This gravel biking route in Bend, Oregon is compliments of Linda English who lives there. She is the co-founder of Dirty Freehub which is an online guide to five star gravel bike routes. She has done loads of riding across Oregon, Washington and Arizona as well as Tasmania, Australia! In addition, she also writes a lot about gravel cycling! Read more here.
(Photo credit: Trevor Lyden)
This route is Dirty Freehub’s go-to gravel ride in Bend, Oregon.
“We always love meandering around the woods but this one includes awesome views of the Deschutes River, a visit to Benham Falls and a trip through a lava field and then to the top of Lava Butte.
” It’s a nice mix of gravel, single track and road, which is exactly what gravel bikes were created for!
The climb up to the top of Lava Butte is not long, but it’s a steep sucker! (12% grade as the high.) Loads of people skip it and there’s no judgement if you catch the shuttle to the top!
There are a few tricky turns on this route, so you really need to download the map and follow it on a device. (Gravel Bike Adventures really loves and recommends the Wahoo Element Bolt or Wahoo Element Roam if you want a great, easy to use and follow turn-by-turn navigation bike computer.)
Do this ride if you find yourself gravel biking in Bend, Oregon, and you only have time to do ONE ride.
The single track is about 4 miles in length and is easy, but it has a few rocky sections (which could be walked if you are not comfortable). The more difficult sections of the route occur after Benham Falls, including the final climb up to Lava Butte.
You’ll find toilets and be able to get food and water approximately half way into the route at the Lava Lands Visitor center (seasonally open).
The route is ridable from Spring through Fall. The exceptional times are spring when the flowers bloom and the river runs full and fast, as well as in the fall when the leaves are changing color. (Original route post-date: May 2014 and updated July 2018.)
Want more info? Check out Dirty Freehub’s original post.
This route starts from the Cascade Lakes Welcome Center on Cascade Lakes Highway and the corner of 41 (also named Conklin Road) which is about 10 min southwest of Bend, Oregon. Here, you’ll have access to both water & toilets.
Linda English is also known as the “Gravel Girl”. She is the co-founder of Dirty Freehub– an online guide to five star gravel bike routes. She lives in Bend, Oregon and has done loads of riding across Oregon, Washington and Arizona as well as Australia! She is often riding with Captain “O” (Kevin English) on one of their crazy adventures. She just loves all the logging roads in Central Oregon, spinning along while rarely running into a single car and yet getting to gab with her pals while riding. Gravel Girl loves testing out routes, organizing rides through the BACE (Bend Area Cycling Enthusiasts) MeetUp group and snapping pictures. In addition, she also writes a lot about gravel cycling!
Read more here.