This is a 105 mile bikepacking adventure route around the Metolius River basin in Central Oregon. Highlights include spectacular views of the snow-capped Cascade Mountains, cycling on Green Ridge with wide open scenery, secluded dispersed camping sites, and a hike-a-bike section along the Metolius River that will test your spirit for adventure.
The route can be done on a weekend. It has an elevation gain of over 7,000 ft and is nearly entirely un-paved. A cross, gravel, or hybrid style bike is recommended. Low gearing will be beneficial on many of the climbs.
The course is designed as a self-contained adventure with wild camping in mind. Still, several logical escape options exist to re-calculate one’s goals. There are several sections of single-track and a one-mile crux of hike-a-bike through lush old growth forest, under and over downed trees, and in bear country.
Especially the northern section along the Metolius River is remote and isolated with no cell service. Carrying a rescue beacon is recommended.
When there is no snow, usually May through October.
The Village Green City Park in Sisters. Overnight parking is allowed. Though, camping is not. The park has toilets and showers.
Lat / Long: 44.2886563, -121.550944
Travel to Sisters with enough time to ride half a day. Park at The Village Green City Park in Sisters. Overnight parking is allowed. Though, camping is not. The park has toilets and showers.
Leaving Sisters one quickly lands on gravel. After circling the west side of Black Butte the route climbs on singletrack to Green Ridge where there are many fine oppertunities for dispersed camping with a view.
There are no services or water once leaving Sisters.
From your camp site descend briefly to a forest road to advance to the rideable section of singletrack on Green Ridge with amazing open scenery and views.
After the singletrack descend some 15 miles to Perry Campground where there is potable water from a pump by the boatramp just after mile 24.
Follow the road along the lake which turns into abandoned railbed along the river.
Test your spirit for adventure starting at mile 33 through mile 34. Plan for about 50 minutes of hiking your fully loaded bike dangerously close to the river, and under and over tree fall. This is where you will see a lush forest with much diversity, somewhat unusual in Central Oregon – old growth ponderosa, cedar, douglas fir, and white pine.
The path becomes rideable and once again turns into abandoned railbed along the river. Start scouting for a wild camp site or continue to a nice spot on a river bend at the end of the day’s route.
There are no services along the route. Water from the river can be treated for consumption.
With little warmup prepare for a 7 mile climb up Abbot Creek to Abbot Butte. On average a 5% grade ending in a two mile pitch of over 6%. The rewards include views of day 1 around Black Butte and day 2 over Green Ridge.
The route passes Suttle Lake Lodge at mile 19 where there are services. The approach to the lake includes a short cross-country singletrack. And, departing the lake one returns again to additional mellow singletrack.
At mile 30 there is a 1 mile climb on a 7% grade, with smooth sailing downhill thereafter to Sisters.
Black bear, ticks.
Head of the Metolius
Metolius Springs can be reached
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