Ridden and Reviewed by: Gravel Girl
The Sisters / Camp Sherman area is one of the most diverse and scenic areas to ride in Central Oregon…and one of the most beautiful! This ride is a true favorite.
The GravelCracker 85 is the “big brother” version of the GravelCracker 60. The major difference is that this route heads further north along the Metolius River and climbs through the B&B Complex fire area on the southeast shoulder of Mt. Jefferson.
The ride begins with a ~ 8-mile paved section with big views of the Three Sisters mountains, then, the real riding begins. The first off pavement section is a wooded traverse of the shoulder of Black Butte. This section will have a bit of “old school” feel to it.
Next up, a quick stop at the Head of the Metolius followed by a single track section meandering next to the Metolius River. Ride along the river down to the Wizard Falls Fish Hatchery and climb and descend through the 2003 B&B Complex fire area.
Relax for a moment on the pavement, then begin the climb up to Round Lake. The climb feels steeper and longer than it actually is. Stop at the lake to cool off and take in the great views.
Now, begin the moderately demanding descent. At about 2/3 rds of the way down, take a sharp right, cross the highway and begin the 3-mile single track traverse around Suttle Lake. Refill water. Next up, another single track section that leads you to the west edge of Black Butter Ranch. Take a breath on the pavement, then begin the last gravel section. After topping our on Gravel Cracker Hill it is all down hill from here.
This route rides best in the spring / early summer or late fall when the “washboard” is to a minimum, the peaks are snow-capped, and the colors are in bright. If possible, do the ride midweek and not on a holiday weekend.
**Adventure / Gravel Route
– Loop: 85 miles / 5200 ft gain
– Style: Mixed (5 gravel sectors, 45.2 miles / 2 single-track sectors, 9 miles total)**
– Course by: Captain “O”
– Location: Sisters, OR
– Date Updated: June 2017
Advanced. The route has several single track sections rated “easy” for mountain bikes, one somewhat technical descent and a climb of 1200 ft over 5 miles.
Creekside Park in Sisters, Oregon. Flush toilets and water across the footbridge.
**Food / Water
@ mile 26 Camp Sherman (food & water), @ mile 31 Wizard Falls Fish Hatcher (water), @ mile 62 Shuttle Lake Lodge (water), and @mile 80 Cold Spring Campground (water)
**GPX Track File
Click to download.
Red = paved road
Brown = gravel / dirt road
Blue = single-track