Fifteen Dead Men

5 Star Route

Don’t let the name scare you … the Fifteen is for Fifteenmile creek … the creek/watershed that you circumnavigate for most of the day. And Dead is for Deadman Gulch. A possible side excursion.

It was named “fifteenmile” because in pioneer days the main road crossed the creek about fifteen miles (24 km) from The Dalles. [Wikipedia]

We call this a picnic route: we offer up two options for the perfect lunch spot, the rewards for having polished off a good long climb. (One version tags on an additional 1,200 feet of climbing to reach Flag Point Lookout). For either picnic location, plan to snarf down as much food as you could have carried because the last 15 miles is easy as pie: a blasting downhill that will have you back to the car in no time. So loading up on extra chocolate chip cookies will just make you faster.

Ride Details
Miles 0 to 7 / Rolling Gravel Roads

From the Old Friend Schoolhouse, head east on the paved road for 0.5 miles. Go left on Heberlein Rd. The next series of roads, until ~ mile 7, are wide, fast, and rolling. There are a couple of short steeper, pitches of about 6% (both up and down), but they are very short in length. A quarter of a mile at most. The views are open and expansive – valleys, green fields, and big mountains (i.e. Mt. Hood). **Click to Read More

Adventure / Gravel Route

Loop: 34 miles / 3900 ft gain
– Surface: ~ 65% gravel, 35% paved
eBike Friendly: Yes
– Location: ~ 1 hour southeast of Hood River, Oregon
– Published: June 2020

Tech Difficulty & Risk[what this means]

Moderate. Due to: (a) some rocky and sandy terrain (~ miles 8 to 12), (b) several short, steep pitches above 6%, and (c) limited cell phone reception.

When we like to ride this …

On a warm summer day with an early start. Ideally, we like to top out near noon, take a break at lookout rock (maybe have lunch), or put our feet into Fifteen Mile creek just beyond the summit at ~ mile 22.

The Start

The old school house in Friend. Pit toilets.
Lat / Long: 45.345326, -121.276293

Food / Water



Wahoo / Garmin Direct Download
Cue Sheet / GPX file / TCX file


Red = paved road
Brown = gravel / dirt road

For help with GPS files, the RideWithGPs mapping app and to learn how to download our routes for free, see the “Using Our Rides” page.

Ridden and Reviewed by …

Gravel Girl / Team Dirty Freehub

She loves a good day of gravel like most people like a good book. She’s always amused by the outdoors and the wild adventures. Gravel Girl is a Co-Founder of Dirty Freehub.

Captain O / Team Dirty Freehub

He should have “Never Stop Exploring” tattooed on his chest! He loves adventures on bikes and is a Co-Founder of Dirty Freehub.

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