O’Leary Landslide Loop

5 Star Route / Ridden and Reviewed by Gravel Girl & Captain ‘O

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This route may have been impacted by the unprecedented and historic wildfires in Oregon during the summer of 2020. Thus, we are uncertain of the route condition and are uncertain if the route description is accurate. If you attempt the route, we would really appreciate your feedback in the comment section at the bottom of the page. 

A big climb! Beautiful views! And one of the best gravel descents in the region!  And Gravel Girl’s Favorite Ride.

After a short warm-up, the ride attacks a demanding and majestic climb of 3500 feet in 10 miles. From mile 3 to 9 the grade is always between 6 to 12 %. The ride surface varies from light chip seal to short sections of gravel, to broken tarmac. You will also have to “hike a bike” for about .25 miles across several old landslides. The higher you climb, the better the views become.

At  ~ mile 17 you leave the pavement behind. At times the gravel is course and deep, but it is mostly fine and fast. The ride rolls for several miles and then begins a nearly 10-mile descent, all on gravel, to Cougar Reservoir. At the bottom of the descent veer right ~20 yards to the boat ramp and go for a swim. Now traverse around the reservoir in a clockwise direction taking in all its beauty. Then a quick descent down to Belknap covered bridge and the McKenzie River. Your almost home!

Adventure / Gravel Route

– Loop: 56 miles / 5500 ft gain
– Mixed route: 1 [tooltip tip=”Long sections of pavement interspersed with short sectors of gravel.”]Roubaix sector[/tooltip] @ mile 3, 14 miles long. 1 gravel sector @ mile 17, 24 miles long.
– Course by: Captain “O”
– Location: McKenzie Bridge, OR
– Date Posted: August 2016 / Updated: July 2017


For advanced/experienced riders. The “hike a bike” section requires you to carry your bike for about .25 miles and to lift your bike over several large downed trees.

The Start

At the McKenzie Bridge General Store. Portable toilets, no water. An alternative is to park at the McKenzie River Ranger Station, 2 miles east on Highway 126 where there are flush toilets and water.

Food / Water

Slide Creek Campground, at mile 38.5

Cue Sheet / TCX File

Red = paved road
Brown = gravel / dirt road / double-track
Purple = [tooltip tip=”Long sections of old pavement interspersed with short sections of gravel.”]Roubaix[/tooltip]

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.

  • Vince Sikorski says:

    Rode this route 8/7/20. Path through landslide is getting overgrown by maple and other bushy plants. Hiking seemed more difficult than last time a couple years ago. Also several more large trees have come down recently just past the first major landslide. Still green needles on the branches. Can see several large trees with undercut roots high on the hill side. Expect they will come down this winter. Not sure I’d want to do this route in a wind storm. Descent to Cougar reservoir in good shape. Some washboard at the corners and a few potholes that are hard to see in the shade.

    • Kevin / Co-Founder @ Dirty Freehub says:

      This route will need some work / upkeep next spring. Any volunteers who want to take on this project??

  • Gravel Girl says:

    My favorite route … even though the lake was low today so we didn’t get to go swimming. I didn’t think the landslides were too bad this time. It’s sort of a nice break from the long uphill to go climb on rocks. I love, love, love the section from the lake back to the store, just a nice way to finish off a big ride. But I was a total dead bug at the end.

  • KevinE says:

    Ride Report / August 2018
    Lover this route. The landslides are still in place with a number of smaller slides forming. 2 hike a bike sections, easy to follow the trail. Overall, the route could use some maintenance from mile 5 to 7. Moving rocks off the road and some trimming and some chain saw work. Even without the trail maintenance, it still rides really good. If you do any work on the route, please let us know. Thanks!

  • KevinE says:

    Ride Report.
    The route is riding great! The landslides still exist, but paths are being beaten in. The landslide areas could use a bit of trail maintenance. A chainsaw to cut out some of the imposing trees, loppers to trim back the brush, and clearing of fallen rocks in the trail area. Any takers??

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