HIGH DESERT, OREGON
Next up in our WTF Bikexplorers Ride Series, presented by Specialized: the High Desert Oregon Out & Back! Registration is now open for the ride – scroll down for all the details and the RSVP link.
June 16-17, 2018
Jocelyn Gaudi Quarrell
Ascend 3,778 ft / Descend -3,778ft
90% unpaved roads (sandy, rocky and gravel) and 10% paved country roads
AVERAGE MILEAGE PER DAY
DISTANCES BETWEEN FOOD RESUPPLY
No standard resupply on the route. Bring enough food for 1 dinners, 1 breakfasts, 2 lunches and plenty of SNACKS
DISTANCES BETWEEN WATER RESUPPLY
We’ll be able to filter water from the river where we’ll be camping.
SUGGESTED WATER CARRYING CAPACITY
SUGGESTED TIRE WIDTH SIZE
2 inch (51mm) or wider and tubeless is highly recommended.
Each ride is limited to 13 people identifying as women/trans/femme/non-binary who must RSVP prior to the event.
These rides are free of charge and are unsupported. That means each participant is responsible for carrying their own gear, food, water, and appropriate supplies to safely navigate and complete the ride. There is no sag or support vehicle. Have questions on what to bring? Check out the WTF Ride Series Bikexploring Check-List.
Riders are also responsible for their own transportation to and from the ride start in Sisters, OR. There will be opportunities for carpooling.
Once you RSVP we will send you another e-mail confirming your expected participation in this ride and a link to a Google group where we will follow up with more details about the ride!
This sixty mile out and back overnighter is a stunning route that offers sweeping views of High Cascade volcanoes and National Grasslands, Hoodoos, and a National Wild and Scenic River! Camp Saturday night will be at Lake Billy Chinook, which lies in a canyon at the confluence of the Crooked, Deschutes, and Metolius rivers. The lake is the lowest point on the route, so we’ll be mostly descending on day one then gradual climbing back up on our second day.
We’ll start our ride in Sisters, Oregon, a charming old west town at the feet of its namesake mountains. From town, we’ll climb north through the Deschutes National Forest and out onto rocky, sandy roads cutting across the scrubby desert landscape. We’ll enjoy views of the Crooked River National Grassland to our right and peaks of Mt Washington to our left.
A rolling descent leads us down into the canyon of Lake Billy Chinook and through lands scarred by 2003 B&B Complex Fires. Small plants are making their comeback, but there are few trees to block the view of Mt. Jefferson raising in the distance. We’ve still got some elevation to lose – but don’t rush past the Oregon HooDoos! The HooDoos, also known as the Metolius Balancing Rocks, are are hardened capstones of an ancient lava flow. Some pillars are over 25 feet tall!
Riding alongside the lake, we’ll pass through a stand of snag trees that hosts over a dozen large osprey nests – keep an eye out of the birds roosting nearby or flying overhead. As the canyon narrows, the lake becomes the Metolius River, a National Scenic and Wild River. We’ll camp on its banks in an established campground.
On our second day, we’ll turn our bikes around and ride out of the canyon and back up into the highlands. There are short punchy sections, but overall the climb is relatively mellow. (We’ll plan on taking plenty of snack breaks.) And lucky for us, we’ll be again treated to the awe-inspiring landscapes of Central Oregon!
This route is mostly beginner-friendly, but there are more than few miles of babyhead rock strewn roads to ride over, so some off-road riding experience would be helpful. Cyclists should have the stamina for a 30 mile, 2,500’+ ride through exposed terrain.