Journey Through Time Scenic Byway is located in Oregon and stretches 286 miles through five counties, comprising portions of U.S. Route 97, Oregon Route 218, Oregon Route 19, U.S. Route 26, and Oregon Routes 7 and 207. Beginning in the community of Biggs and ending in Baker City, this Byway winds through ghost towns and small farming communities and rugged landscapes with canyons and looming rock formations that bring the Old West to life. The wild and scenic John Day River – North America’s second undammed river – runs along much of its route and adds greatly to the beauty of this special Byway. Uncommonly rich in history, the Journey through Time tells tales of pioneers, towns boomed and busted, and creatures that wandered this terrain millions of years ago. Geology buffs – and anyone who’s curious about fossils – will take great pleasure in the interpretive trails at the 3 different units of the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument spread out in different locations in Wheeler and Grant County and all reachable on the Journey through Time Scenic Byway. Outdoor enthusiasts of all kinds will find that the route is a gateway to some of the most pristine natural places offering a taste of wilderness and many outdoor recreation opportunities. Historic commemorations of more recent times, such as the Sherman County Museum in Moro, the Kam Wah Chung Museum in John Day, the James Cant Ranch Historical Museum across from the Thomas Condon Paleontology Museum near Kimberly, the gold mining remnants in Sumpter and the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center near Baker City offer telling windows into Oregon pioneer life.
An extra 65 miles of road, all of it located in Wheeler County, has been recently added to the Journey through Time Scenic Byway forming a loop that incorporates the unique Painted Hills unit of the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, Pillar Rock, Picture Gorge, and other points of interest. The new route follows Hwy 26 from the Painted Hills through the small town of Mitchell, and on past different scenic landscapes to join the original Journey through Time on Oregon Route 19 in the Picture Gorge. The other new section of the byway creating the loop, goes from Mitchell on Route 207 on a winding picturesque road with fantastic views around every bend. In Service Creek, it reconnects again with the original Journey through Time on Oregon Route 19. The loop connects the towns of Mitchell, Fossil and Spray offering many great spots along its stretch for fishing, camping, boating, fossil hunting, wild life observation, and plenty of great hiking trails. It also connects all 3 units of the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument – the Painted Hills, Clarno, and Sheep Rock.
For more info of the Journey through Time Scenic Byway go to: http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/HWY/SCENICBYWAYS/docs/driving_guide/journey_time.pdf