By Dan Shryock
There are more than 25 mapped cycling routes in Klamath County. Whether you want to ride on a road, grind some gravel or go off-road, there’s a route for you.
Climbers may want to gear down and ride up to Crater Lake National Park or, perhaps, up and over the hills to Ashland. If gravel is more your style, the OC&E Woods Line State Trail starts with some pavement and then goes gravel for miles and miles. Or, get off road and discover the dirt paths along the Brown Mountain, Spence Mountain or Moore Mountain trails.
Here's a look at the variety of routes throughout Klamath County.
Click here to see a PDF version of this map.
Resources to Get Started
Start your search by visiting RideKlamathRide.com, a website rich with the details you need to plan your day. This website provides mapping, elevation and route information from both Ride with GPS and Trailforks. Both Ride with GPS and Trailforks provide apps so you can take your information on the road.
Why Klamath County?
This area of Southern Oregon has three distinct advantages: light traffic, great weather and a multitude of routes from which to choose. The RideKlamathRide.com website gives you 17 road cycling routes totaling nearly 900 miles. They range from an easy 9-mile Lake of the Woods ride to a challenging 90-mile Ashland Loop that links with Oregon’s Cascade Siskiyou Scenic Bikeway.
Riding the OC&E Woods State Trail. / Photo courtesy Discover Klamath
There also are seven mountain biking trails with 70 available miles. The OC&E state trail is a popular east-west route. Another, running from Collier Memorial State Park to the freshwater springs at Kimball State Recreation Site, give you a refreshing north county option.
The Rye Spur Trail northwest of Klamath Falls / Photo courtesy Discover Klamath
Trail riders will like the Moore Mountain Trail System near Klamath Falls. It offers up to 20 miles of track for varying skill levels. Spence Mountain Trail features views of Upper Klamath Lake, Mountain Lakes Wilderness and even California’s Mt. Shasta. Spence Mountain has 10 miles of trails and the area is still being developed. The goal is 30 to 40 miles.
No matter where you ride, you may see plenty of wildlife - including Bald Eagles - meandering creeks, mountain lakes or rolling farmlands.
There are four big rides each year in the Klamath Basin.
> The Art of Survival Century leads riders through scenic farm country and spectacular sites including the 1st US Wildlife Refuge, the Valor in the Pacific National Monument and the Lava Beds National Monument where amazing geology and geography surround the rider. The event features three counties (Klamath, Modoc and Siskiyou) and offers five routes ranging from beginning to advanced rides. There are five support stations with excellent food and beverages. Learn more at www.survivalcentury.com
> The Northwest Tandem Rally regularly returns to Klamath Falls for the quiet roads, rolling farmland, and stunning views the basin offers. You’ll be pedaling through the Lava Beds National Monument and Tule Lake Wildlife Refuge. Take an extra day to explore some of caves at Lava Beds. The refuge is home to pelicans, eagles, on the 15,000 acres of wetlands. Challenge yourself with an optional ride around Crater Lake. Learn more at www.nwtr.org
> Dubbed “The Best Ride in Oregon” by Bicycling Magazine, The Crater Lake Century is an annual bike ride that traverses up and around the Crater Lake Caldera. Available in 62-mile and 100-mile routes, the ride begins and ends at the historic Fort Klamath Museum. The annual ride is a benefit for both the Klamath County Museums and the Klamath-Lake Counties Food Bank. Over the last decade, the ride has contributed over $85,000 to these organizations. Learn more at www.craterlakecentury.com
> Ride the Rim is a free event inside Crater Lake National Park. Motorized vehicles are restricted from access to East Rim Drive around Crater Lake. This is a great opportunity to get out and ride your bike, hike, or run without vehicular traffic. There is no better way to see the beauty and pristine of Crater Lake. Learn more at this site.
Dan Shryock is an Oregon-based journalist and travel writer. When he's not visiting Southern Oregon or sampling local wines, he can be found cycling throughout the state.