This ride was the first recommendation of a biking friend and also of the bike shop employee I talked to at Ashland/Rogue Valley Cycle Sport.
Starting from town, I biked southeast on Siskiyou Boulevard, the main drag in town, to Highway 66 or Green Springs Highway. First I crossed over the interstate and went through a busy area where I had to take care not to get hit by a car. But much to my relief, the way soon turned rural.
I passed many signs for wineries and vineyards, and contemplated biking 53 miles while doing wine tasting. Nah… maybe not such a good idea. I pedaled on, enjoyed the rolling terrain – not too steep. Next I passed Emigrant Lake Recreation Area, a beautiful area with colorful paragliders circling in the blue sky.
At mile point 9, I started to climb through Oak Savannah. Then, I climbed more. Then, I climbed more. Get the picture?? I climbed for about 9 miles. It was grueling, but I was able to grind my way up to a small café at the intersection of Green Springs Hwy and Hyatt Lake Road. I was very happy to have a snack and drink before heading on.
Hyatt Lake Road is more sheltered by trees than the area I had been going through. Hyatt Lake and Howard Prairie Lake are both visible from the road, and cool breezes coming off the lakes were just what was needed to keep me going. The way again became rolling hills rather than the steady uphill grind I had been doing. The best part of this piece of road was at the end, just before the intersection with Dead Indian Hwy, when I got a surprise view of 9495-foot Mount McLoughlin. Gorgeous!!
I turned left onto Dead Indian Memorial Hwy, expecting the downhill back to Ashland to immediately start. Unfortunately, first I had to climb about 4 miles to a ski area/pass. I told a little break there, and then bundled up for the downhill. Fantastic!! I didn’t pedal for miles and miles. The tight curves were a bit unnerving, and I had to brake, but what a rush!
I highly recommend this ride for experienced bikers looking for that perfect 53-mile paved loop.
There is a map that I purchased at the bike shop for $2.50 called the Jackson County Bicycle Map that covered this ride and others.