Mean Todd Rides Again!

Development Route / by Captain ‘O’

A gravel variation of the “usual” road ride around Mt. Bachelor. The route is scenic, tough and demanding. You will get big, up close views of Mt. Bachelor, South Sister and Broken Top. You will also experience riding along the headwaters of the Deschutes River and the past the lakes. Lava lake and Little Lava lake requiere a short detour from the course, Elk lake and Sparks lake do not.

At mile 43 you will begin an 18 mile gravel adventure through the high country, big views and a creek crossing or two. There is also a bit of gnar that requires good bike handling skills. This section is the crux of the ride.

The route rides best when there is a bit of moisture in the ground. Dry = Very Dusty. Ugh! Also, I try to avoid the route on weekends. I find that there are just too many people, trucks, and ATV’s in the high country for my liking. Weekdays for me!

Water and food are available (seasonally) at Lava Lake Resort and Elk River Resort.  Lava Lake resort is at mile 28.5 and requires a deviation of about 2 miles in total. But … the lake views are worth it. Elk Lake resort is just before mile 35 (almost the halfway point for the ride), and is just off the Cascade Lakes highway.

I have ridden the entire route with the exception of the first two gravel sectors. However, MacGyver of the Dirty Freehub team has ridden these two sectors. We have classified this route for the time being as a Training Route in that none of us have ridden the route in its entirety and we don’t have it fully documented with pictures. We expect to classify this route as a 5 Star in the near future.

Adventure / Gravel Route

– Loop: 70 miles / 5800 ft gain
– Surface: ~ 60% gravel , 40% paved
eBike Friendly: Yes
– Location: Bend, Oregon
– Published: July 2018 (updated February 2020)


Advanced. Due to the distance, elevation gain and some technical riding.

The Start

Cascade Lakes Welcome Center. Pit toilets.
Lat / Long: 43.997466, -121.406415


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


Red = paved road
Brown = gravel / dirt road

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.

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