This community is located in Grant County, north of Burns along Highway 395, between Prairie City and Mt Vernon along US Highway 26 and the banks of the John Day River.
John Day, for whom the town is named, was a young Virginian and scout of the Astor overland expedition in 1811. Today John Day is a business community and trading center.
Lying in a broad valley, John Day is mostly surrounded by the steep hills and rugged peaks of Malheur National Forest. Outdoor recreation opportunities are abundant throughout the John Day region. Thousands of acres of public land offer backpacking, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, hunting, Fishing, horseback riding, or scenic driving. Three national wilderness areas are within the County boundaries and most of the 1.46 million acre Malheur National Forest. Visit the Kam Wah Chung & Company Museum for a unique look at the past through the eyes of the Chinese immigrants who worked the gold mines of eastern Oregon.