Cycling Mt. Bachelor West
Ride 22 miles gaining 1,985’ at 1.5% average grade.
The west side of Mt. Bachelor is a gentle 2,200-ft climb from the Crane Prairie Reservoir (4,445 ft.) to the summit at the Mt. Bachelor Ski Area (6,317 ft.) on the north shoulder of the peak, following the Cascade Lakes Scenic Highway (County Route 46). Along the way, you pass several scenic lakes that are snow-covered much of the year, including Lava Lake (4,740 ft.), Elk Lake (4,884 ft.), and Sparks Lake (5,428 ft.). You are also rewarded with close-up views of the southern Oregon Cascade volcanoes, including Broken Top and the Three Sisters.
The climbs on the west, south, and east sides of Mt. Bachelor can be combined into a 52-mile circumnavigation of the peak by following the Cascades Lake Scenic Highway, Forest Road 40, and Forest Road 45, with a total elevation gain of 2,800 feet. Water is likely available at the various campgrounds along the loop, but other services are largely nonexistent. Pavement is good and traffic is light.