A mountain bike ride to a seldom-visited canyon in Oregon

Note: click images to see a larger version in a new window

The day started off pretty normal- we were off at 7am, just before sun-up, and it was a little cold, being late October. We stuffed the bikes inside the Suby and hit the road. As we got near the turnoff to Succor Creek, my dim memory made it apparent that it had been a few years since I had ventured out this way. How would the rest of the day's navigation turn out?

As we rolled across the loose and rough gravel of the Succor Creek road, Art noticed my looking at the foothills. "Didn't bring a map, did ya?"

NO, I didn't. But I did eventually find the right road (further in than I remembered). Then up the rocky climb- a little worse than I remembered, but the road got a lot better as soon as you crested the first hill, right? Wrong. It remained rocky, and it was right about then that I sliced a sidewall on the car tire.

We put on the mini-spare, but I decided that even though the car was now pre-disastered that maybe it was time to just ride. So we did. Left the car at about 9:20. Gorgeous morning, no clouds, cool, calm winds.


We rode up a ridge, then dropped down and across a valley to climb another ridge. Then headed up still another ridge. This was getting old. Wearily, with Three Fingers in the background, we took a long break.

After a long, long time we made it to stock tank #3. Where was the road I remembered- oh, there's a road up on the hill, we'll take this cow path as a short cut. We rode over several small climb/descents, then something was wrong... we should have been dropping into the bottom of the canyon. Well, we had missed the turnoff to Painted Canyon (try stock tank #4?) but found the road to the Honeycombs. Even better!

We followed the road out for 2 or 3 miles where it is closed to motor vehicles, then followed the trail. Here Art descends one section. I was surprised to see other bike tracks in the dirt- this area doesn't see many visitors.

From where we abandoned the car, it was about a 3 hour ride and 10 minute hike to this overview. If you click on the picture, you will get a much larger version (which may be a bit slow to download).

That's Owyhee reservoir in the distance.

4th of July Peak

We hung out for a while, then headed back- I was a little anxious about negotiating the rocky road with that mini-tire on the car.

As it turned out, we had no further problems- we just went really slow and enjoyed the view.

Next time, I'm going to try approaching via Three Fingers to avoid that rocky section. Most of the roads in this area are just dirt- that one section is a rubble field. OH- and I'm going to remember to carry a snow tire or two as well.

Mr. Natural Home | 2006 | Back to top of page | Questions :: e-mail to splattski