The John Day River, which drains a large semiarid watershed in northeastern Oregon, runs
280 miles from its headwaters in the
Blue Mountains to its confluence The John Day River,
which with the Columbia River between the towns of Arlington and The Dalles. The river is
entirely undammed, making it the longest free-flowing river in Oregon, and one of the longest
in the United States. In 1988 Congress designated 148 miles of the main John Day as well as
101 miles of the north and south forks as National Wild and Scenic Rivers.

Literally yards from the ranch house this is a perfect locale for fishing, floating, playing in, or
sitting by the river.
Who Was John Day?


John Day Fossil Beds National Monument is named after the river and not the man. Still, how was the river

John Day was born in Culpeper County, Virginia, about 1770. In 1810 he joined an overland expedition to
establish a fur trading post at the mouth of the Columbia River. The party became divided and widely separated.
Experiencing hardships, John Day's group dwindled to two people.

He and Ramsey Crooks eventually reached the mouth of the Mah-hah River along the Columbia. There, a band
of American Indians took everything they had, including their clothes. They were rescued and reached Astoria
(Oregon) in 1812.

Due to this incident, people traveling along the Columbia River would point out the mouth of the river where
John Day was robbed. By the 1850's, the Mah-hah River was referred to and renamed the
John Day River.

If you name the mouth of a river, you name every stretch of it upstream. It appears John Day never came within
100 miles of
Sheep Rock.

Read about the history of The Burnt Ranch at
For information on rates, please check Booking Info.

To make reservations, check availability, and any other questions regarding the ranch,
please email us at