View Full Version : Need advice on Southern Oregon riding

06-29-2016, 12:24 PM
I'm a Portlandian planning to do some southern Oregon riding and am looking for some suggestions. I'm thinking of taking Amtrak to and from Klamath Falls in mid-August and doing around 4 or 5 days of credit card touring. I don't have any route or itinerary and thought maybe folks could tell me any roads or areas that are either "must see" or "avoid at all costs."

Just looking at a map it seems like Ashland, Blythe, Sprague, and Fort Klamath, just to name a few, might be worth checking out. Crater Lake is amazing, but I'm likely doing a family camping trip out there later this summer and could pass on this ride.

I'm fine with hard pack dirt, but I'll likely be going solo so I don't want to do too much remote off-road riding.

I can't do everything, so any help putting together a good route would be appreciated.

Thanks for any help

06-29-2016, 02:33 PM
Im down that way (grants Pass) and would join you for a leg ro 2 if ya want... I love riding around the Upper Rogue, Gold Hill, Shady Cove, and that area. Ive also ridden around North Umpqua. The winelands between Grants Pass and Ashland have tons of epic miles too. i can do between 40-80 miles taking off from my house and looping through the winelands.
https://c6.staticflickr.com/2/1655/26670937181_b46552a4d0_h.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/GCPwqv)wine country rollers (https://flic.kr/p/GCPwqv) by Matt.zilliox (https://www.flickr.com/photos/41573599@N06/), on Flickr

https://c8.staticflickr.com/8/7043/26249122743_b94870c15c_h.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/FZxBFM)Ride in the woods (https://flic.kr/p/FZxBFM) by Matt.zilliox (https://www.flickr.com/photos/41573599@N06/), on Flickr
PM me and we can chat more if ya want... also look up the Siskiyou Velo cycling club. those guys may have better route maps and organizational details, i tend to just take off from my house and go anywhere i want.



06-29-2016, 02:59 PM
Check out the past routes of the Cycle Oregon tour (http://cycleoregon.com/week-ride/past-rides/), specifically XXV (2012), possibly XXII (2009) and other earlier rides that don't appear to have maps. I've done eight (both listed above) and their route prep is consistently outstanding.

06-29-2016, 07:43 PM
Great advice guys, thanks.

I've got a couple of rough ideas to build around. One includes riding the OC&E Trail, including the Woods Line. Does anyone know if this is doable on a road style bike with 32 tires? There is conflicting information on the internet ranging from "tough but doable" to "not even passable on a mt bike."

06-29-2016, 07:49 PM
Do an out and back to Crater Lake. Hard up, cruise back.

Or could do that from the South starting in Klamath Falls too. But there is one very hairy stretch of highway on the way out of Klamath Falls.

K u r t
06-30-2016, 01:40 AM
A fantastic "climber's" ride is the "up and back" from Ashland to Mt. Ashland and Back.

Start in downtown Ashland, ride south through town (Siskiyou Blvd/ Hwy 99), find your way to "Old Siskiyou Hwy/ Old Hwy 99", continue riding south and up, up, up toward Pilot Rock. It's gorgeous rural farm country. You'll eventually cross under Interstate 5. Continue onto "Mt Ashland Ski Road" all the way up to the Mount Ashland lodge. It's gorgeous the whole way, ecosystems change to alpine conifers and granite -- you'll see wildlife and very long views into Cali and Mt Shasta. There are relatively few cars and good shoulders. The air gets a bit thinner and the sky turns deep blue. Throw a couple rocks at the top (Mt Ashland Parking lot) and take a peek at the neat old ski lodge. If you've got extra legs, continue 2-3 miles further around the south side of Mt. A. on the gravel road and see the true high country of the Siskiyous with nordic lodges and trails. It's very cool. Then treat yourself to a long, long, fun descent back to Ashland.

When you're done and returning to downtown Ashland, put your bike away and go treat yourself to a pint, snacks and good scenery at The Black Sheep. That's livin!

Edit: It's 23.4 miles up (and back) with 4,880' climbing. (Total = 46.8 miles/ 4,880 vertical ft.)

06-30-2016, 09:21 AM
Klamath Falls doesn't make the best starting point but if you must....

Crater Lake is the one of the best choices but the grind out to Modoc Point is quite uneventful, following the lake on Hwy 97. After the split it gets better. Do realize that even Klamath Falls is at 4000' elevation and Crater Lake is much higher. Doing the Rim ride combined with the out/back is a very full day.

South from Klamath isn't all that great, mostly flat. The California/Oregon border road is as straight and nearly flat as it comes but goes right through the Finley Wildlife Refuge. Lots of birds. I've seen several Bald Eagles there and that was when they were at the top of the endangered list.

Going west is far better. You quickly enter fir treed areas. Hwy 66 through Keno is a great road but not sure I'd ride it all the way to Ashland. Lake of the Woods is a scenic area.

Note that just about everybody else mentioned routes that are in the valley area (Ashland, Medford, Grants Pass etc). Great lumpy scenry. K-Falls, not so much.

06-30-2016, 11:44 AM
I have to use K-Falls as my start/end point since I'll be riding Amtrak between Portland. Crater Lake is amazing, but I'm probably going out there with the family in September on one of the days that they close the East Rim to cars.

Based on what you all are saying, I think I'll head to Ashland the first day and use that as my base. The Mt. Adams ride sounds like a great way to spend a day.

The state's Cascade Siskiyou Scenic Bikeway (http://rideoregonride.com/road-routes/cascade-siskiyou-scenic-bikeway/) sounds like another possible option, although highway 66 doesn't look too appealing on Google Maps.

I'm interested in any other day ride suggestions that loop to and from Ashland. My next decision is whether to bring my DeSalvo back to it's birthplace or my Soma, which has better gearing for climbing. I would also welcome some company if any locals care to join me for any part of it. :beer:

07-01-2016, 03:34 AM
Ashland is beautiful. Just realize it's surrounded by mountains on 3 sides.

66 is a great scenic road but narrow and no shoulder.