COOL ROUTE: Hart-Sheldon Hot Springs

241 miles
Extremely difficult
Best in spring or early fall
Attributes: Dirt Road, Gravel Road, Mountain Views, Paved Road/Trail, River Views

Here’s an extreme adventure to strive for, but you must be well prepare for this adventure as it is not for a beginner or ill equipped rider. A true gravel grinder’s delight!

Starting in Frenchglen, this route loops through remote southeastern Oregon, linking up the Sheldon and Hart National Antelope Refuges. In addition to soaking in the Bog, Virgin Valley and Hart Mountain Hot Springs, highlights include camping on the playa of a dried-up, ancient lake bed, poking around historic ranches, climbing Hart Mountain and exploring the dramatic Thousand Creek Gorge.

This route is very committing, with no services anywhere along the route. There is also a very short window during the spring and fall when conditions are ideal. However, the rewards that await you at each new hot spring if you pull it off are unparalleled.

Please note: This route is made up of about 80 percent dirt and gravel roads, which become impassable for several days following any significant rainfall.

A sturdy bike with wide tires, preferably around 2 inches, is recommended for this route.

For more information on the route, services and what to expect, check out the full details at

This route comes to us courtesy of Ride Oregon Ride, Travel Oregon’s bicycle subsidiary website full of fantastic riding resources for road riding, mt. biking and gravel grinding.

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