This is a gravel version of the classic Twin Bridges Scenic bikeway. It closely parallels the road version for the most part, but it deviates from the scenic bikeway for 8 gravel / dirt road sectors.
It is a close to town ride, without a lot of traffic, that offers up big views and ever-changing scenery with native, high-desert landscape, hobby farms, hay fields.
For many locals this is a go to late fall, winter and early spring ride. During the peak riding season there are many other great gravel rides in the Bend area that we would recommend that you pursue if time permits, they are a bit more remote and adventuresome.
When done, get a coffee and bite to eat at Sparrow Bakery, just west of the start at Compass park.
When time is short and we need a gravel fix!
Compass park in NW Crossing.
Lat / Long: 44.058881, -121.352130
From NW Crossing and Compass park, the route meanders just a bit until reaching Skyliners road. We like to ride the gravel path to the right of the road. At about the 1.5 mile mark, veer right into the Miller Tree Farm development and follow a gravel path. Do not go hard right. A fence to the left will parallel the trail. At a steep up pitch, near the water filtration facility, go 90 degrees right. From here there are a couple of dogleg turns, until you descend a longer double track to meet up with the outer boundary of Shevlin park. Follow the trail north, watching your GPS device closely, as there is one tricky double turn.
At mile 5, you intersect Shevlin Park road and the original Twin Bridges Scenic Bikeway route (paved). For the next 3 miles, there can be a moderate level of traffic. We recommend a red blinky light and riding single file.
At mile 9.2, you come to a trick turn. It is a dirt road, that almost looks like a driveway. Yes, the road is public access. Follow the road directly west until you come to a wide clear cut through the forest that looks as if there should be a road here (we call this the ELT extension). Below you is the Tumalo feeder canal of the Tumalo Irrigation district. The canal was buried underground in a massive project from 2018 to 2020. The rideable status of this section of the route is continuously changing.
At mile 11 you exit onto Tumalo Reservoir road leading your to Tumalo Reservoir. The views are big, the gravel is fast and usually hard packed. Just before the old Tumalo dam, make a hard right onto Couch Market road. Initially, it is gravel, then becomes paved and at the intersection with Collins road you are back onto the scenic bikeway route.
Follow the scenic bikeway route all the way until the left turn onto Dusty Lane, at ~ mile 21. Dusty Lane can be hard packed and fast or soft and moon dust hell. It all depends on the moisture in the ground. Just after mile 22, you make a left onto Gerking Market road. Fast hard packed gravel, 100% of the time.
Follow Barr road / White Rock Loop road (paved) until Twin Bridges road, a 90 degree right. This is a double track road and it will feel like you are on private property. You are not, this is a public easement. And in just a bit, the road widens (still gravel) and then goes to paved, leading to the crossing of the Deschtues River.
Just before mile 28 there is a left turn onto Sturgeon road (gravel). From here, until the crossing of Highway 20, at mile 33.5, it a series of paved / gravel sectors through a semi-rural mix of hobby farms and ranchettes.
Follow OB Riley road to Archie Briggs road until the Deschutes River trail at mile 36. This will be a hard right turn onto a wide gravel path. This is a mixed use path. Moderate your speed, give way to hikers, and enjoy the big views to the west. The path ends at mile 38. Take Putnam road, a bit of climb, up to Mt Washington road and make your way back to NW Crossing.
We recommend a red blinky light on this course. A couple sections of paved road have moderate levels of traffic.
Have you ridden this route? Got a question? Join the discussion!