The Multistrada does the Cascades Lake Highway

[The ride reported here took place  May 11th, 2013]

Meandering through the tallest peaks in the mid-Oregon portion of the Cascades, the Cascades Lake Highway is classified as a scenic drive. It starts going west from Bend, passing by the north side of Mt Bachelor at 6,000 ft, before going past the Sisters Wilderness, to the South of the South Sister, and from there turning towards Highway 58 to the south. Portions of this road are high enough on the Cascades that the road closes during the colder months of the year. Early May it opened for the 2013 season, a week later I was ready to ride it. Of course, the bike of choice for the job was my new favorite, the Ducati Multistrada. On my way out I filled its tank with non-ethanol gasoline.

A full tank of non-ethanol gas

A full tank of non-ethanol gas

I took the long way out, circling west from my house to go north past Junction City, and then Brownsville before turning east to climb the Cascades.

Fields of purple going past Brownsville. May 11, 2013

Fields of purple going past Brownsville. May 11, 2013

Highway 20 is a great road for climbing the Cascades, when 242 is closed, that is.  Hwy 20 has very light traffic on the east climb and offers lots of nice curves.  Soon I was in Sisters where I topped off the tank. A full tank here allows me to go all the way home, close to 200 miles from here looping via Hwy 58.

More non-ethanol gasoline.

More non-ethanol gasoline.

A quick stop on the way to Bend to photograph the bike with the Sisters on the background.

The Ducati and the Three Sisters, May 11, 2013

The Ducati and the Three Sisters, May 11, 2013

I went through Bend and soon I was riding on the Cascades Lakes Highway. Light traffic, nice warm temperature, and still some snow banking the road. I stopped at one of the Mt. Bachelor ski areas, which was already closed for the season at that time.

Snow but ski lifts stopped. Ski season is over. May 11, 2013

Still some snow but ski lifts had stopped. Ski season was over. May 11, 2013

I was glad I got to ride this road just as it opened for the season, the views were great, with all the snow still lingering in this unseasonably warm spring.  Here are several photos of the most scenic portion of the road just past Mt. Bachelor:

Cascades Highway, May 11 2013

Cascades Highway, May 11 2013

Cascades Highway, May 11th, 2013

Cascades Highway, May 11th, 2013

Cascades Lakes Highway, May 11, 2013

Cascades Lakes Highway, May 11, 2013

Cascades Lakes Highway, May 11, 2013

Cascades Lakes Highway, May 11, 2013

When the road turns south, passing on the west side of Mt. Bachelor, there is a small viewing area. I decided to explore a bit of off road with the bike for a better shot.

A little bit off course from the Cascades Lake Highway, May 11th, 2013

A little bit off course from the Cascades Lake Highway, May 11th, 2013

The results were not the best, in terms of the shot, that is.

Mt Bachelor on the background. May 11th, 2013

Mt. Bachelor on the background. May 11th, 2013

But it was fun to have the bike in the snow.

Mt. Bachelor, viewed from the west. May 11th, 2013

Mt. Bachelor, viewed from the west. May 11th, 2013

A little farther down the road.

The Multistrada and a view of South Sister. May 11, 2013

The Multistrada and a view of South Sister. May 11, 2013

From here on the road becomes less dramatic in terms of mountain views. There are several access roads to lakes along the way. I did not stop on any of them except for Davis lake, already close to the High 58, where there are signs of a recent forest fire, perhaps it happened a couple of years ago.

Davis Lake, with Maiden Peak on the background. May 11th, 2013

Davis Lake, with Maiden Peak on the background. May 11th, 2013

The road gets little traffic on these areas outside of Sisters and Mt Bachelor. It seems most people turn around, back to Bend, after they enjoy the views of the taller peaks.  I finally connected to Hwy. 58 and went west towards Eugene.  One stop at the Odell Lake and that was it.

A quick stop at Diamond Lake. May 11th, 2013

A quick stop at Odell Lake. May 11th, 2013

A view of Diamond Peak from Odell Lake.

Diamond Peak as viewed from the north shore of Odell Lake. May 11th, 2013

Diamond Peak as viewed from the north shore of Odell Lake. May 11th, 2013

All the way home.

Back home! Another mission accomplished. May 11th, 2013

Back home! Another mission accomplished. May 11th, 2013

Total for this trip, 311 miles or 500 Km.  This could be a typical riding day for the Multistrada.  But I would say it could easily do more miles than that before I get tired and call it quits for the day. This bike is, simply putting, fantastic, perfect for touring, sports touring, mind you, emphasis on sports.

Next: A first ride on the Diavel Strada!

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8 Responses to The Multistrada does the Cascades Lake Highway

  1. bob skoot says:

    Cesar:

    I had to dig out my Official Oregon Map to see your Loop. I have been on Hwy 20 but heading West from Bend. Things always look different when you change direction. Now I have a new road south from Bend to try next time, except I will miss your snow photos.

    Your bike is looking great with the snow

    bob
    Riding the Wet Coast

    • cesardagord says:

      Hey Bob,
      It is worth a trip, for the first part of the road, that is. And it is much better with the snow. I was there again last weekend, the snow is all gone except on the top of the peaks.
      Cesar

  2. Chillertek says:

    Loved the photos Cesar. Looks like it would have been a very cold day with all that snow laying about. What was the road like in those conditions?

  3. Trobairitz says:

    Nice little loop. I’ve been on Hwy 20 to Bend and been on Hwy 58 but never the Cascade Lakes Highway that I can recollect.

    Thanks for the tour.

    • cesardagord says:

      Thanks Trobairitz. As I mentioned to Bob, I think it is a great road in its first miles out of Bend. But once you get past the final view of Mt. Bachelor and the Sisters, there isn’t much left to see and the road becomes more of a straight regular road. I noticed some people drive/ride to a certain point than turn around, so they stay only on the nice parts of the road. And definitely it looks better with more snow on the area.
      Cesar

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