Pictures are worth a thousand words and if you are thinking of doing this ride just take a peak at our photos. This entire ride is on a winding, dirt road that CLINGS to the river. It’s a simple out and back … with the end of the road, at Macks Canyon, offering up some of the most spectacular views. Macks Canyon is an archaeological site which was home to the Sahaptin speaking people of the Columbia Plateau who occupied the area as early as 5,000 BC.
There’s constant entertainment with the river as well: rafters floating down the river, fishermen competing against water birds to catch fish, and campers dispersed among random campsites. Oh yes, and fat wild turkeys that get rather confused on take off (we are still thankful they didn’t take out a bike!)
At the end of the road, there’s a small hiking trail that will allow you to continue your journey along the river and make your way to the Columbia River. Be forewarned, there is an ~ 4 mile section of single track with some hike-a-bike. Our Mother of the Mountain guys have investigated this section of trail and written a bit about it. A proposed route using this connector is detailed here. Read More
The route is relatively flat with a few 100 foot climbs that are just long enough to make you winded. What slows you down is pausing or stopping to take photos because there are a million “Kodak” moments.
The route is rideable most of the year. However, we really, really like this route in the spring time (as early as April 1). And, if you can, ride it in the late afternoon / early evening such that on the return portion of the trip, the sun is just beginning to set. The lighting over the river at this time makes for a very special ride.
For a longer option, start at Maupin City park and ride to the published start via the Deschutes River road on the east side of the river. This will add 20 miles and 300 feet of gain total. Thus, the out and back will be 54 miles and 1250 feet. This section is a paved, narrow winding road, with little traffic, that is very scenic. It is included in the Sherar’s Falls Gravel ride.
Adventure / Gravel Route
– Out & Back : 34 miles / 950 ft gain
– Gravel route: Mostly … with several short sections of pavement
– Location: ~ Maupin, Oregon
– Rideable: Most of the year
– Route Author: Gravel Girl and Captain “O”
– Published: April 2019
At the end intersection of Sherar’s Bridge highway and the BLM access road, north of Maupin by ~ 10 miles. Park on the shoulder of the road.
Food / Water
Brown = gravel / dirt road