Ride to Crater Lake.
Riders often ask us at Pashnit Motorcycle Tours where to ride when they visit the Pacific Northwest. The answer is quite simple, really. Go to Coastal Oregon. These are places of immense beauty and awe-inspiring vistas. Seems simple enough. Ah, but getting there, now there is where the fun lies.
Southern Oregon Motorcycle Tour...
Our tour begins from Red Bluff, California.
This meeting spot is best known for one of the best roads in the entire state - the much-loved Highway 36.
Imagine starting out with 140 miles of non-stop twisties with few towns, people or traffic. This curvy goodness leads us directly in the heart of NorCal's Motorcycle Paradise- better known as the Trinity Alps, with peaks stretching up to 9000 ft.
Surrounding these peaks are 500,000 acres of wilderness, and home of the elusive Bigfoot. But between the peaks and along the rivers are terrific motorcycle roads! If you can handle riding all day through this wonderland, we need your help to put these twisties in their place.
We'll skip north across the Oregon border and leave California behind. Something special happens as we move across that imaginary line, the terrain changes, the road surface changes, subtle things motorcyclists notice. It just feels... different.
Our route follows along deep rivers and train tracks that carve along gentle curves. Rivers come in the shape of loops. We'll ride one, then another, then another large loop into the hills & back. Southwestern Oregon will surprise you. The remoteness, the hilly terrain, small towns and the one thing we did not expect was the quality of the road surfaces.
This ride day is actually composed of seven loops into the hills and back as we make our way northward out to the Pacific Ocean across the Wild Rogue Wilderness.
What surprises our riders the most is how remote it is. Name a place where you can ride a 60-mile stretch of twisty road and see almost no one.
But there is one thing that's hard to avoid. Oregon is home to numerous covered bridges, Buster Keaton action movies, and the parade scene in the movie Animal House in the central Oregon town of Cottage Grove.
And the logging... They still do that here. While in nearby California logging has become a rarity, here in Oregon it's everywhere. Mountain ranges are lower in elevation than the Sierra Nevada range to the south. Oregon remains the leading state in the nation for timber harvesting and lumber production. While logged stands of woodland seem everywhere, we ride, Oregon has the highest voluntary reforestation compliance rate in the nation -- averaging 97%. That means Oregonians plant as much as 47 million seedlings per year - every year, and as a result- annual forest growth exceeds harvest by 33%.
So, converting that to a motorcyclist's perspective - it means the forests are readily accessible, and the logging companies have carved out roads to gain ready access to their timber stands.
The Grandest Secret...
Herein lies the grand secret to Oregon Motorcycle Roads...
When the logging companies maintain the roads for easy accessibility to their timber, the side effect is amazing motorcycle roads. Smooth, narrow, deserted, remote- everything we love about riding motorcycles can be found here.
You will love these roads. Many riders simply can't believe their eyes. Twisty road that goes on and on...
You can't talk about Oregon without mentioning the Pacific Coastline. Now let's first establish that this isn't California and the coast road is the polar opposite to NorCal's Hwy 1 and the world-famous Big Sur coastline.
Rather Oregon Highway 1 tracks lazily northward sometimes along the water, other lengths run through stands of forest. Through the years, we've made our way to Cape Arago State Park, Coos Bay, viewed 40-miles of coastal sand dunes and visited the famous Haceta Head Lighthouse - one of eleven along the Oregon coast.
It has a nice ring to it. And anything with the word 'divide' in the title is worth checking out. South of Cottage Grove, we'll get a chance to head up into the Umpqua National Forest. The ride is just one lane wide at times, well-paved, and trees and shrubbery seem intent on reclaiming the road to a more natural state.
In the middle, we'll crest over the nearly 5000 ft. tall Huckleberry Summit before descending the other side to reach Highway 138 and the Umpqua River. No road signs up here, just the word 'Steamboat' spray-painted in giant letters on the road.
You could write a book on Crater Lake. And many have. In 1909, President Theodore Roosevelt declared Crater Lake to be one of the eighth wonders of the world.
The first thing you should know is quite simply looking over the edge straight down into the caldera is stunning. And add to that, the water is 2000 ft. deep, the deepest in the United States. Even more amazing is the sheer clarity of the water, a few years back, it extended to 142 feet straight down. It's the bluest blue you've ever seen.
This caldera is what's left of a volcanic explosion where the mountain blew its top off and left this 5-mile-wide hole. Subsequent eruptions built up Wizard Island in the midst of the lake.
Around the rim, you can ride the entire circumference at this high 8000 ft. elevation, just not in winter. As much as 900 inches of snow has been recorded in a season- that's 75 feet of white stuff. Snow can easily extend into July if you visit early in the riding season.
On the south end of the lake is Crater Lake Village, and it's a moment to get off the bike, peer over the edge, and admire the view.
There's one last carrot. While you and I can ride miles in minutes, back in the day, say one hundred plus years ago, it was a two-day carriage ride to reach Crater Lake from nearby Ashland. And the mid-point? Prospect. Our last night of this tour drops in on the Prospect Hotel - dating to the 1890s. This historic lodge provides a final dinner together to revel over the last few days riding.
In the United States, Labor Day dates all the way back to 1882 and is a holiday that celebrates the strength, freedom and leadership of the American worker. That's you.
Celebrate your Labor Day Weekend holiday together, with Pashnit Motorcycle Tours, on our motorcycles exploring this wonderful state of Oregon!
Tour: September 3-6, 2021
Meet: 520 Adobe Rd, Red Bluff, CA
Arrive: 7:00 AM, Safety Brief 7:30, Depart 8:00 AM
Cost: $520 per rider, $119 Passenger
This tour includes narrow single lane paved mountain roads. The ride includes steep grades to 20% and negotiating tight hair-pin corners. All roads on this tour are paved.
EXPERIENCED RIDERS ONLY:
This tour is not recommended for beginner riders or Very Large Motorcycles. Riders are expected to have at least several years of enthusiastic experience on their motorcycle riding remote challenging paved mountain backroads along with at least 5000+ miles of concurrent recent experience.
This tour is limited by the amount of rooms at our host lodging. We have booked rooms months in advance and our tours sell out by the end of January. Get on our mailing list to be the first to know about new rides. Tours are planned & announced in the late fall of each year.
Book early to ensure a spot on this new ride. Check with us to see if any available spots are open. Some of our rides may have waiting lists to be able to join the group.