Haystacks & Skulls

Bandit Route

This ride is the blend of two 5 Star routes: Haystack and Skull Hollow. It “most definitely” meets 5 Star ride criteria for beauty and history, but not for original content, thus the Training Route designation. Of the 3 routes (Haystack, Skull Hollow, and Haystacks & Skulls) this is Captain O’s favorite!

Ride Details

Start in Terrebonne and follow the Skull Hollow route to mile 7.4, the right turn to McPheeters Turf farm. Instead, continue straight along the Culver highway tracking the Haystack route. Ride the dirt road segment through the Crooked River National Grassland, past Haystack reservoir, and then back on gravel and south towards Grey Butte. Begin climbing. Part way up the climb, just after the incredible views of the Cascade mountains, make a 90 degree left. You are now back onto the Skull Hollow route. Follow this to the summit, descend Skull Hollow, and then roll back on pavement towards Smith Rock and the start / finish. **Click to Read More

Adventure / Gravel Route

Loop with dogleg: 36 miles / 2300 ft gain
– Surface: ~ 35% gravel, 65% paved
eBike Friendly: Yes
– Location: ~ 30 minutes north of Bend, OR
– Date Posted: April 2020


Moderate. Due to the primitive Forest Service roads with steep grades of up to 15%.

When we like to ride this …

Spring when the Cascade mountains are snow capped. Fall when the colors are changing. The route is rideable almost anytime of the year, but the area can be very busy in the summer. Avoid when wet.

The Start

Oliver Lemmon’s market of Terrebonne. Be sure to go inside and give them a “heads up” on your plan for the day.
Lat / Long: 44.352989, -121.178053

Food / Water



Wahoo / Garmin Direct Download
Cue Sheet / GPX FileTCX File


Red = paved road
Brown = gravel / dirt road
Purple = paved bike path / roubaix

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.

  • Riding well. This route could contain the hardest climb in co! 1 mile of 10% punctuated by 2, 20%+ grades! We altered the standard route to add some more scenery, miles, and climbing. https://ridewithgps.com/trips/58290330. Minimal sand, downhill into skull hollow is a bit rough. 40mm tires were sufficient.

    • Kevin / Co-Founder @ Dirty Freehub says:

      It may have one of the steepest climbs in Central Oregon, but that depends how you define Central Oregon! :) There are some brutish climbs in the Ochocos and Oakridge has long, long, climbs sustained at over 10%. But … for us the most brutal climb is in Harts Mountain National Antelope Refuge. The first 4 miles of that is probably the most demanding climb in Oregon.

  • KevinE says:

    The route is riding great right now. Late April. No mud, a little bit of sand.

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