America's Scenic Byways

South Fork John Day River Back Country Byway

50 miles - Allow 1 1/2 hours to drive the byway.

Enjoy the South Fork John Day River Back Country Byway. Drive through the canyon made of Columbia River Basalts, marvel at the old growth ponderosa pines, Douglas and white fir, and willows that line the road. Keep an eye out for the special status plants that are protected in this area. The river itself contains beautiful rapids and the Izee Falls, which drops 56 feet vertically.

If you want to spy some wildlife you can find several species at Murderer's Creek- deer, elk, black bear, coyotes, bighorn sheep, and birds. The Murderer's Creek Wildhorse Management Area encompasses 150,000 acres and is home to over 100 wild horses.

For people who like to learn about the past, you can drive by the historic Rockpile Ranch. This ranch was established in the late 19th Century and is still in operation today. Also, there is a small two-room schoolhouse located in Izee, about 34 miles upstream from Dayville. The school was used until 1989, when it closed its doors to students. Now it is used for community functions.