Tidbits

5 Star Route

On paper, we figured this route would be beautiful and easy. A point to point, with more elevation loss than gain, it almost felt like cheating. But we were only right on half that description, it’s a beautiful route, but you earn every mile. 

Overall, this route offers up beautiful views of the mountains, quiet forest roads, two beautiful lakes, a roaring river, and a hidden waterfall. We saw loads of blooming bear grass and wild rhododendrons. The two parts that make this route a challenge. The first is the “teeth”: once you polish off 2,000 feet of gain, you reach the UP, DOWN ridge that has waves of steep pitches.  After that, you reach the 2,600-foot descent in ten miles on gravel that is steep and sketchy enough that your hands will hurt from riding your brakes.

There’s no question, this ride rocks … just no “whingeing” that you’ll stop a little more on the second half of the route, to recover from the teeth, cool off your brakes from the downhill, or find the hidden waterfall.

Ride Details
Miles 0 to 8 / The Up (in the Forest) / Gravel

From the parking area at Clear Lake, continue on the one-way paved loop road. It is steep! Making for “brutal” start”. Cross the highway (the sno-park here can be used as an alternative start) and continue on the gravel road, NF 2672. The route makes a few early turns in the first several miles, gradually climbing through the Willamette National Forest. The roads are gray gravel (mostly) and hard-packed. It is pleasant riding, mostly forested with 20 to 40-year-old pine trees with green undergrowth and scattered flowers.[micro-video] The first 8 miles gains 1000+ feet, with a loss of 300 feet. **Read More

Adventure / Gravel Route

Point to Point: 45 miles / 4000 ft gain
– Surface: ~ 85% gravel, 15% paved
eBike Friendly: Yes
– Location: ~ 1 hour, 15 minutes east of Eugene, Oregon
– Published: June 2020

Technical Difficulty & Risk[what this means]

Advanced-. Due to: (a) a number of short steep pitches up and down above 10%, (b) the remote nature of part of the ride and, (c) limited cell phone reception.

When we like to ride this …

Early summer (late June to early July) when the flowers are in full bloom. With an early start, this is a doable ride on a hot day, as a lot of the route is shaded. But … there are several sectors along the route that are exposed to the sun and could be quite warm.

The Start

Clear Lake Day Use parking area. Pit toilets. This parking area can get very busy on the weekend. An alternative is to park at the Ikenich sno-park at the intersection of Highway 126 and NF 2672.
Lat / Long: 44.373321, -121.998849

Food / Water

None


Downloads

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

Legend

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.

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.

  • Anonymous says:

    Kevin, where did you leave your car at the finish? Is there a parking lot near the dam?

    • Kevin / Co-Founder @ Dirty Freehub says:

      Yes, at the dam there are two parking areas. One just south of the dam, on the west side. It is highly visible to the road. Just above the dam there is a parking lot with boat launch and pit toilet. Not quite as visible to the road, but much bigger. Enjoy!

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