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Sisters to Smith Rock Scenic Bikeway

Scenic Bikeway

  • Length:
    36.7 miles
  • Difficulty:
    Moderate
  • Origin:
    Sisters
  • Attributes:
    1 Day Rides, River Views, Small Hills, Wildlife Views

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.

Download map and cue sheet

Route Description

The Sisters to Smith Rock Scenic Bikeway provides riders with one of the most scenic and rewarding rides in Central Oregon. Starting in the “Old West” town of Sisters and ending at Smith Rock State Park outside the small town of Terrebonne, this route takes riders past a variety of historical sites, shows the gentle curves of the Deschutes River and frames spectacular views of the Cascade Mountains, ending with the dramatic walls of Smith Rock State Park. Smith Rock, with the Crooked River winding at its base, is the result of eroded volcanoes that left multicolored formations that tower above the valley floor. It’s a great place to watch rock-climbers from all over the world tackle the park’s thousands of ascent routes.

The Sisters to Smith Rock Scenic Bikeway provides riders with one of the most scenic and rewarding rides in Central Oregon. Starting in the “Old West” town of Sisters and ending at Smith Rock State Park outside the small town of Terrebonne, this route takes riders past a variety of historical sites, shows the gentle curves of the Deschutes River and frames spectacular views of the Cascade Mountains, ending with the dramatic walls of Smith Rock State Park. Smith Rock, with the Crooked River winding at its base, is the result of eroded volcanoes that left multicolored formations that tower above the valley floor. It’s a great place to watch rock-climbers from all over the world tackle the park’s thousands of ascent routes.

This route features varied, rolling terrain, although it’s generally downhill from Sisters. It’s a ride that a broad range of cyclists will find enjoyable. Both the start and finish points are public parks, each with parking, enclosed restroom facilities and drinking water (throughout the summer and early fall).

Given the public parking facilities, the Sisters to Smith Rock ride is a perfect route for single-day point-to-point ride if a group can leave a support vehicle at each end. At less than 35 miles, some riders will choose to round-trip the ride, or perhaps to turn around at the Lower Bridge crossing the Deschutes River, about 24 miles into the ride.

The ride itself features varied, rolling terrain with both uphill and downhill sections, breaking up the monotony of a flat ride. Overall, riders will climb 711 feet and descend 1,074 feet, including a stretch of almost 6 miles that features an uninterrupted downhill slope. At no points are there sustained or treacherous sections that will overly challenge the novice rider.

Starting and end points are at public parks, each with public parking and enclosed restroom facilities with flowing water and electrical lighting.

Motorized Vehicle Traffic: Low on back roads; high on short stretch of Hwy 126 and crossing Hwy 97

Seasons: Spring to fall

More Resources

Download a detailed, turn-by-turn description written by locals.

Follow the itinerary from the video above with A Day Trip on the Sisters to Smith Rock Scenic Bikeway.

For more information about this area, check out Sisters Country or Visit Central Oregon.

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: 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.

 

Did you know that Smith Rock is one of the 7 Wonders of Oregon? See one – or better yet, see them all.

Photos of this Ride

Comments

  1. Are campsites available once at the end of the ride?

  2. Yep – Smith Rock State Park has campsites available year-round. At the Sisters end, the camping availability is more seasonal.

  3. Due to bus into Sisters on July 10 (Thursday) @ 10:15am from the west. Let’s pretend that I can assemble my bike thoroughly and have it adjusted for max safety, and loaded, by noon. After lunch, will probably leave by 1pm. I wonder if I can make it to Smith Rock SP by sundown; and which will prevail: the later sunset or the Cascade Range to cause an earlier sunset? What should I expect, and should I wait till the next day at daybreak?

  4. Philip, I think you can make it by sunset. The profile is not overly challenging, and 37 miles should be doable. That time of year the sunset should be around 8 pm (give or take a bit for Cascades horizon).

  5. Is the entire route paved – suitable for a road bike?

  6. Yes, all the Scenic Bikeways are fully paved. Enjoy!

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