Oregon Bicycle Ride
July 22 – 29, 2017
“Crown of the Cascades”
Saturday, July 22
We’ll meet in the cowboy-chic tourist town of Sisters. Sisters is a quaint community in the middle of majestic and inspiring natural beauty, from the ranchlands that surround town to the multiple snow-capped volcanic peaks along the Pacific Crest Trail. While in town, visit the shops, restaurants and brewpub, walking city streets with fantastic views of the Three Sisters Mountains just above town.
Sunday, July 23
Campsite: La Pine High School
As we pedal around the bustling town of Bend, it’ll be tough to avoid stopping in at one of the many brewpubs for a tasty beverage, but our destination is farther down the road. Skirting past the west side of town, we’ll head up to the ski resort of Mt. Bachelor, summiting at 6,000 feet. After close-up views of the snow-covered peaks of the Three Sisters, the descent from the summit is a blast. The road flattens out near the resort of Sunriver, and we’ll meander down country lanes to the small city of La Pine.
Elevation Profile Day 1
Monday, July 24
Campsite: Broken Arrow Campground
As we leave La Pine, of course there are pine trees along the route today – lots of them – as well as beautiful, crystal-clear lakes along the popular Cascade Lakes Highway. This is heavenly riding, enjoyed by many local cyclists. Watch for views of tall volcanoes, cinder-crowned buttes and icy-cold mountain streams. We’ll turn west on the road toward Crater Lake, take on a long, steady climb and then enjoy a great descent to secluded Diamond Lake, where we’ll camp for two nights.
Elevation Profile Day 2
Tuesday, July 25
Campsite: Broken Arrow Campground
Riding the rim of Crater Lake is a lifelong goal for many cyclists. On this day, you’ll have the option to explore a true roller-coaster bike ride. From the dozens of viewpoints along the highest paved road in Oregon, the otherworldly blue waters of America’s deepest lake (1,949 feet) make every pedal stroke of the never-flat Rim Road worth the effort. For those not wanting to make the full route, the ride up to the crater’s rim and back to camp is only 26 miles.
Elevation Profile Day 3
Wednesday, July 26
Campsite: Bohemia Park
The day starts with a long descent along the North Umpqua River, through forests of tall trees and past steep canyons full of waterfalls. As we turn onto lightly traveled interior roads we’ll take on the one major climb of the day, which leads to a second descent into the delightful old community of Cottage Grove. As the Covered Bridge Capital of Oregon, Cottage Grove is home to six covered bridges and has a delightful historic downtown area waiting to be explored. Today, antique shops, boutiques, restaurants and parks welcome visitors. We’ll enjoy its small-town history and charm from our campsite in the heart of town.
Elevation Profile Day 4
Thursday, July 27
Campsite: Oakridge High School
Today’s route follows a remote Forest Service road that few people ride – or drive. It features a long, stout climb and a double summit, but the thick forest of evergreens stretching in all directions creates a tranquil mood as we work our way up. Our efforts will be rewarded with a long, curvy descent into the small town of Oakridge, a lumber town that has remade itself as a mountain-biking mecca. These folks know how to treat cyclists!
Elevation Profile Day 5
Friday, July 28
Campsite: McKenzie Community Track
If you’ve cycled in Oregon, chances are you’ve heard about “the Aufderheide.” Officially the Aufderheide Memorial Drive, this is a low-traffic forest road that cuts through a thriving forest – trees that tower above the road going up one side and down the other, as we meander alongside churning streams. Except for the short 8% grade near the top, the climb and descent are gradual and fun, including skirting the shore of picturesque Cougar Reservoir before dropping into the McKenzie River Valley.
Elevation Profile Day 6
Saturday, July 29
Finish Line: Sisters High School
Our last ride of the week is one of Oregon’s signature routes – when you’re done, you’ll have truly ridden Oregon. The final push over McKenzie Pass once again brings the Three Sisters mountains up close, with long, black fields of lava spreading out below the peaks of the area’s numerous volcanoes. One of the most interesting aspects of the ride is the change in the trees that surround you as we go up one side of the Cascades and down the other. This is also one of the many established Oregon Scenic Bikeways that make Oregon one of the best cycling destinations in the U.S. We’ll finish the short ride with a glorious drop into our original starting point in Sisters.
Elevation Profile Day 7