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Shaniko to Fossil on Route 218 + ADD NEW ROUTE

2   in Oregon Oregon48 Miles

Motorcycle Roads Shaniko to Fossil on Route 218

By SheepDawg
on July 15, 2012

5.0out of 5

1 Riders rated


 Road Quality

 Roadside Amenities

Written Directions

Shaniko is on Hwy 97 about 40 miles south of I-84 and 30 miles north of Madras, OR. From there take Route 218 south and it will turn east and take you all the way into Fossil, OR. You can take a detour (shown on map) after being on Rt 218 for 38 miles on to Pine Creek Road (you will take a right off of Rt 218). Then take a left on Cottonwood Creek Road which will take you back to 218 and up to Fossil.


This route introduces the rider to the wonders of the "other" Oregon. The high desert is dry with wide open vistas, the remnants of ghost towns and ranches tucked into lush green creek sides and red rock formations that remind you of New Mexico. Deer and antelope are abundant so be alert.

Road Quality

The road surface is almost perfect and the sweeping corners allow great vision. Virtually no traffic and the locals are friendy and will always wave. The first 5 miles from Shaniko are gentle, then into serious switchbacks down into Antelope. From there it's 45 miles with 192 corners according to the ride maps available at merchants. The last three miles into Fossil are STEEP, TIGHT and DANGEROUS. The 10 mph signs are not kidding!!

Roadside Amenities

Shaniko is a ghost town that lives up toi it's name. Fuel may or may not be available. Antelope has one little cafe on the south side of the road that is knownb for it's cobbler. No services until Fossil and only regular fuel is available. Rest areas at the John Day River bridge at Clarno and at the RedRock formations at about mile 40.

Additional Info

Great fun either direction. This ties into several different other rides and can be done in a single day from Portland.

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What Riders Say About this Route Add Review & Rating

By justinmreina
on August 31, 2013 1 out of 1 members found this review useful.

5.0out of 5

Motorcycle Year 2012

Motorcycle Make Kawasaki ZX6R

Motorcycle Type Sport

This is where one goes to really test their tires. Got passed by a local doing 90 (yes really) on the way east. The clear vision, deep, twisties and switchbacks are surreal.

This road will give you all you can ask for, so treat it as such. And plan gas carefully! No gas in fossil after 7!

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