La Grande Area

La Grande is on Interstate 84 in the middle of Northeast Oregon, offering hundreds of miles of gravel roads ready to be experienced on a cyclocross (or mountain) bike.

Glass Hill

This climb starts on the Morgan Lake road then turn left onto Glass Hill and it keeps climbing to the top of this long mountain to the south of La Grande. To make a loop, continue on to the freeway for a short trip on I-84 then Foothill Rd. back to town.

Godley Peach

Enjoy a scenic flat loop that visits Hot Lake and surrounding marshes

Grays Corner

A scenic loop around Imbler and Alicel.

High Valley

The high road connecting Cove and Union. This is a scenic and challenging little climb.

Hug Road Loop

A nice little climb and decent makes a full loop from Summerville.

Jubilee Lake Climb

The Palmer Jct road is one of the best paved climbing roads in Union County because of the great scenery and random steep climbs it throws at riders. It is an out and back course on a road bike, but if continued on the gravel offers a long climb up to Jubilee Lake.

Merry-go-round Climb

This climb takes off just up the road from Catherine Creek State Park and take a round about, but steady, climb up to the Lodgepole Trailhead. The signature moment of this climb is near the top, as it opens into a magnificent view of China Cap, Burger Butte, and other peaks of the western front to the Wallowa Mountains. The gravel is very good and "easily" ridden on a cylocross or mountain bike.

Mt. Emily Climb via Fox Hill

This route to the iconic Mt. Emily gives you a punch in the gut right from the start, and then again after the ATV parking at MERA. Once you survive that, it is pretty mellow the rest of the way to the top. The roads follow the ridge the entire way up. It starts near the fairground at Fox Hill Rd. and then turns onto ATV1, the main gravel road from the ATV parking. You basically stay straight at each road intersection with one right turn just before the summit. Continue over the summit for about a quarter mile for a nice overlook from the cliffs.

Mt. Fanny Climb

Mt. Fanny is a monstrous climb on a cross bike. If done properly from Phys Rd, the climb rises 4234 vertical feet in 19 miles, topping out at 7,123 at the summit. The road is steep only a in few places, but is otherwise a steady climb up to Moss Spring Campground. Then, the road gets rougher. In a few places, the road skirts the Eagle Cap Wilderness, offering a good view of the Wallowas.

Notes

Mt. Harris Climb Loop

A rather big loop that goes up Indian Creek on the north side of Mt. Harris, summits the mountain at the lookout and towers, and comes back down the south side on Mt. Harris Road to Grays Corner. Most of the road is good gravel, but it does get a bit rutted and rocky closer to the summit.

Park Saddle Climb

Why you would want to do this climb, I don't know. Perhaps you just like climbing and you do it because it is there. However, there are many more compelling gravel climbs nearby and it would probably be better to do the one across the road up to the lookout. Maybe you just want to go up and visit Park Saddle, a crotch between Dry Beaver and Limber Jim.

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Pierce - Sandridge

Lots of flat drag strips in gravel. Pray for a south wind.

Point Prominence Climb

This is a long climb up to the Point Prominence Lookout Tower, an active lookout tower during fire season. You basically stay on the main road up the side of Mt. Harris (Forest Road 62) and continue on to about the wilderness boundary, where you take a right onto Rd 6220 (look for the sign for Point Prominence). The road gets rougher from there and then takes a left on an even rougher road up to the lookout.

Robbs Hill - Fox Hill Loop

This loop offers a long climb and descent straight out of La Grande. Travel down the freeway exit and follow the railroad tracks to where it passes over Robbs Hill Road. Hop on the road there and begin the climb. Make sure to go right where the road forks after the climb levels out in the cow fields. Do the loop in reverse direction for a steeper climb up Fox Hill.

Ruckel Junction

Follow the gravel road as it winds up to Ruckel Junction, then hit some pavement on Summit road. Take a right onto Phillips Creek road and plummet down to the highway for a trip back to the start point.

The Werst Race Course

Jason Werst was a fast runner and a fast cyclist. He frequented Morgan Lake Road in his training, which is just on the outskirts of La Grande a short distance from where he was a collegiate runner at Eastern Oregon Univeristy. The road is so steep, it prompted Jason to ponder the question: can I run up it faster than I can bike it? From this idea, The Werst Race was born to support Jason in his fight with leukemia. During periods of remission, he found the strength to compete in the race 4 of 5 years that he was alive, even competing in 2011 the year he passed away.

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Valley Staircase

The name has nothing to do with elevation gain, but rather the constant direction changes as the road jogs through farm boundaries.

Cyclocross - La Grande Area Package

$6.00

Provides 12 months of online access to road and gravel riding in the La Grande, Oregon area. Cyclocross bikes are recommended, but road bikes with sturdy tires or mountain bikes will also work. These are also good winter riding routes with studded tires on. See a sample here. This package also includes a 12-month subscription to any premium content at LaGrandeRide.com. Read more about Cyclocross - La Grande Area Package

Price: $6.00
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