Two wicked places, Sisters and Smith Rock, Oregon. Fortunately, there is an amazing road cycling route that connects both.
Miles of horse pastures, tremendous views of the Sisters mountains, pungent roasted pine aroma and rich clay infused roads. As if this were not enough, you also get to pass an Alpaca farm and visit Smith Rock, which is one of the 7 wonders of Oregon make this ride amazing. At a nominal 3,200ft the environment is very arid and in the hot temps has a distinctive roasted pine aroma which is absolutely gorgeous and refreshing. The grass is dry and the soil rich red with the high clay content. This route journeys through some amazing pastoral country and ends (or mid-points) at the amazing Smith Rock.
Elevation 1,000ft out, 1,300ft return
Terrain: Road, Very low traffic, River Views, Small Hills, Wildlife Views
Ride Route: here Ridewithgps
Bicycle: Road bike
Services: Only at the Start and mile point 32
This ride is a great out and back or just a one way if you are meeting people. A caution on the out and back, the afternoon Southernly winds out of the North can make for a tough headwind laden ride back. Over half of this ride is exposed and zero shade, so be careful on days with high temps and sun. Skin protection and water are paramount. I rode this as a round trip but I think the ideal route would be to ride out, meet friends there, put on some hiking shoes and hike a few trails at Smith Rock. I started the ride on the West side of Sisters where I parked at a larger strip mall near Ray’s supermarket and some fast food joints. This seemed like a good inconspicuous place to leave the car and good for accessing some supermarket facilities and pre and post ride food.
Tree lined roads and horse pastures – Mile 0- 10 are laden with pine aromas and tree lined corridors which provide some nice shade if needed. The views open to horse pastures and rolling scenery with several views of North, South Sister and Broken Top.
High Desert Exposure – miles 22 to 32 . This part of the ride is exposed, with high desert feel, crumbling rock faces. These views last miles before Smith Rock and are typical of the desert feel of East Oregon with red clay soil, short dry roadside brush and short meadow grasses and agricultural fields.
Crossing the Deschutes – mile 25.5 – Cross the Deschutes and climb a little, great views. A pretty area, you might see fly fishermen in here, near the bridge.
Patagonia Estates – At mile 20 you will come across Patagonia estates Alpaca Farm – this place has hundreds of Alpaca, all top shelf rare breeds, some for sale. As we know alpaca’s can be very cute and fun to see the variety and breeds.
Terrebonne – mile 32 – Entering the town of Terrebonne, here there are a couple of markets to stock up on supplies and Smith Rock is a stone’s throw away. I chose to roll down to Furguson’s Market (just a next to the Chevron) where there are friendly folks and lots of options.
Smith Rock – A few more turns and you are at the great Smith Rock, Toilets, and plenty of water fountains are available, but no food. Rest up and turn round to reverse the route home.
More info can also be found here: Ride Oregon Sisters to Smith Rock Scenic Bikeway