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Route Talk – Cruising the Cascades

After a great day on Day 1, you’ll wake up well rested and ready to tackle whatever Day 2 has in store for you. Today’s ride is long on miles, but short on elevation, with the only real climb coming 10 miles before the finish line.

Once you’re comfortably back in the saddle, your first two miles will be retracing the last part of yesterday’s ride before you turn west and hop back on the Cascade Lakes National Scenic Byway. If the name is any indication, we’re in for some pretty spectacular views. The CLNSB, or CLH if you’re into the whole brevity thing, will take us by a few shimmering Cascade lakes including Wickiup Reservoir (Oregon’s second largest reservoir), Davis Lake and Crescent Lake. The next turn funnels riders onto the Crescent Lake Cutoff Road, which leads from the Cascade Lakes Highway to Highway 97, pointing you back east towards the small community of Crescent where we will brake (pun intended) for lunch.

After a little R&R – resting and refueling that is – we set off in the direction of the main attraction – Crater Lake! We ride this next long stretch on the shoulder of Highway 97. It is very important to remember here that even though Cycle Oregon and our good friends at the Oregon Department of Transportation and the Oregon State Police will have done our best to provide for your safety, we are still riding a stretch of major highway for a big payoff to come. Please remember the rules of the road and if you must pass another rider, do so safely. Ok? Ok.

Pep talk over. Back to the route. From lunch, it’s 28 miles on Highway 97 through Chemult to Crater Lake Junction. At the junction, we join Highway 138 heading toward the north entrance of Crater Lake National Park…and that one little hill we mentioned earlier. It’s only 6 measly miles of 5-6% grade. Piece of cake right? The tricky part about this hill is that it is of one of the straightest highways in Oregon – meaning you’ll be staring down the top of this hill for some time before you actually get there. After finally reaching that summit, you’ll be rewarded with a pleasant 4 mile downhill to Diamond Lake and the evening’s festivities.

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