Mountain Biking the Deschutes River Trail

Rate this Adventure Oregon Deschutes River State Recreation Area

Added by David Schelske

  • Distance: 24 miles roundtrip
  • Minimal elevation gain
  • Easy road for beginner hikers or mountain bikers
  • Good swimming holes along the route
  • Great scenery
  • Easy access and very straight-forward trail
  • Historic old buildings and railcar

The Deschutes River Trail—an old smooth road really, with a mix of dirt, sand and gravel—is a great mountain bike ride or hike for beginners and experts alike. While the trail is very easy, the scenery all along the route is breathtaking.

Park at the well-marked trailhead just to the left as you enter the park. The old road then ascends for just a little ways before leveling out as it runs through the canyons paralleling the Deschutes River.

The great scenery and easy ride make this trip seem much shorter than it sounds. Around the halfway point (6 miles), there is an old railcar that is a great break spot. Some newer riders, or those short on time, also turn back here, but for the more adventurous, a great surprise awaits you, if you keep going!

Around mile 12, you run into the old Harris Ranch, where you are greeted by some really great old buildings and farm houses from the 1800's. While you can continue on a little further, the trail gets rougher and less scenic. The ranch makes for a great lunch and turn around spot, where you can explore around a bit before heading back.

Note that it can get very hot here in the summer, and there is little to no shade most of the way, so time your visit accordingly.

Pack List

  • Lots of water
  • Snacks
  • Tire patch kit
  • Snake bite kit
  • Swimming suit
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Mountain Biking, Photography

Skill Level:



Year Round


Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Picnic Area
Swimming Hole

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Added by David Schelske

Hi Everyone Im a commercial photographer based in Portland Oregon, but work on location all around the country. While most all of my advertising work is for motor sports clients (Yamaha, Honda, Ford) I like to spend my free time out exploring the NW's hiking and mt bike trails. Rain or shine, day or night, you can usually find me outside......

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