LINK TO GPX FILE!
2020 Version with the Lily Lake Fire Re-Route: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/33618982
Logistically, it is likely easiest to start and finish in Bend, Oregon with ample access to groceries, bike equipment, parking, beer and being in close proximity to Redmond Airport, though anywhere along the route would be suitable. The below description is based on a Bend Start / Finish.
From town, you will immediately head West on Galveston St. towards Skyliners Rd and Phil’s Trailhead. At Phil’s, you will climb a network of trails to Tumalo Falls, the first in a series of waterfalls on the North Fork trail. Once in Happy Valley, the route will pick up the Met – Win trail and head north, bordering the Three Sisters Wilderness to the Peterson Ridge Trail (PRT), descending to the town of Sisters (mile 45).
After passing through Sisters, the route will join Segment 7 of the Oregon Timber Trail: Santiam Wagon Road. This brings you to the first crossing of the Cascades and Pacific Crest Trail by entering the Willamette region of Central Oregon. The terrain and plant diversity will change instantaneously as you descend to the McKenzie River (MRT). At mile 99 you will pass a few critical resupply options in the heart of the Willamette at McKenzie Bridge.
The push to Oakridge is a completed through a remote network of forestry roads. The route utilizes pavement for ~10 miles as you veer off and climb towards the Indian Ridge high point (elevation ~4,999), you will likely be in the clouds for some time. The gravel road traverse ends at the world famous Alpine Trail intersection (A-T-C-A). Enjoy this ribbon all the way to Westfir and Oakridge for several highly recommended resupply opportunities in the mountain biking hub of the Cascades.
As you depart town, prepare yourself for the likely crux of the journey on OTT Segment 5: Bunchgrass Ridge. It is both breathtaking and intimidating, with approximately a vertical mile worth of climbing to the Ridge proper. This will mark the second crossing of the Cascade Crest as you descend to the Cascades Lakes region of the Route.
This portion includes prime single track riding, passing numerous lakes along the way. You will once again cross the PCT outside of Waldo Lakes, marking the final stretch of the journey. Lava Lakes at mile 260 will mark the last limited resupply opportunity before a few more thousand feet of climbing and descending to the finish in Bend.