Seven stages • 395-467 miles • 18,000’-23,000’
Tour led by Bill Oetinger & Peter Verbiscar-Brown
July 8-16, 2023
Registration opens Monday, January 16 at 7:30 pm
Entry fee: $500
A $50 deposit is due at registration, payable by PayPal or credit card.
Balance of $450 is due April 1, payable by check.
Starts and ends in a pretty state park near the city of Bend. Explores the “High Desert” of Central Oregon. The region offers an attractive mix of landscapes and cycling vistas: rolling farm fields, vast forests of fir and pine; high alpine peaks and meadows; spectacular rock formations that would look right at home in Southern Utah; chunky lava flows evoking the area’s volcanic legacy; meandering lanes and bike trails through several up-scale resorts; visits to small towns and some interesting new neighborhoods around Bend’s suburban fringe.
Tumalo State Park, situated along the Deschutes River, offers conventional campsites as well as two group sites (which we hope to reserve). Showers are available. The tour stays here for the first two nights, loops back here for another night mid-week, and finally returns here at the end of the tour. Arrangements have been made to store our car pool fleet at a private school almost across the road from the park.
Price $500 per person
The initial deposit is $50 (payable by credit card or PayPal online at time of registration). The second and final installment (by check) of $450 will be due by April 1, 2023.
Stage 1: Twisted Sisters
51 miles 3100’ up and down (basic route)
59 miles 3600’ up and down (bonus miles #1)
54 miles 3400’ up and down (bonus miles #2)
62 miles 3800’ up and down (bonus miles #1 & 2)
A remote start-finish in the town of Sisters. First a nearly level loop through the forest, then a meander through the upscale resort of Black Butte Ranch, followed by the long ascent to majestic McKenzie Pass. After that summit run, back down out of the mountains to Sisters.
Stage 2: Tumalo State Park to Newberry Caldera
60 miles 4600’ up, 1400’ down
63 miles 5100’ up, 1900’ down
Into and through the suburban fringe of Bend (attractive, interesting neighborhoods) and then south into the Lava Lands National Monument. Several miles of delightful bike trails through the forest and through the sprawling Sunriver resort complex. South down the valley of the Deschutes River and finally a long climb to the pretty lakes in the Newberry Caldera. Showers near camp.
Stage 3: East Lake to Crane Prairie Lake
51 miles 1200’ up, 3100’ down
59 miles 1400’ up, 3300’ down
The shortest and easiest day of the tour. Early miles in the high country include vistas over East Lake and Paulina Lake and a visit to impressive Paulina Falls. A huge descent back into the valley and many miles of easy cruising through deep fir and pine forest, finishing up at a camp on the shore of a large, handsome mountain lake. Showers.
Stage 4: Crane Prairie Lake to Tumalo State Park
58 miles 2900’ up, 4200’ down
66 miles 3300’ up, 4500’ down
Spend most of the day on the beautiful Cascade Lakes National Scenic Byway, climbing into the mountains past pretty alpine lakes and then dropping out the other side, back down around the fringe of Bend to another night at Tumalo State Park. Showers. Back near the city of Bend again, so a night out in restaurants is our tentative plan.
Stage 5: Tumalo State Park to Smith Rock State Park
77 miles 2300’ up, 2700’ down
63 miles 1400’ up, 1800’ down
Heading east out of Bend across a vast, empty mesa that almost lives up to the “desert” in the tour’s name. The route eventually turns north along the spectacular Crooked River National Scenic Byway. After tacking back west, the stage ends up at Smith Rock State Park, one of the most amazing red rock sculpture gardens around. Showers.
Stage 6: Gorges Loop
58 miles 2600’ up and down
78 miles 4200’ up and down
Heading north, at first through an agricultural world: rolling wheat fields, with the snowy peaks of the Cascades on the horizon. Then many miles riding along the rims of the mesas overlooking deep gorges. Lake Simtustus, Lake Billy Chinook, and the Crooked River Gorge are all memorable panoramas. Return for a second night at Smith Rock State Park, perhaps with time for a hike in this rock-candy wonderland.
Stage 7: Smith Rock State Park to Tumalo State Park
55 miles 2400’ up, 2000’ down
62 miles 2800’ up, 2400’ down
A less dramatic but still enjoyable meander looping back to Tumalo State Park. A mix of farm fields, woods, rivers, and rural residential...ranches and country homes and one more golf resort. All quality cycling. Showers at camp. Head back to Santa Rosa in the morning.