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Old 11-28-11, 01:56 PM   #1
pwdeegan
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cascade lakes scenic byway

thinking to next summer already. anyone here ridden the Oregon Cascade Lakes Byway? does it open to non-automobile traffic before regular traffic, like some other Oregon roads do (e.g., OR242)? Is it rideable with vehicular traffic (shoulders, services, etc.)?

Thinking about doing some high-country cc bicycle tourism.
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Old 11-29-11, 12:45 PM   #2
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Beautiful road - I've ridden it many times, but I can't tell you if you could ride it before it's open to traffic. By my recollection, I'd say the stretch between Mt Bachelor and Elk Lake stays closed the longest. The lower section from Crane Prairie south opens earlier.

There's a good shoulder along the whole road and traffic isn't usually very heavy. I'd wait until summer when the shoulders would be free of snow. If you tried to ride it before it was open to traffic, there'd likely be snow on the shoulder on some stretches open to cars.

Any ideas of a route yet? If you're planning on riding a loop with Hwy 242 and Hwy 58, I'd ride Hwy 58 from East to West so you'll be heading downhill as you pass through the tunnel by Salt Creek Falls. It'd be worth avoiding Hwy 58 - that tunnel is a little spooky on a bike IMO.
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Old 11-29-11, 01:43 PM   #3
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that is a very good idea: that section down-ish 58 to Oakridge would make a nice return path. maybe start it all with a ride up OR242 into Sisters, down to Sunriver, pick up the Cascade Lakes route, and then back on 58. Probably at least a two day ride for me.

the tunnel is spooky, but there is a small shoulder, and i've got sufficient lighting. the downhill part, as you mention, also helps.

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Old 11-29-11, 02:59 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by mtnbud View Post
Beautiful road - I've ridden it many times, but I can't tell you if you could ride it before it's open to traffic. By my recollection, I'd say the stretch between Mt Bachelor and Elk Lake stays closed the longest. The lower section from Crane Prairie south opens earlier.

There's a good shoulder along the whole road and traffic isn't usually very heavy. I'd wait until summer when the shoulders would be free of snow. If you tried to ride it before it was open to traffic, there'd likely be snow on the shoulder on some stretches open to cars.

Any ideas of a route yet? If you're planning on riding a loop with Hwy 242 and Hwy 58, I'd ride Hwy 58 from East to West so you'll be heading downhill as you pass through the tunnel by Salt Creek Falls. It'd be worth avoiding Hwy 58 - that tunnel is a little spooky on a bike IMO.
Either that or time it so that you go through just as they are closing it for construction. Apparently the roadway just west of the tunnel is failing and will be rebuilt over the summer.
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Old 11-30-11, 12:06 PM   #5
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pwdeegan,

I got bored at work and quickly noted a few high mileage day trips out of the area using Google Earth. The high dessert route is a little off subject, but starting from the Costco in Bend makes a real neat ride. La Pine State Park is a decent place to camp because of the showers and being close to La Pine for restaurants and such. There plenty of camping options along Century Drive.

Southern Loop out of LaPine State Park 73 mi

Northern Loop out of LaPine State Park 80 mi.

80 mi high desert loop incorporating the Crooked River Gorge 82 mi

If you wanted off pavement or trails, the possibilities are endless.
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Old 11-30-11, 02:54 PM   #6
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fantastic! thanks very much.

as for the tunnel, i just drove through it on my way to Salt Creek and it seemed fine on both sides. Is this the tunnel you're referring to, or another tunnel further east?
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Old 11-30-11, 04:13 PM   #7
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fantastic! thanks very much.

as for the tunnel, i just drove through it on my way to Salt Creek and it seemed fine on both sides. Is this the tunnel you're referring to, or another tunnel further east?
Yep! That's the one! My experience with tunnels has been people ignore the "bikes in tunnel warning light" and pass through at 55+mph. When there are on coming cars, certain drivers will try to squeeze by whether than wait the 10 secs or so to move over. There's enough room for passenger cars, but it's a tight squeeze with semi-trucks. When riding in the uphill direction, it takes quite awhile to get through. In the downhill direction, it's not so bad. I haven't had problems with the Salt Creek Tunnel, I just don't like them!

The tunnel between Florence and Eugene is worse, I've had trucks pass me within inches. I don't why some drivers are willing to take the risk unless it's because they're traveling too fast to slow down. (Last time I rode from Florence to Eugene, I used the highway that passes by Triangle Lake - much better!) (Smith River Road better still!)
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