One of the unknown gems in adventure riding is a rectangular section of the Ochoco National Forest just southeast of Post, OR. The town of Post is the geographic center of Oregon. This section of the Ochoco National Forest (that I will refer to as the Ochoco Rectangle ) is detached from the main and larger section of the Ochoco National forest that is east of Prineville and bisected by Highway 26, the highway to Mitchell.
The Ochoco Rectangle provides for many great adventure ride options. Each ride starts and finishes at the Post General Store. Be sure to stop in before the ride and say “hi” to Steffanie. She will gladly let you park at the store, but ask her where to park. After the ride, get one their milkshakes. Simply awesome! And … make sure you pick up one of these free maps from her. It makes navigating so much easier.
I have documented two rides in the Ochoco Rectangle, but one can map out many other options. Basically, each ride leads out on Highway 380 to Paulina, makes a right hand turn into the rectangle, climbs 2000 feet to the ridge on a reasonable grade of no more than 6 percent, turns right again to follow the ridge, followed by a final right exiting the Ochoco Rectangle and descending to meet up with the Post to Paulina Highway (380)..
The entry and exit points into the Ochoco Rectangle are:
– NF 16
– NF 17
The shortest loop that I have mapped is 35 miles with 2900 feet of gain. The longest is 51 miles and 3700 feet of gain. And as said above, with map and GPS in hand, you can map out many more options.
The gravel is good. Later in the year some washboard will begin to develop, but with a little skill you can pick lines to avoid most of it. This ride is best in spring or fall when the colors are vibrant. I love Ochoco rides because the forests are more open than those in the Cascades, grasses grow tall, the meandering streams and … the solitude. Enjoy!
Click “View Full Route” in the upper left of the graphic to fully explore the ride — pictures, cue card with turn by turn directions, and downloadable GPS files.