A Scenic Mid-Winter Hike along the John Day River

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John Day River

The pungent smell of sagebrush brought a smile to my face, and conjured up many memories of my youth.

Cottonwood Canyon State Park sits in a deep canyon of the John Day River, one of our nation’s longest free-flowing rivers.

The park has 8,000-plus acres for hiking, fishing and exploring the interesting landscape.

The Pinnacles Trail follows the west side of the John Day River downstream for approximately 4 1/2 miles.

The changing light on the tall, basalt cliffs kept me entertained for the four-hour outing. And, to add icing to the cake, I saw a few butterflies enjoying the sunshine.

A great place to visit.

John Day River

End of trail

Mourning Cloak Butterfly soaking up some rays

Trail carved out of the cliffs

Good advice

John Day River

Many signs of constant erosion over the millennia

Trail (old wagon road) leading through the sagebrush

Canada Geese

A small springs is slowly carving a deep canyon into the basalt cliffs

The trail carved out of the lower cliffs extending into the distance






Categories: Eastern Oregon OutingsTags: ,


  1. Beautiful! That old wagon trail is calling me🥺

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