Click here to see a satellite image of Grant Union and more of the John Day area.


Hiking, Biking, Snowmobiling, Cycling...Just a few of the many exhilarating recreation activities to participate in or around John Day.


John Day is proud to be the home of the nicest sports complex in eastern Oregon which has 4 baseball fields, 2 softball fields, 3 soccer fields, and a running trail. It also has a picnic area, fishing pond, and a jungle gym. Grant Union's track and football field are open to the public year-round.


There are countless opportunities in Grant County to exercise and enjoy the majestic outdoors. The Strawberry Mountain Wilderness is tracked with miles of pristine trails running through beautiful natural environments. Elevation ranges from about 4,000 feet to 9,038 feet atop Strawberry Mountain in the east-central portion. A native population of Rocky Mountain elk resides here along with mule deer, antelope, black bears, cougars, mink, and beavers.

Also scattered throughout the county are geocaches. Geocaches are small containers containing a log book, a camera, and sometimes some small souvenirs. They are hidden all throughout John Day, surrounding towns, and various hiking trails. The only way to find these caches is to go to where you can get the global coordinates to put into a GPS. The website also goes into greater detail about how you can get more involved.


BLM land surrounds John Day and provides excellent grounds for any avid hunter. There are countless visitors from around the country that come to Grant County hoping to fill their freezer with meat. Elk and mule deer are the most sought after, but there are also turkeys, pheasant, and many other hunting seasons throughout the year.

Lakes and Rivers

The John Day River is not only good for rafting and swimming in but it also offers a great opportunity for fishing. There are also many nearby lakes which are easily accessible in the summer. Magone Lake is one of the most popular swimming, camping, and trout fishing spots in the county. It is only a 20 minute drive from John Day, so many people go up to Magone and relax after a long day of work


Much of Grant County is managed by the BLM, and these public lands provide many trails for mountain bikers. From the beginner to the elite, we have trails to suit any of your two-wheeled dreams. Ask around and you will find many biking enthusiasts in and around John Day. Not only are there many single-track trails and old logging roads, but the highways running through Grant County also provide beautiful rides through the scenic areas surrounding John Day. CycleOregon, a large road bike festival, often passes through Grant County in the early summer.


During the winter the hills around Grant County come alive with snomobilers from all around the area. There are several clubs that hold races and events in the nearby snow parks. There are countless trails scattered all throughout the national forest for public use.


Golfing is one of the favorite pass times for residents of Grant County. There are three golf courses in the county, one in John Day, one in Seneca, and one in Dayville.

Float Trips and Rafting

The John Day River is 281 miles long, and is one of the favorite places to raft in eastern Oregon. There are also several other smaller creeks and rivers around the county that can be rafted, but the most popular one is definitely the John Day River. There are plenty of access points in John Day, and also along highway 28 that goes west towards Bend and Redmond.

Fossil Beds

The John Day Fossil Beds are located near Kimberly, Oregon, right along the John Day River. There is also a visitor's center that is very informative about what geologists have found in the fossil beds. Several hiking trails run through the area that are easy and fun for the whole family. Learn more about the fossil beds at

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