[Click the photo to see a bunch of poor iphone pics]
Those who’ve ridden the Oregon Stampede are familiar with Sherman County, though they might not know it by name – think Gordon Ridge, Grass Valley, Sherars Falls… This route borrows a bit of the best dirt from the Stampede and combines it with the best roads further east. Begin in Wasco, or add some miles by starting in the Deschutes Rec Area and climbing Fulton Canyon to Wasco first.
Avoid during windy days and the scorched earth of high-summer. As usual, services are extremely limited.
Lots of alternates exist – use the map referenced below. Everything in the area is primo riding except US-97. History buffs can add the out-and-back drop down to the McDonald Ferry Crossing on the John Day River, part of the Oregon Trail. It’s not much to look at, but it’s beautiful, rough gravel riding.