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Wednesday, July 03, 2013

The Next Tour: The Central Oregon Cascades and Crater Lake

Hello friends! I'm just a few days away from my departure on yet another two wheeled adventure. This time around is an exploration of the Central Oregon Cascades, and July couldn't be a better time to do it!

On Friday July 5th I'll be hitching a ride to Silver Falls State Park where the next day my good friends Timo and Esther will be getting married. Then on Sunday July 7th I'll take the back way out of the park and head east and south, out by Detroit Lake and then over the beautiful McKenzie Pass. When I tackled my Trans-Oregon tour in 2010 I intended to ride over this famed pass, but it was still closed by snow so I had to detour to Santiam Pass. So it will be nice to finally do it!

From McKenzie Pass I'll descend down to Bend, a city that I still haven't been to, even after twelve years of living in Oregon. Then onto another beautiful road that I've wanted to tackle for a bit: the Cascade Lakes Highway. And finally, finally, after so many years: Crater Lake, deepest lake in America.

Originally when I planned this trip I was going to end in Klamath Falls, a day's ride from Crater Lake. The main reason being that K-Falls has an Amtrak stop. But then I found out I had a few more days to play with, so I got more ambitious. I could have continued to Ashland first and then Klamath Falls, but I feel like that would be good for a different tour. No, the town of Oakridge and the fabled Aufderhide Drive beckoned, yet another road I've wanted to ride. (Can you see how this tour has become a checklist?) From the Aufderhide I could either ride SR 126 into Eugene or take a bus. We'll see how I feel.

So Eugene will be the end of the tour and I'll take a train back to Portland on the morning of Tuesday July 16th. It should be a good ride. I'll be posting updates when I can. Below is the rough route, but there may be some change.


  1. Looks fun. I've always wanted to hit that Cascade Lakes Scenic Route. Aufderhide Drive is very nice and there are some abandoned log cabin structures in the meadow at the top that one could easily camp in (Closer to Oakridge than McKenzie Bridge). Detroit Lake to the Santiam Junction is sun exposed, with a good deal of traffic. I ran out of water last time I did that segment. Bringing a water filter is a good idea.

  2. Oh my gosh! Mckenzie Pass to Bend to Cascade Lakes Highway to Crater Lake is how I got myself down to Tahoe last year! It was fricken gorgeous--I hope you liked it:)

    I'm excited to hear about your trip (and the Aufderhide, which I hear is amazing:)


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