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 <i>high road</i> 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. The long consistent climb starts when crossing the bridge of Lookingglass Creek, and doesn’t give up until just before the lake. The climb is rarely very steep, but it is very consistent and long. Jubilee Lake is a very popular destination for campers from the western side of the blue mountains because it offers summer relief from heat and a beautiful setting for finshing, hiking, and swimming. The road from the highway is well traveled and very dusty, but the climb up to this road sees very occasional traffic. It is best to convince someone to pick you up at the lake, which is a relatively short drive on pavement and gravel from Hwy 204 at Langdon Lake in Tollgate, Oregon. Trail Notes <ul> <li>0.0 Follow 10th street out of Elgin .</li> <li>2.3 After crossing a creek, the Terry Ranch Climb starts. </li> <li>4.6 Top out on the first climb, which is followed by a number of up and downs.</li> <li>10.9 After a sustained descent, arrive at ?? road on the left. Take this road and later left on Bowman loop if on cyclocross bike. This a good road to ride that loops back to the road near where the pavement ends.</li> <li>16.5 Arrive at the bottom of the descent to Lookingglass Creek and cross a bridge, immediately beginning the climb.</li> <li>18.2 Arrive at a junction with signs pointing left to Jubilee Lake. Follow the sign and turn left. Follow the main, more well traveled road for the remainder of the climb.</li> <li>26.0 Summit.</li> <li>27.2 Arrive at the road that connects the highway to Jubilee Lake. Take a right. </li> <li>27.9 You’ll see signs to take a right and head down to the lake and campground. There is a day use fee at the lake.</li> </ul>

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 <a href="">Lodgepole Trailhead</a>. 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 <ul> <li>Take a right on French Road and head toward Moss Springs Campground.</li> <li>At Moss Springs Campground, take the road to the left to switch back up the southern part of Mount Fanny.</li> <li>After passing through some meadows where the road levels out, there will be a road to the left that goes up to the summit. There should be a radio tower sign marking this junction. </li> </ul>

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.

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. A 1,370 ft climb in a mere 2.35 miles makes for a brutal course. Squeezing that little of road into such a short distance results in an average 12 percent gradient with maximum gradients of up to 28 percent. Two of the miles are on gravel road. The race has been run annually since 2007. The first edition started at Birnie Park and followed B Avenue down a short hill and then started the climbing. This proved to be too much of a head start for the bikes and was not a pure hill climb. From the following year forward, the course starting point moved to the stop sign on 2nd and B Avenue. Traditionally cyclists have always timed themselves from the start of the gravel to the top of the climb at a 2 mile marker beside the road. A permanent memorial for Jason is intended to be placed at this 2 mile marker. Still to this day, Jason's question has not been answered. The fastest time is barely held by a cyclist, but a runner has won the last 3 races. Fastest Times <ul> <li>2008 Brian Sather in 19:30 on a bike </li> <li>2009 Marcella Bosch (female) 26:06 running</li> <li>Fastest Run: 2012 Doug Benson 19:52 </li> <li>In the inaugural race in 2007, David Monnig recorded a 17:40 on the gravel section on his bike* which remains the fastest time on the traditional hillclimb from the gravel to the 2 mile marker at the top. This is 15 seconds faster then the 2008 gravel time of Sather so perhaps Monnig has the fastest Werst Race to date.</li> </ul> Media <ul> <li><a href="">Video 2009</a></li> <li><a href="">Video 2011</a></li> <li>View <a href="">past results</a></li> <li>Articles tagged <a href="">Werst Race</a></li> </ul> *There is controversy about Monnig's time being the fastest bike time, as he admitted to walking a short distance after dismounting and hurling his helmet into the woods.

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


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 Read more about Cyclocross - La Grande Area Package

Price: $6.00