Seven Days in Oregon: 530 Miles, 40,000 Feet of Climbing. Bring It.
The Oregon Pinnacles Tour may not be on your bucket list yet, but it should be. For seven days, Ride Cycling Tours will take you on a more than 530-mile journey on unbelievable roads you’ve probably never heard of. Unbelievable because, although these roads are incredibly scenic and beautiful, they are mostly unknown, unheard of, unridden and undiscovered.
Oregon is becoming well-known as a cycling paradise, mostly because of the reputation held by two of its cities, Portland and Eugene, for their bicycle infrastructure and advocacy. It’s a great scene, no doubt, in both urban centers, with thousands of professionals, students and hipsters pedaling instead of driving.
Ride Cycling Tours takes you to the other Oregon, the one that rivals a touring experience in Europe, with hundreds of miles of scenic and challenging riding. We’ll take you through diverse environments and climates, from the verdant Willamette Valley revered for its abundance of farm-fresh provisions and world-class wine, to the dramatic, rock-lined Oregon Coast where seafood is brought in daily from the crisp waters of the Pacific. We’ll ride through primeval forests to traverse the majestic Cascade Mountains eastward past pristine alpine lakes and into the big sky country of Central Oregon’s high desert.
The Oregon Pinnacles Tour is seven days of unforgettable riding that covers more than 530 miles and climbs more than 40,000 vertical feet. But what really takes the Oregon Pinnacles Tour to the next level is the level of service and luxury that we bring to all Ride Cycling Tours. With eight nights of first-class accommodations and epicurean food, you’ll truly feel like you’re on vacation, not just a hard bike ride. Your first day of riding the Oregon Pinnacles Tour will be challenging. We’ll ride 106 miles and climb 7,300 feet over the the Oregon Coast Range to the tiny seaside town of Yachats, one of Arthur Frommer’s top-ten vacation destinations in the world. After a well-deserved dinner of seafood caught fresh that day, you’ll fall asleep to the sound of the Pacific Ocean crashing outside your window.
Oregon Pinnacles Itinerary
Day 1 Saturday Arrive in Eugene at your convenience. We’ll pick you up at the airport and bring you to the hotel for check-in. After that, you can unwind with a quick spin, go shopping or take a nap. We’ll do some wine tasting before dinner at an acclaimed restaurant.
Day 2 Sunday We kick this tour off right with a tough, but scenic, day in the saddle. We’ll head west out of Eugene and climb over the Coast Range for approximately 106 miles and 7,300 feet of elevation gain. We’ll arrive in Yachats ready for a freshly-caught seafood dinner and a good night’s sleep next to the ocean.
Day 3 Monday We’ll take a different route back over the Coastal Mountain Range as we head to Corvallis, and give you the option of adding the climb up Mary’s Peak, which is an additional 4,000 feet of climbing over nine miles. The ride without Mary’s Peak will be approximately 80 miles with 7,200 feet of elevation gain on picturesque single-lane roads.
Day 4 Tuesday After two difficult days of riding, you’ll welcome a relatively laid-back day of riding on mostly flat, rolling roads in the Willamette Valley that will take us past beautiful farms and vineyards on our way back to Eugene. We’ll ride approximately 55 miles, which will leave ample time in the afternoon for a winery visit before dinner.
Day 5 Wednesday Today’s unforgettable, 80-mile journey will take us east into the foothills of the Cascade Mountains for a ride on one the most beautiful roads anywhere in the world. Period. We’ll ride alongside a whitewater river for almost 20 miles, with very little (if any) traffic, and have lunch next to a waterfall. Total elevation gain for today is about 8,000 vertical feet. We’ll be staying in a rustic lodge in the mountain bike mecca of Oakridge.
Day 6 Thursday This may be considered the Queen Stage of the Oregon Pinnacles Tour, as we’ll ride two national scenic byways and climb renowned McKenzie Pass, which crests on a barren lava field and is used for the annual Cascade Cycling Classic. This epic, 109-mile day in the saddle will take us on the Aufderheide Memorial Highway, which is really a lightly-driven, one-and-a-half-lane road of silky smooth pavement. We then climb up the McKenzie Highway toward the Dee Wright Observatory at the top of McKenzie Pass. After climbing almost 9,500 vertical feet, we’ll head down through unspoiled forests to the quaint town of Sisters, where we’ll recover with a five-course meal at an award-winning restaurant and spend the night in a deceptively luxurious lodge under towering Ponderosa pines.
Day 7 Friday We’ll ride from Sisters to famed Smith Rock, known for its world-class climbing, before zig-zagging our way through beautiful, open farmland and canyons to Bend on the same roads local pros train on. After our 75-mile ride, we’ll stay in an eco-chic, boutique hotel in cosmopolitan downtown Bend, where you’ll have an astounding array of high-end restaurants and acclaimed craft breweries to take advantage of.
Day 8 Saturday We can’t do an Oregon Pinnacles Tour without including a memorable ride around Crater Lake on Rim Drive. Although it’s only 33 miles in length, this ride is challenging and breathtaking, with more than 3,500 feet of climbing around the piercingly blue, crystalline water of Crater Lake. This caldera lake, which was formed by a collapsing volcano thousands of years ago, and has a depth of more than 2,000 feet, is incredible for the purity and of clarity of its water, which is completely refreshed by natural evaporation and rain every 250 years. We’ll then descend almost 40 miles to a one-of-kind inn on the banks of a roaring river. It will be the perfect end to the best week of cycling you’ve ever done.
Day 9 Sunday After a hearty breakfast, we’ll drive back to Eugene where we’ll deliver you to the airport for your late-afternoon flight home.
Oregon Pinnacles Tour Available Dates
Saturday, June 30 through Sunday, July 8, 2012
Saturday, August 11 through Sunday, August 19, 2012
Saturday August 25 through Sunday, September 2, 2012
Price per person with private accommodations: $3,500
Discount for double occupancy: $200 per person