Metolius Preserve

5 Star Route

Meander in the woods. That’s the best description of this route which takes you to an easy mountain biking area in the Metolius Preserve (a lovely gift from the Deschutes Land Trust.) It’s a pine, larch and fir forest with a stream running through the middle. We think it’s amazing in the fall when the larch trees turn bright yellow and then drop all their needles. We think it’s amazing in the summer when everywhere else is getting dusty and this just stays nice.

Rumor has it there are river otters that share their habitat with elk, deer and even badgers. Look out for the turkeys and grouse too; they will scare you as much as you scare them!

Besides the Preserve, we also encourage you to head around Suttle Lake. It’s one of those paths that isn’t steep, but gets REALLY close to the water. Just be kind to the hikers who are enjoying the same route around the lake. And we love the Suttle Lake Lodge: it has a nice lounge area with big bay windows of the lake. Yes, you have permission to leave your car in the parking area and to use their bathrooms. Wow, now there’s a bonus for a start.

We also like this route as a good way to test your navigation skills. There are a few tricky turns so you’ll need to follow your navigation closely.

Adventure / Gravel Route

Lollipop: 14 miles / 800 ft gain
– Surface: ~ 50% gravel / double track, 50% single track
eBike Friendly: No
– Location: ~ Sisters, Oregon
– Published: August 2020

Technical Difficulty & Risk[what this means]

Moderate-. Due to: (a) An extensive amount of easy rated mountain bike single track with gentle grades. (b) The challenge of navigating many junctions and turns. We recommend setting your bike navigation computer to a resolution like 500 feet or 1000 feet. (c) A short, but steep incline as you near Suttle Lake on the return.

When we like to ride this …

Early (like 8 am) on a hot summer day or in October when the Larch trees are in full color. In the spring the route can be wet, muddy and boggy. Avoid.

The Start

Suttle Lake lodge. There are several parking lots near and at the lodge.
Lat / Long: 44.426715, -121.728534

Food / Water

There is a full restaurant at Suttle Lake lodge. However, it may be seasonal.

Our Community Partner …

The Metolius Preserve is owned and cared for by a local nonprofit, the Deschutes Land Trust. The Land Trust has been working in Central Oregon since 1995 to conserve land for wildlife, scenic views, and local communities. The Metolius Preserve is just one of ten other community preserves that are protected forever by the Land Trust for wildlife and people. These preserves are what make Central Oregon so full of natural beauty and outdoor splendor. The Land Trust believes that we can protect that beauty, that land that sustains us. You can too. Donate today to protect land with the Deschutes Land Trust and get involved as a volunteer to help care for the land.

Ride Details

**Click to Read More


Wahoo / Garmin Direct Download
Cue Sheet / GPX FileTCX File


Brown = gravel / dirt road
Blue = single track

For help with Ride, GPS files, etc see the “Help with …” page. To learn how to download the routes for free, see “Using Our Routes …” 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.

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