Aufderheide Scenic Drive is considered by many as one of Oregon’s most beautiful scenic drives. It gets very little traffic – making for an amazing road bike experience.
This is one of Oregon’s signature rides. According to RidewithGPS – “This smooth and sinuous road unrolls before you like a giant carpet through a lush green world.”
As you go up you will follow the North Fork of the Willamette River and once over the top, you follow the South Fork of the McKenzie River. On the McKenzie side is Cougar Reservoir and the popular Terwilliger Hot Springs.
Lodging and food options exist on both sides of the ride.
Highway is not maintained for snow and ice. Please call the McKenzie River Ranger Station for off season road conditions 541-822-3381
Usually safe to plan to ride from mid May though October. Spring and Fall are the best times to ride – less people and the spring flowers or the Fall colors are amazing.
Ride from Blue River to the top and back down again.
Shuttle and ride one end to the next. You can start in Blue River and end in Oakridge or the other way around. A shuttle can be booked for for the start or the end of the ride.
For a big adventure, ride form Oakridge to Blue River, enjoy a nice dinner and stay the night. Riding back again to Oakridge the next day.
“About eight miles from the northern end of the ride—just after you reach Cougar Lake heading north—you pass Terwilliger Hot Springs (clearly signed), a dramatic series of cascading pools, each cooler than the previous one. There’s a short walk to the pools, so you might want to wait until your ride is over if you’re in cycling shoes, but you don’t need a swimming suit—it’s clothing optional.”
“the scenery was some of the best I’ve ever ridden through. Beautiful rivers, lakes, mountains, and forests. And far and away the BEST downhill section of road I’ve ever ridden.”
Check out Big E’s Cycling Travel Blog and read about his adventure riding the Aufderheide Scenic Highway.
Scenic Highway / Bikeway with low motor traffic:
Shuttles: Shuttles are available daily by Appointment only 541-822-6272
Water – Bring lots of water – this is a big trail. You’ll want to stay hydrated. You can refill water at a few of the campgrounds along the way, yet the water sources are off trail and may be tough to find.
Food – Bring snacks – 26.5 miles of pedaling requires a lot of fuel.
Places to Eat – After ride, there are a few places to choose from in McKenzie River are and Oakridge – including places to get a cold beer. McKenzie area restaurants near the bottom of the trail include: McKenzie Station Pub, Obsidian Grill, Takoda’s
Bring lots of water and snacks this is a big ride.
Bring standard bike gear – patch kit, spare tube, multitool, etc.
There are no stores until the end of the ride.
This is an easy route to follow. Cell coverage is limited on the ride, yet available on both ends with major carries except T-Mobile at this time.
Great Lodging Options at McKenzie River Mountain Resort The McKenzie River side of the ride has more mid and higher range lodging options. Oakridge has a handful of decent budget lodging options.