White River Loop
5 Star Route / Ridden and Reviewed by Gravel Girl
Maupin offers up miles of amazing gravel and mixed gravel routes that showcase river and mountain views … and this route is a signature route for the area. It’s a take off of the Sherar’s Falls Oregon Scenic Bikeway with a some gravel added (~ 15 miles), a bit more distance (~ 17 miles) and a dapple more remote. The route loops around the White River and the Deschutes River with three bridge crossings, the most dramatic at Sherar’s Falls.
You start in Maupin City Park at the edge of the river. From there you climb up and up again (~ 4 to 5% grade for 3.5 miles) through the town of Maupin until you reach sprawling cattle ranches with continuous backdrop views of Mt Hood. This is where the gravel starts … you whiz through rolling farm land with a looming Mt Hood off in the distance. (If you don’t see the mountain then you just need to come back on a sunnier day.) Eventually you drop down into the White River Canyon on a rocky road that requires you to carefully pick your line. From here, cross the river and climb back out to the same elevation. When you reach the farm with all the bulls, you are done with your gravel for the day. Now for the zippy part!
A few more twists and turns, a few more ups and downs takes you to the half way point of Wamic. Luckily, there is just the perfect store to pick up snacks, the Wamic Store. // Read More
Right after the store is the Smock Prairie School which is a one room school house built in 1906. If you are smart, you will grab your snacks and enjoy them at the school house.
The next few miles is more open farmland with one heck of a Yeehaw!!!!!!! downhill into Tygh Valley. From here, it is more open and rolling farmland until White River Falls.
Don’t even think about skipping the falls: they are about 1/4 mile down a dirt road and you can walk right up to these impressive falls.
Now get ready for another Yeehaw!!!!!! downhill to the Deschutes River and Sherar’s Falls. The climbing is now done for the day, all that is left is 9 miles along the Deschutes River on a small paved road with big views!
For a bit more history on Sherar’s falls, read the quick bio of Joseph Sherar.
A longer version of the route can be done by adding the Wamic extension: an additional 18 additional and 1000 feet of gain and descent. The majority of the extension is gravel. The totals for the White River – Wamic extension route are 68 miles, 4200 feet. This route also makes for a great introductory bike packing route. Camping at about the half way point with two stores along the route.
Adventure / Gravel Route
Maupin City Park. Flush toilets and water.
Food / Water
Wamic Store (~ mile 27) and Tygh Valley General Store (~ mile 34).
Red = paved road
Brown = gravel / dirt road