Ride This: Sisters to Smith Rock

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.

Mileage: 37/74 Miles
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

Ride Tips
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.


Broken top, south and north sister
Pine goodness
Roads like these

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.


Broken top, south and north sister


Roads like these


Roads like these

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.

Red Clay rds
Roads like these
Deschutes river

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.

Roads like these
Deschutes river
Deschutes river
Alpaca Farm

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.

Alpaca Farm


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 ahead

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.

Smith Rock
Smith Rock
Smith Rock
Featured Kit
Bike: Moots CR 58cm
Wheels: Zipp 303
Bottles: Skratch Labs
Hydration: Skratch Excercise Mix
Jersey: Rapha Pro Team Lightweight 2015 edition Navy
Shorts :Rapha Pro Team
Socks: Rapha Pro team : Hi Viz Pink
Shoes: Shimano Rd 320 2014
Helmet: Specialized Prevail 2014
Sunglasses: Zero EV Zero Prizm

More info can also be found here: Ride Oregon Sisters to Smith Rock Scenic Bikeway

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