

We did our company retreat last year at TREO, and it was fantastic. It was also during that hot spell in the beginning of June, but it didn’t really matter. The support from Phil during the rides, the dinners at night, and of course the riding make for an unbelievable time. Couple that with having a guide for this eclipse and it should be hard to beat.

Chuck P
Chuck P

My wife and I have ridden our tandem on two long weekend rides at Treo Bike Tours. The bus and trailer are never very far away if you need a cold drink or snack so the support is never an issue. The riding is nothing short of spectacular, and the hospitality is wonderful. I highly recommend Treo’s bicycle adventures.

Neal Burke
Neal Burke

I have been on a couple of trips with the TREO staff. I have also done several other multi day rides across the country and TREO is Top Tier compared to the others. Roads/routes were always perfect to our requests and Phil is very flexible to meet your needs whether that be roads/dietary/sleeping conditions. If you have never ridden the Eastern Oregon area TREO is the way to go!

Adam Lewis

This past June was my second trip with TREO and is was even better than the first. Phil and his staff keep dialing in the routes, logistics and food to create a memorable, customized experience for the riders. The “Journey Through Time” portion of the John Day river valley is one of the most spectacular road rides I’ve ever had the chance to do.