The Insider's Guide to
Crater Lake's Backyard
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Day-cyclists and long distance riders love Crater Lake’s Backyard rural roads and trails. 

Cycling at Crater Lake

Cycling at Crater Lake

©Ntl Park Service

Crater Lake National Park attracts increasing numbers of cyclists each year on the Rim Drive.  33 miles, extremely difficult. Steep hills, heavy traffic, and few shoulders at high elevation.   While all Park trails are closed to bicycles,  Greyback Drive provides eight miles of unpaved one-way road.  Bicycle helmets are required for all riders in the Park.  All roads closed to automobiles are also closed to bicycles.  Water is available only at Rim Village and Park Headquarters.

Cycling near Fort Klamath.

Cycling near Fort Klamath

©Linda Monfore

Road Routes

WESTSIDE ROAD. Easy to moderate, 4-48 mile loop. Low traffic, wide shoulders, smooth pavement, frequent pull-offs, long sight distances, well-spaced stops, rolling grades, shady scenery, and no long hills. Follow Westside Road from the Hwy 140 intersection a bit over 2 miles to the Westside Road overlook. Continue 3 ½ miles further to Malone Springs, a boat launch site and picnic area equipped with a vault toilet. Four more miles bring riders to Crystal Springs Rest Stop, a beautiful area also with vault toilet facilities. The ultimate 24-mile day trip ends at Fort Klamath.

WOOD RIVER VALLEY.  [map]  (1) North Loop. Easy, 7-8 miles.  Uncrowded smooth roads, pasture and mountain views.  North on Hwy 62 from downtown Fort Klamath, East on Dixon to USFS paved road 2300, then West on 62 back to Fort Klamath.  Or, take a side trip North up 2300 to Jackson F. Kimball State Recreation Area and the turquoise headwaters of the Wood River, then return along 2300 to Hwy 62.  (2) South Loop. Easy, 11-12 miles. Uncrowded roads, pasture and mountain views, 3 Wood River crossings. South on Hwy 62 from Fort Klamath and continue to road 1333, and it turns into Weed Rd in about 2 miles with a sharp turn North.  Continue back to Fort Klamath. Or, along the way, stop at Fort Klamath Museum and/or Klamath Fish Hatchery.  For a shorter 6-7 mile loop , take Loosely Rd West to Weed intead of 1333.  (3) West Loop. Easy 10 miles. From/to Fort Klamath follows Weed, Sevenmile, and Nicholson Rds.

LAKE OF THE WOODS LOOP (Easy, 9 miles) Lake of the Woods is a beautiful high Cascade lake at 5,000’ with full recreation and lodging facilities. The ride starts at the Resort and proceeds clockwise around the lake through rolling terrain and old growth forests. The Westside of the lake is probably the best stretch of the ride, with beautiful lake views, towering Douglas Fir trees and the road all to yourself!

Gravel Routes 

Trail between Lake of the Woods and Fish Lake

Lake of the Woods to Fish Lake, with beautiful views of Mt. McLoughlin

©Janet Tarjan Erl

HIGH LAKES TRAIL.  Lake of the Woods to Fish Lake Easy to moderate, 9 miles. Perfect family outing. The roller-compacted trail starts at the Great Meadow near the summit of Highway 140, winds through beautiful forests, then skirts the North shore of Lake of the Woods before progressing through lava flows with beautiful mountain views in route to its final destination at Fish Lake.

EAGLE RIDGE.  The rough, unimproved road [map] skirts the lake’s edge to the end of the ridge, about 1 mile beyond the county park.

WOOD RIVER WETLANDS [map] Easy, 10 miles.  Lake and mountain views, great birding.

Mountain Trails 

BROWN MOUNTAIN TRAIL [map] Moderate, 25 miles. Follows Hwy 140, USFS Rd. 37, and Dead Indian Memorial Rd. The 1500 ft. vertical climb with old growth timber and few hills make this a scenic jewel.

Rye Spur Trail

Rye Spur Trail

©Jen Roe

RYE SPUR TRAIL. Difficult, 12 miles, round trip.  [map] Begins about ¼ mile east of the Fourmile Lake turnoff on Hwy 140 and crests at the scenic 6200 ft. level.


Check with Hutch’s Bicycle Shop in Klamath Falls for information on other cycling opportunities. They also rent, sell, and service bicycles. 541.850.BIKE(2453).  Let’s Paddle offers shuttle service. 541.281.2775.  You can also rent bikes at RAD Used Bikes, 971.470.0903 and Zach’s Bikes 541.851.9200.

Art of Survival Century family rest

Art of Survival Century family rest

In May, there’s the annual Art of Survival Century, just south of Crater Lake’s Backyard, with family-friendly road routes, and other portions through forest lands. For a cycling adventure during August, consider Crater Lake’s Century Ride.

Spence Mt Trails

Spence Mt Trails


Check out RideKlamathRide for more area rides., like the new Spence Mountain Trail System. Visit Cycle Siskiyou for great northern California rides and Cycle Umpqua for great rides north of Crater Lake.

Over 2,000 Cycle Oregon participants camped at Rodear Arena near Fort Klamath on Sept. 10, 2012 and will return to Crater Lake in 2017.

Check our Be Prepared page for some safety tips.