4 Boys

5 Star Route / Ridden and Reviewed by Captain ‘O’

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What happens when 4 boys plan out a weekend fast gravel ride? You end up with a new route of course with a lot of “go fast, go hard” riding.

This route has a significant amount of “fun” high-speed single track and frequent changes in surface texture from gravel, to single track, to paved bike path to paved road.

This is a great “go to” ride in late fall and early spring in that it is rideable almost all year, the elevation never exceeds 4500 feet (excluding the climb to the top of Lava Butte, elevation 4970 feet). Also, the ride is easily modified to provide a shorter course and /or made technically easier by avoiding the singletrack by using nearby parallel roads.

**Adventure / Gravel Route
– Loop: 46 miles / 2500 ft gain
– Mixed: ~ 30% gravel, 8 gravel sectors / ~ 30% single track, 7 sectors  / ~ 30% paved bike path, 3 sectors
– Rideable: mid-Spring thru late Fall
– Location: Bend, OR
– Course by: MikeH
– Date Posted: October 2017 (updated June 2018)

Intermediate+ / Advanced. The route has 7 single track sections, that are rated easy to intermediate for mountain bikes.

**The Start
Phil’s Trailhead.

**Food / Water
@ mile 8 the Forest Service Visitor Center, @ mile 24 Lava Butte visitor center. Both are seasonally open (usually mid May to mid September).

**GPX Track File
Click to download.


Red = paved road
Brown = gravel / dirt road
Blue = single-track
Purple = paved bike path

For help with Ride, GPS files, etc see the “Help with …” page. To learn how to download the routes for free, see “Using Our Routes …” page.

  • Doc Jay says:

    Did this one yesterday and it was GREAT. I bummed a water refill from some nice folks chillin outside their house in Sunriver. The single track out of Lava Butte and along the Deschutes were prime!!! Thanks for sharing.

  • Anonymous says:

    Rode a slight variation of this last week – absolutely glorious biking with stunning views and interesting single track. Thanks for creating!

  • Amy Bender says:

    We rode most of this excellent route this morning. Thank you for creating it! Due to Covid 19 there is no water/food at the Forest Service visitors center or at Lava Butte. We rode to the market in Sunriver (1.4 miles from the Lava trail turn) to buy water. The sand was only deep along the forest road where people are camping in Phil’s, but the rest of the route was rideable.

  • Eric says:

    Was using the first half of this route to eventually get down towards Paulina today. Didn’t make it off the dirt roads between Ben’s and Cascade Highway though. Right at the start of the descent, I was riding up on the center of the road to steer clear of some rocks. 1-2” of moon dust obscured a pretty sharp shelf. Looked very smooth and rounded, but underneath wasn’t. Front wheel washed out and went one way while I went another. Scrapes and bruises, but could’ve been worse. Opted to turn around and head back.

    Watch out for the dust, kids. Hard to predict what’s actually underneath when it gets deep.

    • Kevin / Co-Founder @ Dirty Freehub says:

      Eric – thanks for the great reminder about the “moon dust” that we experience in Bend at this time of year. Hope you are well!

  • Rick Adams says:

    Excellent route. At mile 30.9, no longer allowed to cross railroad tracks. Must turn left and go back to Sun-Lave trail. There is a sign

  • Rafael says:

    De this 7/13/2019. Good ride. The single track has been rerouted near Bendham Falls but was easy enough to sort out. A bit dusty and some deeper sand makes me think this ride is better in the spring or fall.

    • KevinE says:

      Yeah, I would bet that’s true …. we’ve been getting reports of sand on a few routes. Thanks for the update. Gravel Girl

  • KevinE says:

    Ride report / October 31: Riding great! Good colors. Did the route with 14 people. Excellent route when have a group of different speeds. Eliminate some of the single track for those that are slower. This is not a fast riding route due to all the single-track. Enjoy!

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