Green Ridge Lookout

5 Star Route

The Green Ridge Lookout perches high up on Green Ridge; one of the rare places that dishes out a full panorama of the Cascade Mountains. On a glorious clear day, you’ll be pointing at Mt Saint Helens (which is in Washington!), Mt Hood, Mt Jefferson, Three Fingered Jack, Mt Washington (which is in Oregon!) and all the Sisters.  Wowzzz! 

The Cascades are part of the Pacific Ocean‘s Ring of Fire, the ring of volcanoes and associated mountains around the Pacific Ocean. All of the eruptions in the contiguous United States over the last 200 years have been from Cascade volcanoes. The two most recent were Lassen Peak from 1914 to 1921 and a major eruption of Mount St. Helens in 1980. [Wikipedia]

But not so fast on the download button yet: there are loads of other reasons to polish off this route:  Big red ponderosa that seem perfectly coordinated with red cinder roads. A visit to the Wizard Falls Fish Hatchery, which crosses over the Metolius River on a bridge that lets you peer into the depth and feel the power of all that water rushing by. A trip to the quaint Camp Sherman store, and a visit to the Head of the Metolius, the bizarre place where the river just pops up from nowhere.  By the end, you’ll wonder why we didn’t call this the Tour of Camp Sherman! 

For surfaces, this route is a real variety pack with a perfect blend of gravel roads, single track, and paved roads.  The single-track has a smidge of the rocky stuff. The gravel roads, for the most part, are hard-packed, with a bit of washboard, mostly avoidable. And then there is a section on the big downhill with some solid bumps and lumps. 

We didn’t break any speed records, but the views of the mountains, river, and ponderosas kept us well entertained. And honestly, we thought the climbing seemed pretty mild.

Adventure / Gravel Route

Loop: 33 miles / 3200 ft gain
– Surface: ~ 55% gravel, 20% single track, 25% paved
eBike Friendly: No
– Location: ~ 45 minutes northwest of Bend, Oregon
– Published: July 2020

Technical Difficulty & Risk[what this means]

Moderate. Due to: (a) 6 miles of single track with several rocky sections and (b) the steep, rugged downhill at mile 19.

When we like to ride this …

Before mid-May, June to mid-September. These are the times when the lookout is not rented out to the public and is accessible to all.

The Start

The Head of the Metolius parking area [pit toilets]. An alternative start is at the Camp Sherman store, but public day use parking is very limited.
Lat / Long: 44.434836, -121.633392

Food / Water

Wizard Falls fish hatchery, mile 26. Camp Sherman store, mile 30.5.

Go Local

Near the end of the ride [~ mile 30.5], make a stop at the Camp Sherman store. They have sandwiches, cookies, and ice cream. Make a stop of it; sit on a picnic bench and enjoy the moment with your friends or stick your head into the river to cool off.

Ride Details

**Read More

Downloads

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

Legend

Red = paved road
Brown = gravel / dirt road
Blue = single track

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.

  • Linda English says:

    There’s a fire burning on Green Ridge. Please check the fire status before you go because this looks to be right on the route.

  • Anonymous says:

    Rode this today and was amazed with the biggest views yet of Mt Jefferson and beyond. Yes, first single track involved some off bike slogging but not too bad. The view before lookout had me doing double takes as it was framed by the burned trees and was a standout! This was my favorite route so far!! Bravo!

  • Sam says:

    Rode this yesterday. Stunning views from the lookout!

    Would recommend doing in reverse though, at least in summer. The start of the Green Ridge Trail was a sandy nightmare, making for not too much fun on the climb! I think it would be fine the other way though, going up a gravel road with beautiful views of Mt Jefferson.

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