Big Summit Prairie Loop (short)
Home, home on the range, where the mustangs and the antelope play.
That’s the tune you will be singing by this classic wild west ride. The route circumnavigates the Big Summit Prairie, a beautiful prairie deep within the Ochoco National Forest. This ride is best in late spring / early summer when the flowers are in full bloom, the grasses are green, the creeks are running full, and the antelope are perky. And if you haven’t been to the Ochoco National Forest, it’s just a gravel cyclist dream. Empty roads with beautiful views.
The Details: The ride is “not too easy, not too difficult”. In looking at the elevation profile you will see 3 distinct climbs, the first and third on pavement. The first climbs is the longest at 1500 feet over 8 miles. The gravel sector has 1 climb and 2 moderate descents.
This is one of Gravel Girls favorite spring rides– she loves the antelope and mustangs that live there. We’ve also had reports of sandhill cranes and badgers along the river so keep your eyes open. Also look out for the Peck’s mariposa lily, a tulip-like plant with lavender petals, a plant only found in the Ochoco Mountains. But to get a great feel for the ride, flip through the photos: the pictures tell the whole story.
**Adventure / Gravel Route
– Loop: 48 miles / 3800 ft gain
– Surface: ~ 55% paved, 45 % gravel road
– Location: 24 miles east of Prineville
– Rideable: Late spring thru fall. Spring is spectacular!
– Date posted: May 2014 (updated May 2018)
24 miles east of Prineville at the “old” Ochoco ranger station parking lot. Water available via yard hydrant between parking lot and road. Pit toilets.
**Food / Water
**GPX Track File
Click to download
Red = paved road
Brown = gravel / dirt road / double-track