Oregon’s diverse geography makes it a scenic wonderland and a cyclist’s delight. The Pacific Ocean provides the dramatic backdrop for Oregon’s western flank. Picture-perfect cliffside vistas, lighthouses, sand dunes, isolated beach coves, rock monoliths, gigantic waves, and old growth temperate rain forests running right down to the beach from the coastal mountain range make the Oregon Coast a bucket list destination for travelers world wide.
Eastern Oregon is dominated by high desert, volcanic bedrock, glacial scrubbed plains, bunchgrass, sagebrush, juniper trees, and ancient river canyons, including Hell’s Canyon, the deepest in North America. Here you will encounter endless views of a stark yet beautiful region, accentuated by rugged, forested mountain ranges and large swaths of seasonal wetlands providing rest stops for hundreds of species of birds on the Pacific Flyway. Eastern Oregon is the home of antelope, wolves, and wild horses and is a growing favorite destination for cyclists.
Splitting western and eastern Oregon is the Cascade Mountain Range, a wondrous spine of volcanoes, alpine lakes, wildflower meadows, old growth forests, waterfalls, raging rivers and Crater Lake, the deepest lake in North America. The unique landscape supports abundant wildlife, from the iconic spotted owl and beaver, to the more mundane deer, elk, and black bear. This sparsely populated region of breathtaking scenery, isolated roads, trails, and mountain lodges is an adventurer’s playground on and off the bike.
Between the Coast Range and the Cascades Mountains are valleys of fertile farmland, world renowned wine regions, mighty rivers, covered bridges, and the majority of Oregon’s population. The northern valleys are wetter, greener, and marked with a gently rolling landscape. The southern valleys are higher in elevation and nestled within mountainous terrain. The south is more rural, drier, and warmer than the north.
Connecting the great regions and dispersed within each is a series of 26 Scenic Byways and 12 Scenic Bikeways. These are national- and state-designated routes that highlight archeological, cultural, historic, natural, recreational, and/or scenic points of interest. They are superb for touring on a bicycle.
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