Bucket List of Oregon Gravel Rides – by Linda English (aka Gravel Girl) of Dirty Freehub

“Dirty Freehub is about sharing our passion for high-quality gravel bike rides. Our aim is that through good stewardship of public lands, collaboration and sharing of routes we can have a positive social and economic impact in the communities we ride.” – Dirty Freehub

Riding in Oregon is a gravel cyclist’s paradise, with loads of remote gravel and paved roads that take you through a whole lot of beautiful nothing. At Dirty Freehub our mission is to provide great gravel routes, so we decided to provide the Gravel Cyclist audience and others with a bucket list of our favorite routes. This list didn’t come easy … ask us next year and I imagine we may have a whole new list!

Seven Mile Hill

oregon bucket list gravel rides

Includes the historic Columbia River Highway with the Mosier Tunnel (both closed to cars), the seven-mile hill, views of Mt Hood, and loads of orchard farms.

  • Loop: 41 miles / 3600 feet
  • Surface: 93% paved, 7% gravel road
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Where: Hood River, Oregon
  • Link to Seven Mile Hill

Bonanza

oregon bucket list gravel rides

Full of Wild West history, rolling hills, and sweeping views. And the occasional cattle drive. Best ridden in the spring when the creeks are running full.

  • Lollipop: 51 miles / 3200 feet
  • Surface: 100% gravel road
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Where: Brothers, Oregon
  • Link to Bonanza

Horn of the Metolius

oregon bucket list gravel rides

Explores the wild and scenic “Horn” of the Metolius river — a sweeping 25-mile bend in the river. Views of Lake Billy Chinook. No way around it, you will be whipped after this one.

  • Loop: 53 miles / 4500 feet
  • Surface: 10% paved 80% gravel / dirt road, 10% single track
  • Difficulty: Advanced
  • Where: Camp Sherman, Oregon
  • Link to Horn of the Metolius

Motown

oregon bucket list gravel rides

A ride with a big beat! Roll along Detroit Lake, climb to the Basalt Cliffs. Deep forest with peek-a-boo views of snow-capped mountains. Bring the polka dot jersey and enjoy the climbs.

  • Lollipop: 41 miles / 3900 feet
  • Surface: 60% paved, 40% gravel
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Where: Detroit, Oregon
  • Link to Motown

Over the Rainbow

oregon bucket list gravel rides

Hugging the river and Lake Simtustus on miles of old railway grade. Includes a one-lane tunnel. Rolls through farmland mixed with high desert and big views of the mountains. Starts at Air museum.

  • Loop: 41 miles / 1900 feet
  • Surface: 65 % paved, 35% gravel / double track, 10% single track
  • Difficulty: Advanced
  • Where: Madras, Oregon
  • Link to Over the Rainbow

Priest Hole

oregon bucket list gravel rides

Starts at the famous Painted Hills with continuous views of the John Day River mixed with farmland. Stunning views with punchy climbs.

  • Loop: 42 miles / 3500 feet
  • Surface: 50% paved, 50% gravel
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Where: Mitchell, Oregon
  • Link to Priest Hole

Steens Mountain Loop Road

oregon bucket list gravel rides

Starts at the tiny, historic town of Frenchglen and climbs up Oregon’s eighth-tallest mountain on a tour of massive gorges, vast panoramas and one of the most spectacular lakes in the Pacific Northwest. You’re likely to spot wild mustangs.

  • Loop: 71 miles / 7100 feet
  • Surface: 15% paved, 85% gravel
  • Difficulty: Advanced
  • Where: One hour south of Burns, Oregon
  • Link to Steens Mountain Road

Water and Lava

oregon bucket list gravel rides

Ride along the Deschutes River, visit the roaring Benham Falls, climb up to Lava Butte for a view of a massive lava field, and then meander through pine forests along more of the river.  

  • Loop: 30 miles / 1400 feet
  • Surface: 25% paved, 45% gravel, 15% single track, 15% paved bike path
  • Difficulty: Easier+
  • Where: Bend, Oregon
  • Link to Water and Lava

Major Enoch

oregon bucket list gravel rides

A geological journey:  secluded canyons, dancing creeks, whispering meadows and expansive forests.

  • Loop: 54 miles / 5900 ft gain
  • Surface: 85% gravel / primitive forest service roads, 15% tarmac
  • Difficulty: Moderate+
  • Where: Prineville, Oregon
  • Link to Major Enoch

White River Loop

oregon bucket list gravel rides

Circumnavigate the White River with stunning views of Mt Hood and beautiful farmland.  Visit the roaring White River Falls followed by a screaming downhill to the Deschutes River, then cling the river for 10 miles.

  • Loop: 50 miles / 3100 feet
  • Surface: 70% paved, 30% gravel
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Where: Maupin, Oregon
  • Link to White River Loop

Visit our friends at Dirty Freehub for more routes in places such as Arizona, Montana and Tasmania (Australia)!

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