Catch & Release!
5 Star Route / Ridden and Reviewed by Gravel Girl
Let me tell you a story … a fish story.
We were on this route back in June 2017 and the river was running strong that day. We had about 14 riders. We were crossing the river, upstream from a fish trap, which is a large metal device the size of a pontoon boat used to count fish by the Department of Natural Resources. One of the riders (who has now been nicknamed Flounder) fell with his bike and got sucked into the fish trap. Straight down into the water. SLURP! We were sure he was a goner. Then he popped up on the other side of the trap, (luckily it wasn’t engaged) but his bike had been grabbed by the trap. So the group spent 30 min trying to fish out (pun intended) the bike which eventually we did manage to retrieve and Flounder finished the route. Now don’t you worry, because the power company trotted out the VERY next day and took out the trap. But it sure made for a great name of a route: Catch and Release.
Now, a little about the route. It’s a circumnavigation of the Fremont Canyon and includes a classic wilderness crossing of Whyches Creek. You bike through the Whyches Canyon Preserve and the Crooked River National Grasslands with views of the snow capped Cascades in the distance. The route also includes roads that cut through beautiful farmland, mainly hobby farms with horses, llamas, and domestic buffalo.
This ride is not necessarily demanding regarding distance and elevation gain — but there is a section where the gravel road is a chunker. And we warned you about the stream crossing which can be either resemble a kiddy pool or can offer up a challenge on a strong day. On the good side, we’ve never had anyone ride this route when they considered it unpassable.
We love this ride, but please be prepared and exercise caution.
**Adventure / Gravel Route
– Loop: 38 miles / 1700 ft gain
– Mixed route: 2 gravel sectors, 15 miles total (1 mile long @ mile 6, 14 miles long @ mile 17)
– Course by: Captain “O”
– Location: Sisters, OR
– Date Updated: June 2017
Advanced. One difficult and demanding 8-mile gravel section, starting at mile 17. The stream crossing can be technical and demanding. Also, at times you are quite remote.
Sisters Creekside City Park
**Food / Water
At the start, flush toilets and water just across the footbridge.
**GPX Track File
Click to download