Madras Mountain Views Scenic Bikeway
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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.
Rider Alert 6/9/15: SW Bear Drive is getting a facelift near mile marker 3 on the Bikeway map. The road will be closed to all traffic, including bicycles, June 22-23. On other dates there is a “road closed” sign at Belmont, about mile 3, after the railroad tracks, which you can ride through. Expect gravel patches. Bear Drive is scheduled to be repaved and completed by the end of June.
The Madras Mountain Views Scenic Bikeway is a peaceful 30-mile loop through Central Oregon. It offers amazing views of Oregon’s volcanoes and agricultural and pastoral scenery.
The Bikeway passes through a sage and juniper ecosystem, showcasing basalt palisades above the Deschutes and Crooked Rivers and the farms and ranches of Jefferson County. It takes riders through an important agricultural area of the state, where grass seed, onion seed, carrot seed, garlic, potatoes, wheat, alfalfa, lavender and mint are grown.
But best of all are the magnificent views for which the Madras Mountain Views Scenic Bikeway is named. Riders enjoy views of all seven major volcanic peaks in Oregon: Mount Jefferson, the county namesake; the Three Sisters mountains, Faith, Hope and Chastity; Mount Hood; Broken Top; and Three-Fingered Jack; as well as several buttes. Riders cruise on a smooth, paved road with several gravel overlooks above The Cove Palisades State Park and Lake Billy Chinook. These overlooks are great places to see eagles, raptors, deer and even snakes or lizards.
On this route, riders will pass through Culver, Metolius and Madras in Central Oregon. Each location offers a variety of amenities, including food, water and sanitary facilities. Madras offers the majority of lodging choices.
Riders will start and finish in downtown Madras, the seat of Jefferson County, with a population of 6,250. Riding 1 mile gets cyclists out of downtown into beautiful agricultural country.
Depending on riders’ fitness level and pace, the ride will take between two and three hours to complete. Riders looking for an additional challenge can add an extra mile up to the top of Round Butte or down to Lake Billy Chinook in The Cove Palisades State Park.
The Cove Palisades State Park near Culver offers RV camping and showers. Please note that to access the park you’ll have to travel down a very steep, long hill from the bikeway.
Order a free copy of the Oregon Scenic Bikeways guide, and start exploring the best routes that Oregon has to offer — all from the seat of a bike.
Important Traffic Information:
In addition to TripCheck.com, please contact the Jefferson County Public Works department at 541-475-4459 for current information about road conditions.
Scenic Bikeway routes often include roads with car and truck traffic. Although the Bikeways are routed on low-traffic and low-speed roads whenever possible, most are designated for cyclists that are comfortable riding in some amount of traffic. For traffic-free riding, please check out the Tualatin Valley Scenic Bikeway section north of Banks and the first half of the Covered Bridges Scenic Bikeway.