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Oakridge to Rainbow (Aufderheide Memorial Drive)

  • Length:
    60.8 miles
  • Difficulty:
    Extreme
  • Nearby Cities:
    Oakridge, Westfir
  • Region:
    Willamette Valley

Elevation Chart

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.

Continue straight onto Westfir-Oakridge Rd 1.3 miles (2026 meters)
Continue east on N Fork Rd/Westfir Rd 1.2 miles (1975 meters)
Head north on N Fork Rd/Natl Forest Develop Road 19 Rd 3.5 miles (5581 meters)
Continue northeast on Nat for Dev Rd 19 2 miles (3163 meters)
Continue east on Nat for Dev Rd 19 15.3 miles (24692 meters)
Turn left on Nat for Dev Rd 19 0.5 miles (839 meters)
Continue east on Nat for Dev Rd 19 3.5 miles (5638 meters)
Head southeast on Canyon Rd/Natl Forest Develop Road 19 Rd 8.7 miles (13924 meters)
Head north on Natl Forest Develop Road 19 Rd 4 miles (6416 meters)
Head northwest on S Fork Rd/Natl Forest Develop Road 19 Rd 11.2 miles (18033 meters)
Continue north on Aufderheide Dr 9.1 miles (14647 meters)
Keep left at the fork 276 feet (84 meters)
Slight left onto Cougar Dam Rd/Natl Forest Develop Road 19 Rd 0.4 miles (716 meters)

A smooth ribbon of pavement, a cathedral of trees above and the sound of a rushing river beside you — it doesn’t get much better than this road. You can ride the Aufderheide with equal pleasure from either direction (as a 130-mile round-trip it’s grueling); it’s a classic up-and-over, letting you work hard for the first half and enjoy the fruits of your labors for the rest. Along the way you’ll follow a fork of the Willamette River and pass Cougar Reservoir; consider a dip in the Terwilliger Hot Springs near the reservoir.

Motorized Vehicle Traffic: Moderate

Seasons: Summer, Fall

Photos of this Ride

Comments

  1. This is a great ride in the Fall. Motor traffic was minimal on our ride.
    The shuttle is a slow drive so allow extra time. There is shuttle service in Oakridge but we didn’t use them.

  2. The length says 65 miles, but it looks more like 89 miles.

  3. Gene–Google Maps has a glitch; doesn’t recognize the road from Highway 126 to the dam. I’ve re-routed this from Oakridge, ending at the dam, but trust me, it goes through. Thanks, Jim (Ride Oregon Content Coordinator)

  4. There is also a shuttle from Blue River to Oakridge (or to the top of the pass so you can just ride down). Shuttle info at http://www.RiverMountainResort.com (shuttle is available for both resort guest and non-guests. We also shuttle the McKenzie River Trail and Hwy 242. Yes – this is a beautiful ride throughout the year and it is a very low traffic road.

  5. The route mapping is fixed – this should be accurate now.

  6. This is a great ride in the Fall. Motor traffic was minimal on our ride.

  7. Why is this listed as extreme? I don’t remember this climb as being that hard…

  8. Well, Mark, there’s this concept called relative perception… you may not be the average rider. But seriously, it’s an extended climb, and it gets appreciably steeper near the top from either direction. I’ve ridden it half a dozen times – one of my favorite rides in Oregon – and from the McKenzie side the pitch creeps up to 8 percent and more for stretches. That, combined with the fact that the climb is pretty steady for 20-plus miles, would make most people consider it a biggie. But it’s well worth it.

  9. This is a beautiful ride. The climb is not that hard. We did it in early August and maybe 3 cars passed us. Highly recommend it!

  10. Rode it this last weekend for a friend’s 40th birthday, starting at Westfir. Stunningly beautiful scenery. Very little car traffic. Definite big kid’s ride, but do-able if you have good fitness and saddle time.

  11. Agreed not an extreme ride. We rode from Oakridge and it’s gentle aside from the last haul over the top. We had 4 cars pass us all going the other way in September. Took me from 0930 to 1800 and that was with a dip in the hot pools and taking a lot of pictures on the road and along the rivers by the side

  12. The Aufderheide is the first half of a 2 day awesome ride. The second day is McKenzie Pass to Sisters. Best in the fall or late spring when Mckenzie Pass is first plowed and open only to cyclists. The Aufderheide is gorgeous…smooth pavement, virtually free of traffic and an awesome climb. Start in Westfir and finish with a soak in Cougar (Terwiliger) Hot Springs. There is a nice campground nearby (French Pete).

  13. I did this ride today from Rainbow to a couple miles over the top and back…I saw very few cars and it was beautiful. I think I would really like to do it all the way and back next time…if I have more time.

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Cycle Oregon

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