Sumpter Valley Interpretive Trail #260

Area Status: Open
This area is Open

View of visitors walking on reconstructed railway tracks

The trail overlooks the historic Dixie switchbacks that were used and abandoned by the Sumpter Valley Railway. The switchbacks were built to maintain acceptable grades into the John Day Valley. At 5,277 feet, it was the highest point on the original Sumpter Valley Railway mainline.  This compacted dirt trail is barrier free with interpretive signs giving historical details of the Sumpter Valley Railway.  The trail has a paved pull through parking area just off of the highway.  The trail affords visitors the opportunity to tracks and grade from the old railroad, allowing for an understanding of the old Sumpter Valley Railroad connecting Prairie City, Oregon with Baker City, Oregon. 

At a Glance

Current Conditions: 12/11/2018: Winter weather conditions have arrived across the Malheur with persistent snow levels dropping to lower elevations. Forest Service roads are not plowed or maintained throughout the winter. Be equipped for rapidly changing weather situations (rain, mud, and snow), plan ahead, and travel prepared. Always let someone know of your plan and expected location.
Usage: Light
Restrictions: Horse, motorized, and mountain bike use prohibited.
Closest Towns: Prairie City, OR

General Information


From Prairie City, OR., travel east on US Highway 26 approximately 8 miles. The interpretive site is located before Dixie Summit, on the right hand side of the road.

General Notes:

The parking area is a pull through parking area that is paved.  The parking area is not plowed during the winter months. 



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  Area/Length : 
0.25 miles

  Latitude : 

  Longitude : 

  Elevation : 
5250 - 5277