The Dalles To Canyon City Wagon Road
In “downtown” Antelope Oregon is this sign.
“The discovery of gold at Canyon Creek on June 8, 1862, brought a rush of people and supplies into the upper John Day basin. Within a year, nearly 10,000 fortune hunters trekked to the gold fields from the nearest access and supply point – The Dalles – over a series of trails that became The Dalles to Canyon City Wagon Road.”
Much of the wagon road north of Antelope is now Highway 97/Sherman Highway. If you look closely in the hills on the south side of Shaniko you’ll see the cuts made by diverging paths of the original wagon road and stage coach roads. South of Antelope this road becomes State Highway 218. From there I’m not able to find the exact route, but would guess that it likely follows The John Day highway through the John Day Fossil Beds before ending at Canyon City.
Much of this road was an already existing road, as The Dalles Military Road linking The Dalles and Fort Boise, which was completed in 1869. The history of that road is interesting in itself, consisting of lawsuits and multiple delays.