Area Status: Open

This trail leads to Vinegar Hill-Indian Rock Scenic Area. This trail is low use during the early part of the summer, making the trail a great place for those looking to hike in an area with more solitude.  The road leading to the trail is very rough, please use caution when driving to the trailhead.  Its high use period is in the fall during big game hunting seasons.

At a Glance

Current Conditions: 12/08/2021:  The trail is open. Visitors should be prepared for rapidly changing weather conditions. Some roads become impassible due to snow, ice or mud during the winter months. Pack it in/Pack it out- anything you bring with you into the forest, please take home with you. This includes packing out all trash – yours and others. Examples: cigarette butts, cans, bottles, and food.  Please follow local and state health guidelines.  
Usage: Light
Restrictions: Motorized use prohibited in the Vinegar Hill Scenic Area.
Closest Towns: John Day, OR

General Information


From the town of Prairie City, OR., travel east on US Highway 26 approximately 13 miles to the junction with US Highway 7, at Austin Junction. Follow US Highway 7 for one mile to the junction with County Road 20.  Follow County Road 20 for approximately 2.5 miles to the junction with Forest Road 2010. Follow Forest Road 2010 for approximately 8 miles to the junction with Forest Road 2010219.  Forest Road 2010 is accessible but is very under maintained, parking is VERY limited and not available for stock trailers.  It is recommended to drive a high clearance vehicle on this road.


Parking is very limited at the trailhead.  There is no room for parking stock trailers at the trailhead.  The road to the trailhead is very under maintained, high clearance vehicles are recommended on this road.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Mountain Biking

The Vinegar Hill Scenic Area is one of three locationson the Malheur National Forest (Princess Trail (area is unavailable), McClellan Mountain Trail & North Fork Malheur Trail) selected by the Grant County Central Oregon Trail Alliance and the US Forest Service to best serve the needs and interests of mountainbikers.

While this trail offers phenomenal terrain for the adventurous cyclist to explore, this is a multiuse (motorized use prohibited) route. Cyclists will encounter terrain which exceeds ideal grades and switchbacks and turns exceeding ideal turning radiuses. Down trees are very likely to be encountered intermittently. This is not a looped route, however spectacular and challenging mountain/gravel tours can be fabricated by those experienced in route finding and long distanced touring/bikepacking.

This trail is shared with other visitors including horseback riders; use caution and courtesy when sharing the trail.

Difficulty Level: More to Most Difficult

Day Hiking

Trail leads to Vinegar Hill-Indian Rock Scenic Area, which provides spectacular vistas and a variety of wildflower viewing opportunities.


This trail connects to the Tempest Mine Trail #256, this allows multiple options for longer hikes into the Vinegar Hill-Indian Rock Scenic Area.

Horse Riding

Horses are allowed; however parking is very limited, so visitors with stock trailers should park about ¼ mile south of the trailhead in a dispersed camping area.

Viewing Wildlife

Some wildlife seen along this trail have been Rocky Mountain elk, mule deer, whitetail deer, black bear, coyote, cougar, bobcat, raccoon, porcupine, and a variety of rodents, squirrels, and birds.

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities



  Area/Length : 
2.4 miles

  Latitude : 

  Longitude : 

  Elevation : 
5600 - 6400