Favorite Local Motorcycle Routes: Oregon
by ROGER HEUMANN on Aug 22, 2021
Motorcycle riders can enjoy everything from majestic shores to regal peaks within the Beaver State. Riders like taking in the Pacific Ocean waves and the beauty of the Cascade Mountains, among other things. The Columbia River basin gives breathtaking views while river canyons offer a completely different type of view. With all that and fun, hilly, twisty roads, riders have everything they could want all in one state. Here are some of the best routes to enjoy.
Blue Mountain Scenic Byway
For a long, 183-mile ride that couldn’t be more beautiful, riders enjoy this twisty route. The two-lane highway does not have much traffic, but it runs along a high ridge so it is best not to ride if there is any snow in the area. The restaurants along the way are quaint and locally owned and you’ll get some of the most beautiful views of the surrounding area. You can see a real steam train, lots of lakes, wildlife, and forest regions along the way.
If you are looking for a short afternoon jaunt, head to this route near Historic Baker City. Riders come from all over the world to ride around Hells Canyon. This famous motorcycle road is the deepest path in the country, going 2000 feet deeper than the roads around the Grand Canyon. The name comes from the Seven Devils Mountains, which for the base of the road. The scenery is beyond incredible so it is a good idea to take the ride slow to experience every detail. This route can be a challenge for new riders as there are hundreds of curves and low speed limits.
Aufderheide Memorial Drive
For an hour-long drive, consider this route with tall, old Douglas firs. You also get beautiful river views and amazing vistas. The scenery changes as you pass through the mountains and the Willamette National Forest. You even get to see Cougar Dam beside the road. If you like to cruise, there are some great twists and turns. There are hotels, restaurants and other amenities in the town of Oakridge.
Timothy Lake Cutoff
This road runs right along a creek. It is single lined, but paved and has some turnouts for traffic to stop and enjoy views. You’ll get to see spectacular views of Mt. Hood around several corners. The speed levels are kept low and you will feel like you’re ambling through a wondrous park. There are no amenities so start with a full tank. Avoid this path during the winter months and watch for wildlife crossing the road.
Gold Hill to Canyonville
Riders get to go between tall, tree-lined hills to large open spaces and back again along this road. The roads are good, and there are lots of challenging hills and elevation changes. Watch for the lone hairpin turn and beware of high speeds. You’ll go through a lot of small towns where you will want to stop, take off your motorcycle gloves and enjoy the food, coffee, and gas.
Rogue River City to Crater Lake
This route allows you to drive right along the Rogue River while enjoying tall pine trees on the other side. You end up at Crater Lake, which alone is worth the journey. The roads are flat with a few curves and sharp turns down the way. The two-lane pavement is in good condition, but it can be closed during the winter due to snow.
Oregon has a tremendous amount of wonderful scenery to keep any rider interested and well entertained on nearly any route. The variety is out there. Not it’s up to you to choose where to start and where to end up on your riding adventure in the Beaver State.