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boise to bend...scenic route

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richmond va
posts: 17
reviews: 5
boise to bend...scenic route

we are heading to bend from the boise area. what is the most scenic route...rt 84 to 20 to bend...rt 84 to 26 to bend..or rt 84 up to 197 near Bigg and down to bend?


Baker City
posts: 159
1. Re: boise to bend...scenic route

I-84 to Baker City (once you get past Ontario it becomes a reasonably scenic drive). Then highway 7 to highway 26, through John Day and past the John Day fossil beds and then on to Bend.

Bend, Oregon
posts: 32
reviews: 4
2. Re: boise to bend...scenic route

you HAVE to stop and see the Painted Hills on 26 [about an hour west of john day]. beautiful and FREE!

Portland, Oregon
posts: 1,415
reviews: 13
3. Re: boise to bend...scenic route

Kuskowim gives you the best and most direct scenic route-

Definetly stop at the Fossil Beds- Sheep Rock unit and the Painted Hills Unit on your way to Bend.


Destination Expert
for Newport, Depoe Bay
posts: 8,207
reviews: 42
4. Re: boise to bend...scenic route

You can cut off a few miles by taking 26 from Vale, but 7 from Baker City is much more scenicj

Oregon Coast
Destination Expert
for Crescent City, Oregon Coast, Oregon, Redwood National Park
posts: 37,189
reviews: 795
5. Re: boise to bend...scenic route


Bend, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Bend
posts: 1,388
reviews: 19
6. Re: boise to bend...scenic route

My 2 cents:

I-84 to Baker City. Take 7 SW out of town to Hwy 26. Travel through John Day, Mitchell, Prineville. When you get to Powell Butte head S and take the Alfalfa/Powell Butte Road to Hwy 20. Head west on 20 into Bend.

Side trip possibilities:

- N on 19 (near Dayville) to the fossil area (note, you can't remove artifacts from the monument area).

- N on 207 (near Mitchell) to the "top of the world" for a nice view of the painted hills. (That isn't the official name, but where the road crests the hill and you get a nice 360 of the area.)

- Instead of returning to 26 from 19 keep going up to Kimberly. Stop at the orchards and pick some fruit. Then continue west on 19/207 and return to 26 by going S on 207 into Mitchell.

- If you aren't into fossils, Google says you can take County Road 20 ("Middle Fork Road") from 7 to 395, down to 402 and then east to Kimberly. I don't know that road at ALL but it looks windey and possibly very pretty! (rideoregonride.com/road-routes/…)

If it were me, and I had all the time in the world? I'd leave Boise bright & early, top off the gas tank in Baker City, then take the first Kimberly route (84 / 7 / 26 / 19 / 207 / 26). Mmm... Peaches! (If you're traveling before Labor Day. Otherwise Mmm... Apples!)

7. Re: boise to bend...scenic route

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