McKay Creek Lollipop
5 Star Route / Ridden and Reviewed by Gravel Girl
This is a classic (4.5+ star) spring time ride. The flowers will be in full bloom, the grasses green and the streams running full. The gravel is Ochoco good, a nice clay base. This ride is also exceptional in October when the leaves are changing colors.
The route climbs to Harvey Gap, follows a beautiful ridge with deep views into the Ochoco National Forest and Steen’s pillar, and climbs a bit more to its high point. A quick but fun descent down pavement, and then hit the rollers deeper into the Ochocos followed by a long descent on gravel that shallows out onto pavement and back to the start.
The long gravel descent can be avoided and the route shortened (by one gravel segment) by staying left on the pavement at mile 20.5 and continuing back to the start. This detour gives a route of 33 miles with 2800 feet of ascent.
Adventure / Gravel Route
– Lollipop: 38 miles / 3700 ft gain
– Mixed route: 2 gravel sectors, 20.5 miles total
– Location: ~ 12 miles north of Prineville, OR
– Best Ridden: Late spring, when the creeks run full and the flowers are in bloom. October, when the leaves are changing color.
– Course by: Captain “O”
– Date Posted: October 2015 (updated October 2018)
The intersection of McKay Creek road and Allen Creek road. Park on the dirt shoulder on the north side of the intersection.
Food / Water
Red = paved road
Brown = gravel / dirt road