Meander up the Crooked River Canyon to Prineville Reservoir

LENGTH 37 Miles | DIFFICULTY Moderate | SURFACE 100% Paved

Nearby cities: Prineville

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The Crooked River Canyon Scenic Bikeway is a hidden gem in Central Oregon. This 37-mile out-and-back ride takes visitors from the community of Prineville, past the farm and ranch fields of the Crooked River Valley, then through the deeply incised and dramatic Crooked River Canyon.

The Crooked River Canyon Scenic Bikeway is a hidden gem in Central Oregon. Riders begin the 37-mile out-and-back journey in the historic community of Prineville. The bikeway starts at Rimrock City Park and follows the Crooked River south out of town, giving riders picturesque views of the surrounding llama farms and cattle ranches.

The route leaves the pastures behind as it enters the Crooked River Canyon. The road slips through the canyon’s towering basalt cliffs, gently curving and climbing to a scenic view near Palisades Campground before descending back toward the river. Riders will pedal by Chimney Rock Recreation Site, a popular picnicking spot and fun place to watch local anglers fly fish in the Crooked River.

The final stretch of the Crooked River Scenic Bikeway continues through the canyon and passes by several other day-use sites and campgrounds. Observant riders might spot resident wildlife like deer, great blue herons and golden eagles. The bikeway ends at Big Bend Campground, which has parking, restrooms, water and power.

The ride is best enjoyed during the spring and fall when seasonal colors are vibrant. Most of the day-use sites along the route have restrooms; two have water to refill any empty bottles. The bikeway can also be ridden on clear winter days, rewarding intrepid cyclists with brisk blue-sky rides through the quiet landscape.

More Resources

Information about road conditions from Oregon Department of Transportation’s TripCheck.