Journey Through Time

The Journey Through Time stretches 286 miles through north central to eastern Oregon. It winds through five Oregon counties, beginning in the community of Biggs and ending in Baker City.

Pack the car, fill the tank and head out on one of Oregon’s most fabled scenic byways.
Uncommonly rich in history, this route tells stories of fortunes made and lost, of Chinese laborers, of towns boomed and busted, of timber, agriculture, gold miners and pioneer settlers.

It also tells a special story of the earth’s history; of sea beds which have long been dry and of extinct creatures.

This route is for modern-day explorers, for those who want answers to questions about prehistory and geology and about the plants and animals that once inhabited this mysterious landscape millions of years ago.

It’s about the adventure of time travel and discovery. You’ll find communities eager to welcome you and to share their history with you.

The history of Eastern Oregon’s boom and bust gold towns and pioneers. The earth’s evolution laid out in a striking landscape with rare extinct creatures…

You’ll be immersed in a landscape that has been the setting for dramatic changes over millions of years.

Making this journey offers an opportunity to do more than read about such changes.
When you visit the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, nestled within the Journey Through Time’s route, you’ll be able to explore the very places where the drama is abundantly, though silently, still evident.

The 3-unit monument encompasses a region 40-50 million years old, the remnant of a subtropical jungle once dominated by massive volcanoes and huge brontotheres called “thunder beasts” which resembled modern rhinoceroses.

Four-tusked, elephant-like gomphotheres also roamed these hills and millions of years ago beardogs and entelodonts terrorized browsing animals in a forest landscape that was much warmer and wetter than today.

Over 2,000 extinct fossilized species have been found in the valleys and canyons of the Journey Through Time region.

Human history also lives here where ancient native peoples traveled in their quest for seasonal food and shelter; later, the isolated beauty of the landscape and the promise of its riches drew thousands of immigrants during the heyday of the Oregon Trail and Oregon’s own gold rush.

There is more recent history to discover, as well, when you take this Oregon byway through a scattered collection of small rural communities where a more personal past is preserved. Visit the gold rush country in Canyon City. Learn how Chinese people contributed to the richness of life in John Day. You can even dig your own paleontological treasures in Fossil.

The adventure awaits! Head out on the Journey Through Time and become a twenty-first century time traveler.