Cycling in Sunny Central Oregon

Best Cycling in Oregon

Best cycling in Oregon? Oregon’s Scenic Bikeways have the answer. Best of all, here at the Imperial River Company in Maupin Oregon we have the Sherar’s Falls scenic bikeway right in our back yard!

Oregon Scenic Bikeways

We’re lucky to live in the first state in the nation to designate official Scenic Bikeways. It is the first and only program of its kind in the United States. Since 2009, Oregon Parks and Recreation Department has designated 17 Scenic Bikeways throughout Oregon, covering 1,253 miles. Scenic Bikeways are nominated by local communities and designated based on scenic quality, road conditions and general riding enjoyment.

Cycling in Maupin

As rain begins to befall Portland, Oregon and the rest of the Pacific Northwest, Fall in Maupin is the perfect time to take advantage of our cooler, but still sunny weather. Maupin is tucked into the protective rain shadow of the Cascades, where we enjoy 300 days of sunshine a year and less than 6 inches of annual rainfall. Cycling is a great way to enjoy the beauty of the Deschutes River without feeling its icy splash in a raft!

Sherar’s Falls Scenic Bikeway

Sherar’s Falls Scenic Bikeway is a 33-mile paved road loop in north central Oregon that begins and ends in Maupin. The ride shows off the best of the high desert, with views of the raging Deschutes River, towering Mt. Hood, and seemingly endless plateaus of wheat fields and natural high desert terrain. Keep an eye out for mule deer, pheasant, and big horn sheep.

First, the route starts at the peaceful City Park in Maupin. Next, you’ll climb up through town and onto the high plateau between the Deschutes and White rivers. As you ride up, you’ll be rewarded with glimpses of the Deschutes rolling below. Here you’ll gain about 1,000 feet of elevation then swoop down into Tygh Valley surrounded by staggering rock formations. Below are some highlights you’ll encounter along the way.

White River Falls

Once you cross Highway 197, enjoy the relaxing rolling hills and take a break at White River Falls State Park.  Here, the White River plunges 90 feet over a basalt shelf. The park offers excellent viewpoints of the White River falls. A rugged quarter-mile trail takes hikers down deep within the canyon. You’ll see the the historic hydroelectric power plant at the base of the raw, churning power of the falls. The power plant supplied electricity to Wasco and Sherman Counties from 1910 until the completion of The Dalles Dam in 1960. Picnic tables and bathrooms make this a perfect stop along the way.

Sherar’s Falls

Next, back on the road from White River falls, you will climb up then plunge 500 feet down below to the Deschutes river bed. You’ll parallel the river for the remainder of the ride, flanked on either side by breath taking rock plateaus as you drift through the valley. Finally you’ll encounter Sherar’s Falls, a sacred fishing ground has been used by the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs for thousands of years.

Whether you’re an avid cyclist, or just looking for a peaceful weekend getaway you should add this ride (or a portion of it) to your fall bucket list. Feeling inspired? Check out our 5 other top Oregon bike rides.

Imperial River Company, Maupin OR
Lodging and Rafting on the Lower Deschutes River
(541) 395-2404

Paddle Boarding on the Deschutes

What’s SUP?

Stand up paddle boarding is an outdoor water sport where a rider stands up on a large board and uses a paddle to propel through the water. If you’ve already read our Intro to Stand Up Paddle Boarding then you know that stand up paddle boarding on rivers is gaining popularity around the globe. We’re also lucky that Maupin, Oregon is a perfect setting for beginners and experts alike to try it out!

Down River Paddle Boarding

With stand up paddle boarding becoming more mainstream, thrill seekers are now taking this outdoor water sport to new levels. SUP is traditionally most common on smooth, calm waters such as lakes and lazy rivers. However, white water paddling, or downriver paddling is quickly becoming its own unique subset of the sport.

SUPing on a river is similar to surfing on the ocean or snowboarding down a mountain, Maupin Chamber of Commerce explains. The lower Deschutes offers water for all experience levels, with class I – III rapids for beginners and adventure-seekers.

Deschutes Downriver Paddle Boarding Races

On Saturday, September 14th 2019 we’ll get to see some of this excitement firsthand at the Deschutes Downriver SUP Races here in Maupin. The race will consist of two whitewater SUP competitions, the Double Trouble and the Rapid Rush.

Double Trouble

Participants will have 2.5 hours to make paddle board runs from the Imperial River Company to Blue Hole. While most of the route consists of ripples and some current, but there will certainly be a thrill when navigating through up to Class II rapids! This route is just over three miles and each person’s fastest two runs will be added to create their overall score.

Rapid Rush

The Rapid Rush is a 8-mile downriver SUP race with rapids that are Class III and below. The race will begin at Harpham Flats and finish at Blue Hole. Both races will be chip-timed for accuracy and are sure to be exhilarating for both participants and viewers!

If you or a friend is interested in participating, check out the event page here for more details! Registration will be available up to 7:00am onsite Saturday the 14th. Be sure to join us after the event for live music in the Imperial riverfront courtyard or book or a room for the weekend to join in the fun.

Imperial River Company, Maupin OR
Lodging and Rafting on the Lower Deschutes River
(541) 395-2404