NWTA Deschutes River Trail Ride (Wasco)

April 8, 2016 from 11:00 am - 5:00 pm

  • Cost:
  • Nearby Cities:
    Rufus, The Dalles, Maupin, Tygh Valley, Odell
  • Region:
    Central Oregon, Eastern Oregon, Mt. Hood / The Gorge
  • Attributes:

Stay Safe

In Oregon, a bicycle is legally considered a vehicle, and the same Oregon road laws apply. Please “be seen” and practice safe riding. Vehicle traffic, farm equipment and narrow shoulders exist on many Oregon roads, and you may find that construction projects, traffic or other events may cause road conditions or signage to differ from the map results, ride descriptions and directions. For travel options plus weather and road conditions, visit tripcheck.com, call 511 (in Oregon only), 800.977.6368 or 503.588.2941. Routes listed on this website are for informational purposes and intended as a reference guide only.

Get directions on Google Maps

Contact Info


Driving directions:
From I-84 take Exit #96 / Celilo. Turn right, crossing the railroad tracks and then turn left onto Hwy. 30 for 4 miles. Enter the State Park after crossing the Deschutes River and drive toward the end to the day-use parking area.

***Expect the drive time from Portland to the trailhead parking lot to take approximately one hour and 45 minutes to two hours and 20 minutes, depending on traffic.***
Free for day use, $7 for overnight parking.
Carpool availability and pickup location TBA

We will meet at 11 am in the Day Use Parking lot at the Deschutes River State Recreation Area Campground (89600 Biggs-Rufus Hwy, Wasco, OR 97065)

This trail follows an old gravel railroad grade double-track along the Deschutes River. The first two miles travel through Deschutes State Park. We will break for lunch at mile 11 at the old Harris Homestead, after which we will continue on for another 2 miles or so in the hopes to see some bighorn sheep on the steep and rocky slopes on either side. We will then turn around and return the way we came.

The trail is primarily sand, rock, and gravel. There are chunky sections with loose rocks, sandy sections with a little bit of chop, and a few bumpy sections to boot too, but overall the trail is flat and relatively smooth. There are a couple creek crossings that are no more than a few inches deep and a couple feet wide.
Total Trip Length: Approx. 26 miles (13 miles in and 13 miles out)
Elevation Gain / Loss: 420 ft. / 262 ft. (One way)
Approximate Ride Time: 3 – 5 hrs.

Excellent views, wildlife, loud screeching trains, complete silence, and history lying all about.
**We ride rain or shine; come prepared**
Eastern Oregon isn’t as temperate as the Willamette Valley and Coastal Range. The temperature can vary wildly in very little time. The Deschutes River valley is also really exposed with very little shade and wind blocks. Bring layers and a rain jacket if you have one. It can be super sunny and hot, very windy, and cold and rainy all within our ride time. Since we are riding in spring, expect weather variability to be high. We most likely will have a sun-filled warm day, but it is best to account for the possibility that the weather could take a downturn fast on us.

Estimated Temperature Range: 40 °F to 70 °F
There are vault toilets (a.k.a. outhouses) every couple miles or so along the trail. Might be best to bring some TP if you expect you might need to use one of these conveniently placed toilets.
Things we may encounter:
Horses and horseback riders (Horseback riding is open in the park March 1 to June 30)
Hikers and other bikers
Rattlesnakes, bighorn sheep, and other wild and domestic animals
Weather extremes
Beginner / Intermediate
*** This is an all-ages and all-skills-level ride. Beginners are encouraged and welcome. ***
This is a non-supported, bring your own gear ride. You are expected to have all your own food, water, and gear with you.
Things to bring:
Bike * (Hard-tail, Full Suspension, FAT bike, Recumbent)
Helmet * (You are required to wear a helmet during all NWTA Group Rides)
Backpack or Saddle bag (To carry your gear, food, water and extra clothing)
Water * (1 to 2 liters is probably enough, depending on your size and thirst)
Lunch and/or Snacks (Bring a lunch and enjoy. We’ll be out for a while, best to keep yourself energized and fed)
Rain Jacket and/or Wind Breaker
Bike Repair Kit * (At a minimum contains: 1x Spare tube, 2x Tire levers, 1x Multi-tool, 1x Chain link)
First Aid Kit (A basic first aid kit with bandages for scrapes and small cuts will suffice)
Extra set of dry/warm clothes (To be left in the car to change into after the ride)
Camera (To capture the day, the ride, the scenery, and the fun)
Sun Glasses and/or Safety Glasses (In case it is sunny and or to protect your eyes from the wind and rain)
Binoculars (To scout out and view Bighorn Sheep and other wildlife high up on the cliff walls)
* Items Required for this Group Ride
(Note: If you do not have one or more of the items listed above feel free to contact me. We may have extra gear in which to loan)
Dogs are welcome, however Oregon State Parks requires that they remain on a leash no more than 6 feet long. Luckily we are only in the state park for the first 2 miles, the remaining 11 miles to our turnaround point as far as I can tell is open to off-leash and all-dog fun. If you plan on bringing a dog you can find out more information on the Oregon State Parks and Bureau of Land Management websites and should verify this information yourself (see Resources and Other Info below).

Depending on the number of people who attend, we will divide up into smaller groups based on fitness & skill level.

No one will be left behind. We’ll ride rain or shine. Have fun and enjoy yourself.

This group ride requires that you come prepared and be self-supported. There are no aid stations and limited to no cell phone reception past mile 2. Please bring water, food, clothes, bike parts, and etc. (see What You Need / Things To Bring above).

The Deschutes River Trail is an out-and-back ride. The only bailout option is to simply go back the way in which you came in. If you decide to ‘bail’ let your ride or group leader know so we don’t have to go looking for you.


Please RSVP so we know you are coming and whether you plan on meeting us at Deschutes River State Park or need to carpool. Carpool availability and pickup location TBA.

RSVP web link: http://goo.gl/forms/F7l2oRHtA9

*** If you have to cancel at the last minute, please let me know as well so we are not waiting for you. ***


No one has posted a comment yet.

Share this Event