5 Star Route / Ridden and Reviewed by Captain ‘O’

“Being at the edge of solitude gives you a world full of geological wonders … formed 40 million years ago … desert canyons and mountain peaks reaching as high as 6900 feet. Forested areas of majestic stands of ponderosa pine contrast with wildflower filled meadows and expansive oceans of of grass…. creating scenic views unlike any other.”

This is the description of the area that we borrowed (stole) from a sign at Bandit Springs Sno-Park which best describes the ride. This ride isn’t for everyone, just the adventurous souls who aren’t afraid of tougher gravel.

Ride Details
Head back towards Prineville (west) on Highway 26. Ride single file and maybe even ride with a blinky light. This section goes fast as you are heading slightly downhill. Turn left onto Coyle Creek road / NF-2620 (gravel). **Click to Read More

Adventure / Gravel Route

– Loop: 31 miles / 3300 ft gain
– Surface: ~ 93% gravel, 7% paved
– eBike Friendly: No
– Location: ~ 35 minutes east of Prineville, Oregon
– Course by: Captain “O”
– Published: June 2018 (updated September 2019)



When we like to ride this …

Late June / early July until the first rains of fall. This course needs to be dry to be rideable. If the roads within the first 15 miles have puddles and standing water, do not continue. Miles 19 to 21 follow the eastern edge of a creek (a bog type area) and can be very muddy and unrideable.

An alternative in the area is Big Summit Prairie ride.

The Start

Bandit Springs sno-park on Highway 26. North side of road. Pit toilets.
Lat / Long: 44.486632, -120.397040

Food / Water



Cue Sheet / GPX FileTCX File


Red = paved road
Brown = gravel / dirt road

  • GeezerGravelGuy47 says:

    Ride date: 9/30/20. Dry conditions throughout except for the section past mile 19 which presents deep ruts; some sections with ugly mud and quite steep on the descent. Truly an “adventure ride” into some pretty remote areas of the national forest. Riding solo, I carried a personal locator beacon and exercised max caution as needed.

    • Kevin / Co-Founder @ Dirty Freehub says:

      Yes! … that one section on Vowel road is demanding. We have looked for workarounds … but have found nothing. Will keep checking. Thanks for the feedback!

  • Anonymous says:

    rode the upper section of the ride including Vowell Trail on Saturday and the mud was negligible. some VERY deep ruts on Vowell from some, I presume, macho four wheelers so be careful on the trail. beautiful riding !

  • KevinE says:

    Wow! We rode this ~ 10 days after some rains in mid September. Mudddy! Bike carry of 1.5 miles.

  • DeWayne Weaver says:

    What an amazing route! I was thinking how I’m so glad the route included Vowell Trail, then hit a rut and went down hard :-o Nothing but cows around to assist since I was solo. I made it out with just scrapes and bruises, and was still happy to have taken Vowell. There were some little streams along the route where I could have filtered water, but I carried plenty with me. I’ll be back for more Ocoho routes, and to stay again in the Spoke’n Hostel. It was as awesome as the ride!

    • KevinE says:

      Thanks DeWayne …. glad you are ok. We carry an InReach device for emergencies. But we also spend a fair amount of time practicing with them because it’s not that easy to use. Cheers … Gravel Girl

  • Gravel Girl says:

    The peak of lush is happening right ….now….

  • >
    Scroll to Top