Oregon's Big Country

Last year, Limberlost co-founder and bike packing route pioneer, Gabriel Amadeus, shared a route that he had been conceiving for some time—The Oregon Big Country Loop. Having worked on his own such bike explorations of the same area, Bedrock Ambassador Brett Davis decided to forgo the hard work of potentially recreating the wheel (knowing that both routes shared many commonalities), and instead, go ride Gabriel’s loop. The following is a photographic journey of Oregon’s Big Country… Enjoy!

The route begins on the southern edge of the Malhuer Wildlife Refuge in the tiny hamlet of Frenchglen, OR. Once the bikes are loaded and the first pedal strokes are taken, there are roughly 360 miles to ride in order to complete the loop…

Once through the “town” of Diamond, OR (pop. 5), the climb into the first mountain range of the loop begins—The Steen Mountains…

After a quick descent out of the Steens, one will find themselves in the surreal landscape of the Alvord Desert. This dry lake bed is surreal and prime terrain for the big tires that are a necessity for this route…

Once across the Alvord Desert, a feeling of “remoteness” begins to settle in…

A treat of the route is the availability of hot springs in which to soak away the day’s riding toils…

A formidable climb begins after a soak in the Willow Creek Hot Springs. For the next 30 miles, the rider will be moving uphill ever so slightly into the Trout Creek Mountains…

A well deserved descent leads to the state of Nevada and the sleepy town of Denio where burgers, shakes, and libations can be consumed.

Once departing Denio, the remoteness returns as the route turns west into the volcanic terrain of the Sheldon Wildlife Preserve and its remnants of the past in the form of abandoned ranches and homesteads. Nearly half of the route is completed…

After a turn north and an easy spin up the Guano Valley, the climb towards the Hart Mountains begins…

The final fifty miles are anti-climatic as one follows a deserted gravel road back to cold beers and fresh food at the Historic Frenchglen Hotel…

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