The third leg of the Oregon Gravel Grinder Series, this “Grand Tour of Gravel,” is a five-day event that will challenge and reward racers and adventure riders alike, not only on the epic days in the saddle but the celebration of the gravel tribe each night at camp. This unique experience covers 312-363 miles and 25,000-33,000 feet of elevation gain over mixed terrain through the Cascade Mountain Range in five days and four nights. There are two different rider-type classifications for this event: either difficult rides for each day or you can register as Pioneer or Settler. Pioneers usually ride up to 10 miles more and climb 500-1000 feet more daily than the Settler. Each night celebrates the riders at various campsites. Event registration includes all support; tents, food, and nightly entertainment. There are even professional massages available for participants. The event starts and ends in Sisters, OR, a full loop through the Cascades where each day has difficulty classified as Moderate, Hard, or Very Hard. There are aid stations along the way to keep all riders fueled and hydrated for hundreds of miles. This event is for you if you want a great multi-day cycling experience. In 2023 there will be a Tag-Team category open to 30 teams. You decide which days you want to ride while your partner rests and relaxes at camp- then you switch!
The following course description is based on 2022 and will likely be updated for 2023. Nevertheless, it’s a good sampling of what the course entails. Day One is Hard; it starts in Sisters and finishes in Blue Ridge. Pioneers ride 73.5 miles with 6,400 feet of elevation climb; a significant climb up Cascade Mountain Range followed by a winding, fast descent to Blue River Reservoir. Settlers’ daily ride is 65.5 miles, limiting the climbs to only 5,003 feet. Both rider types end together on an easy 7 miles to the McKenzie Community Track and Field grounds. Day Two is Moderate, starting at Blue Ridge and ending at Oakridge.
Pioneers ride 59.2 miles through Quartz Creek and Willamette National Forest, finishing at the town of Oakridge and camping at Greenwaters Park for the next two days of the event. Settlers have a similar moderate ride, just a little shorter, 52 miles and 5,712 feet. Day Three is another Moderate day of riding where both Pioneers and Settlers take the same route riding 53 miles and climbing 5,433 feet out past Hills Creek Reservoir into the thick forest with rolling gravel roads. Day Four is Very Hard and is by far the most challenging day of the multi-day event, starting at Oakridge and ending in the city of La Pine. Pioneers ride a total of 93.7 miles and climb 9,387 feet, leaving Oakridge for a steep 20+ mile climb to Crescent Lake. The route includes stretches of paved and sand but mainly gravel. Settlers also have a difficult day with 83.8 miles and 6,716 feet. Instead of the initial steep climb, they have a long steady climb on Forest Road 23. The routes finish together, starting at Summit Lake along Oregon Military Wagon Road. On the day of the ride, Day Five is classified as Hard starting at La Pine and finishing at Sisters. Pioneers and Settlers complete the same course of 53 miles and 5,433 feet. There is more payment on this ride compared to the previous four days but still challenging with a road from Mt. Bachelor to Three Creeks Lake. There is a gathering at the lake to enjoy the beautiful view before the final 16-mile descent into Sisters for the celebration.
The Oregon Trail Stage Race is part of the Oregon Gravel Grinder Series produced by Breakaway Promotions which operates several other top single-day and multi-day gravel events. The full event line-up includes Gorge; Cascade, Oregon Trail; and Ochoco. There are discounts when riders register for three or four at a time. For all multi-day riders, this is your chance to experience some of the best gravel rides Cascade Mountain Range and the national parks of Oregon have to offer in the spring and summer.
Event registration for 2023 is open.