River running through canyon
Featured Northwest Lifestyles Oregon Outdoor Activities

Biking the Crooked River Canyon Scenic Bikeway

Caption: The Crooked River Wild & Scenic River Corridor.

The Crooked River Canyon Scenic Bikeway is a scenic, enjoyable and interesting route that winds through a narrow, twisting canyon.

Before you start your ride make sure you stop in Prineville at Good Bike Co. LLC, a bike shop where you can pick up a part, get local advice and navigation tips, and later stop for a beer after your adventure. If you need fuel for your ride, get some grub at Connelly’s Cowboy Corner grocery and deli on the way out of town.

The ride starts at Rimrock Park with a flat and easy, winding ride along the east side of the agricultural river valley. The river meanders to your right, etching lazy “S” curves through the fertile fields. The local geology, formed over eons, squeezes you into the first stretch of canyon. The river leans in close, and the whole look of the ride gets a little more rugged.

After a couple miles, you will weaver your way through a valley, taking in the sweet smell of the grass carried on the breeze. Before you enter the next canyon, pass a sign for the Crooked River Wild & Scenic River Corridor where you’ll see a surprising variety of flora and fauna on the steep pitches. If it’s a sunny day, enjoy the subtle color changes of the rocks from different angles as you make your way up the canyon.

Along the Crooked River, and you will see fly fishermen and women as well as several campgrounds. There’s a sneaky-hard little climb as you approach the turnaround. Then, just after 19 miles you’ll reach the end of the route, at Big Bend Campground – a great place to catch your breath and spend some time gazing at the river, the rock and wildlife.

From this point, simply turn around and enjoy the entire ride in reverse. When you get back to town, plan some time for a stop at the A. R. Bowman Museum, which will give you a more complete feel for the land you just pedaled through.

Notes: This route is seasonal, depending on the year’s weather patterns. You can always try calling the bike shop ahead of time to get a report.