Path of Totality

5 Star Route / Ridden and Reviewed by Captain ‘O’

Experience some of the hidden treasures in the Madras / Culver area. From start to finish:

  • ride along the rugged eastern shores of Lake Simtustus
  • gradually climb up and through Willow Creek canyon going from gravel road to double track to single track
  • ride up and over the “M” Hill on a bike path, a pitch of 20%
  • explore the farm lands of the area
  • ride on the rim above Lake Billy Chinook
  • ride up and nearly over Round Butte
  • and take on the steep, but beautiful descent back down to Lake Simtustus

Note, at the entrance to Willow Creek trail you will see signs stating “no trespassing”. Jefferson County has easement rights to the dirt road for those on foot, bike or horseback, thus use of the dirt road up to and past Canyon Kids camp is legal and permitted.

Adventure / Gravel Route

– Lollipop: 41 miles / 3000 ft gain
– Style: Mixed (2 gravel sectors, 4.1 miles total / 1 double track –> single track sector, 6 miles total)
– Course by: Captain “O”
– Location: ~ 15 min from Madras, OR
– Date Posted: August 2017 (updated September 2018)


Intermediate / Advanced. This ride does not have a lot of adventure sectors (3), but they can be technically demanding – some double track, some single track, possibly loose, maybe rutted and some larger rocks (softball sized or better) and some up / down pitches in excess of 10 %. A ride for technically proficient rides.

The Start

The gravel pull-out at the intersection of Highway 26 and NW Pelton Dam road.

Food / Water

@ mile 24, the Cove General store. Note, the store is seasonal. Open mid-May to mid-September.


Cue Sheet / GPX File / TCX File


Red = paved road
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.

6 thoughts on “Path of Totality”

  1. Path of Totality was totally awesome …. The water on Simtustus was so flat that it was like looking in a mirror.

  2. A great day for an awesome route. Thank you for sharing. I loved the canyon trail from Simtustus to Madras – absolutely gorgeous and easy grade. I will repeat this ride again. I was beat at the end but a great multi-level ride.

  3. This is a fabulous gorgeous ride. Thank you Dirtyfreehubbers for mapping and sharing it. There was a decent amount of pavement but not many cars at alll. I Must say it is probably one of your best routes for lone riders like me since it is not so isolated.

  4. This ride features beautiful canyon views. It’s the kind of scenery that makes me want to get out and explore Oregon. Too often we forget that We have wonderful canyon country right in our back yards.

  5. Lots of variety. Very cool views into the canyons. Also nice to have a store for drinks about half way. Fairly wide tires are an advantage on the single and double track portions, while a mountain bike would be a significant disadvantage on the paved sections.

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