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Deschutes River Trail – Gorge

  • Length:
    23.8 miles
  • Difficulty:
    Moderate
  • Nearby Cities:
    Rufus, The Dalles, Moro, Wasco
  • Region:
    Eastern Oregon, Mt. Hood / The Gorge
  • Attributes:
    Non-technical, Rail-to-Trail, River Views

Trailhead Elevation: 207 ft

Directions

Get directions to the trailhead on Google Maps

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.

Trailhead: From Hood River head east on I-84 for 34.5 miles, past The Dalles to the Celilo exit #97. Head east on the Biggs-Rufus Hwy. (which parallels I-84 on the south side) for 3.1 miles to the Deschutes River Campground just after crossing the Deschutes River. Park in the large gravel lot just at the entrance to the park, or park in the picnic area for more security.

Highlights: A scenic out-and-back ride on an old railroad bed in a deep rim rock canyon. The Deschutes River is visible at most times and can provide a nice cool swimming opportunity on warm days. The old Harris Ranch at the turnaround point is an interesting step back in time.

Note: There is very little shade along this route, so avoid hot days. Strong winds tend to head up the canyon (into your face on the return ride) in the afternoon, so try to have your ride completed by early afternoon. Rattlesnakes are abundant in this canyon; watch your step if hiking off your bike.

Seasons: Spring, summer and fall (summers can be very hot)

A detailed map of this trail and others nearby is available through Adventure Maps, an Oregon company, at local bike shops and outdoor retailers, as well as online at www.adventuremaps.net.

Comments

  1. Rattlesnakes is right, we saw a dead one along the trail and I nearly stepped on a 3′ one coiled up in some tall grass at the Harris Ranch close to the horse barn.

  2. Did this ride mid October. Perfect time to go up this canyon. Lots of wide open spaces. Relatively easy ride. Wouldn’t want to do this one in the summer.

Submitted by

Scott Rapp

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