Schoolhouse Skunk

5 Star Route

Note: This is a 5 Star Route, meaning that it is a highly curated, premier riding route.

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. 

You can have all four seasons in one day; you can have four distinct sections in one route. The variety on this route is really amazing.  

The gist of the ride is that you start with a pancake flat paved section that heads you through lovely cattle farms (including the ZX Ranch, which is one of the largest working ranches in North America, started in 1880).  Then you hit a good ole gravel forest road that has you climbing like a fool with some impressive pitches, following Schoolhouse Creek. The third section, which is part of the Oregon Timber Trail, is an old school mountain bike trail with big views of the whole surrounding area (and includes Skunk Hollow.) And the fourth section has you cross a lovely red bridge to enjoy a fun, Chewaucan River hugging paved section (a nice way to end a ride.)  

We also found the whole route to be a continuous change in views. Starting with the cattle, moving into open grasslands with views of Lake Abert off in the distance, then evolving into ponderosa, juniper, and aspen forest. The single track offers up bold views of the valleys below, including Coffee Pot Meadow. And in the final section, you will enjoy the Chewaucan River until you are almost back to the gritty town of Paisley.

Adventure / Gravel Route

Loop: 31 miles / 2600 ft gain
– Surface: ~ 20% gravel, 25% single track, 55% paved
eBike Friendly: No
– Location: ~ 45 minutes north of Lakeview, Oregon
– Published: August 2020

Technical Difficulty & Risk[what this means]

Advanced. Due to: (a) the 7 miles of single track rated rated mountain bike intermediate, (b) the demanding 1.5 mile climb at a 9% average grade, and (c) limited cell phone reception.

When we like to ride this …

The Oregon Timber Trail sector becomes sandy in dry summer conditions. Thus, our favorite time to do this route is late spring, when the trail is dry but not sandy, or fall when moisture is being “sucked” back into the ground with freeze / thaw cycles.

The Start

Paisley City Park next to City Hall. Flush toilets. Picnic tables.
Lat / Long: 42.693062, -120.544897

Food / Water


Go Local

In Paisley there is a tavern, a diner, coffee stand and a small grocery store.

Ride Details

**Click to Read More


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


Red = paved road
Brown = gravel / dirt road
Blue = single track

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.

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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