Crater Lake National Park Road Tour
Bicycling Magazine chose the Crater Lake Loop as one of its top ten rides.
It is in a beautiful and practically undiscovered part of southwestern Oregon. The lake was created when Mt. Mazama erupted over 7,000 years ago and the resulting crater slowly filled with water.
Our road bike tour is a great way to explore the unique geology of the area. We start with rolling farm and forest terrain south of the national park. Then on day 2 we climb up to the rim of the crater for our first views of the lake. On day 3 we ride around the lake and stop for a hike down to the water level and a boat ride across. This is a beautiful ride that undulates along the rim and through the surrounding forest. On day 4 we head north to the Umpqua River. Now we are traveling down, down, down and the last night of the trip is spent at a famous fly fishing lodge on the banks of the Umpqua River.
Elevations on this trip range from 2,800 - 7,100 feet, so get ready to climb. However, when you've had enough our support van will be ready for you. You have the opportunity to control the challenge. Lodging includes a great bed and breakfast and the Crater Lake Lodge. More questions? Call us at 800-845-2453. We'll tell you everything you need to know about this phenomenal road biking tour.
We will shuttle to our starting point at Fish Lake. Mt. McLoughlin towers above us to the east and we skirt its shoulder while heading north. We ride through lush meadows surrounded by towering forests as we descend to the tiny town of Butte Falls. This terrain gives very few hints of the dramatic volcanic activity which once dominated the region. From Butte Falls we roll up and over Carney Flat and then continue downward into Prospect. We will spend the night at the historic Prospect Hotel, where Teddy Roosevelt, Zane Grey and Jack London all slept when they journeyed to Crater Lake. TOTAL MILEAGE: 34 miles
Today is the big day. We will earn some serious relaxation on the porch of Crater Lake Lodge, “earn” being the key word. During our ride today we will have a great opportunity to learn about trees of the incredibly diverse forests of Oregon. There are the Western hemlock which have droopy needles and Dr. Seuss like tips. The giant yellow Cedars shed their bark in great strips. And finally there is the mighty Douglas fir, named after one of the most famous naturalists in history, David Douglas. Douglas traveled on foot throughout much of the northwest, logging over 4,000 miles in a single year, while collecting specimens and taking notes. And all you have to do is pedal up about 4,000 feet! For the next two nights our home will be the Crater Lake Lodge, with great views of the lake. TOTAL MILEAGE: 38 miles
Today we will be riding the rim of the caldera and hiking down to lake level. The western side of Crater Lake Drive presents us with incredible views of the lake and Mt. Scott towering above the rim. We will get an early start and begin by spinning our way on the Western Rim to the Cleetwood Trailhead, the only trail to the lake itself. A short 1.6 mile hike will bring us down to the boat dock where we will head out on the boat for a spin around the lake. We will lunch on the shore when we return and then a somewhat longer 1.6 mile hike will bring us back up the rim for our afternoon ride. Now we will head east for the much hillier and more challenging ride on the Eastern Rim. Again hors d’oeuvres will await us at the cabins. TOTAL MILEAGE: 31 miles
We leave our perch on the rim and head north today. Our last views of the lake will be at the North Junction before we descend into the Pumice Desert. This is where quite a bit of Mt. Mazama ended up when it blew its top way back around 6,300 BC; a very recent event in the grand geologic scheme. We continue to Diamond Lake. Mt. Bailey rises on the western shore of the lake and at over 8,000 feet it is a popular backcountry skiing area in the winter. On the eastern shore stands Mt. Thielsen, a jagged and rocky peak that attracts only the bravest climbers. Our climbing days are primarily behind us as we continue to descend to the banks of the North Umpqua River. This river is designated as Wild and Scenic and you will soon see why. Our goal is the Steamboat Inn where we will stay in beautiful cabins right on the river. TOTAL MILEAGE: 63 miles
With regret, we leave the Steamboat Inn after a very delicious breakfast and continue west along the Umpqua. Many people consider the Umpqua to be the most beautiful river in America. This area was homesteaded in the early 1900s by Perry and Jesse Wright. It is easy to imagine how they fell in love with the beauty of the place, but it is harder to imagine living here 30 years before the highway was completed. To survive on their ranch they packed everything in on pack trains of horses on narrow trails above the rushing water. We’ll have lunch with a view and then load the bikes for our trip back to civilization. TOTAL MILEAGE: 29 miles
Accommodations may be changed due to availability. Itineraries are subject to change due to weather, road conditions, rider safety and other factors which may affect the logistics of the trip.
Overall Rating: Intermediate/Advanced
Physical Difficulty: Moderate to Advanced
Altitude: 2,800 - 7,100 feet
For travel logistics and a packing list, please download the complete trip itinerary.