Sherman’s March

5 Star Route

This is a 5 Star Route, meaning that it is a highly curated, premier riding route.

The real name of this route is “Sherman’s March to the See” because there’s a whole lot to see in the Camp Sherman area including the Head of the Metolius River, the Metolius Preserve / Lake Creek preservation, the shores of Round Lake, the 2003 B&B Complex Fire, Wizard Falls Fish Hatchery, the Metolius River, and the town of Camp Sherman. It’s mind-blowing just how many things are packed into one bike ride.

This ride is for you … if you like hard-packed gravel, a bit of rugged, … lakes and rivers, mountain views, some easy riding single-track … in an area that is not too remote (i.e. you will see people!).

Adventure / Gravel Route

Loop: 45 miles / 3300 ft gain
– Surface: ~ 55% gravel, 10% single track, 35% paved
eBike Friendly: No
– Location: ~ 50 minutes northwest of Bend, OR
– Published: October 2014 (updated May 2021)

Terrain & Technical Riding Difficulty[what this means]


The terrain is mostly hard-packed gravel roads and easy single-track trail. The climb and descent to Round Lake can be rugged, rocky and with some washboard.

Navigation is relatively straightforward and the area is bounded by the Wilderness to the west (no roads), the Warm Springs Indian reservation to the north (no access), the Metolius River road to the east (paved road) and Highway 20 to the south (busy road).

There is limited call cell phone reception along the route.

When we like to ride this …

This route rides great (!) in the spring/early summer when the “washboard” is at a minimum, the peaks are snow-capped, and the flowers are in bloom. The fall colors can also be outstanding. If possible, do the ride midweek and not on a summer holiday weekend.

The Start

Head of the Metolius parking lot
Lat / Long: 44.434428, -121.633832


Red = paved road
Brown = gravel / dirt road
Blue = single track

For help with GPS files, the RideWithGPs mapping app and to learn how to download our routes for free, see the “Using Our Rides” page.

Ride Details

The route leads out of Camp Sherman immediately crossing the Metolius river, followed by a fun 3-mile section of single-track, slightly uphill. Climb up to Round Lake to enjoy the vast views of all the surrounding mountains. Then descend back down (ok this bit is always a little bumpy!). Then you can feel like a “hero” on the pavement and then begin the climb through the B&B Complex fire area along the southwest side of Mt. Jefferson. Descend, cross the Metolius River at Lower Bridge and then onto the Wizard Falls Fish Hatchery (which is well worth a stop), followed by rolling up on pavement back to Camp Sherman.

Food & Water

Camp Sherman Store / Wizard Falls Fish Hatchery

Ride Notes

40 mm tires or larger.

Ride Options

Note: You can easily shorten the route by eliminating:

  • The shoulder of Black Butte, delete 11.5 miles and 1050 feet of gain.
  • Round Lake, delete 11 miles and 1150 feet of gain.
  • The B&B Complex Fire, delete 4 miles and 500 feet of gain. At mile 32 continue north on NF 12. (Map. GPS file.)

Ridden and Reviewed by …

Gravel Girl / Team Dirty Freehub

She loves a good day of gravel, like most people like a good book. She’s always amused by the outdoors and the wild adventures. Gravel Girl is a Co-Founder of Dirty Freehub.

Captain O / Team Dirty Freehub

He should have “Never Stop Exploring” tattooed on his chest! He loves adventures on bikes and is a Co-Founder of Dirty Freehub.


Revision History

  • May 2021 / Changed start location to Head of Metolius parking area, updated route description, put route into tabbed columnar format.
  • July 2020 / Slight changes to the route and route description.
  • October 2014 / Original Post as a 5 Star route.

Get Involved!

One of the special sections of this ride is the Lake Creek Trail, miles 3.5 to 7.5. Recently Chinook and Sockeye salmon have started spawning again in Lake Creek and Suttle Lake due to the restoration efforts led by organizations like the Deschutes Land Trust. We really like the work that the Deschutes Land Trust does and urge you to learn more about their organization.

The Lake Creek single-track trails on this route is maintained by the Sisters Trail Alliance. Trails cost money! Please consider making a contribution to their campaign so that they can continue the great work!

Trail Etiquette (Horses, Hikers & Bikers)


The Restoration of Lake Creek (Miles 4 to 8). Learn more about the restoration of the creek and its importance to salmon and trout habitat. (~10 min)

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