Oregon Backcountry Discovery Route

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The Oregon Backcountry Discovery Route (ORBDR) is the 12th route developed by the BDR organization for dual-sport and adventure motorcycle travel.

The Oregon Backcountry Discovery Route (ORBDR) is a 750-mile, multi-day off-pavement ride designed for adventure and dual-sport motorcycles. Starting in the high deserts of the southeast and exploring north through ancient pine forests and into the rugged mountains of the Cascade Range, challenges include lava rocks, silt, sand, and arduous mountain roads. From sagebrush steppe and hot springs, to caverns and glaciated volcanoes, riders are guided into remote territories that reveal many of the state’s natural wonders, providing prime sightseeing and recreational opportunities. With stunning views throughout and terrain that is certain to test your riding skills and endurance, the ORBDR is one of the best ways to discover the backcountry of Oregon.

The Oregon BDR Expedition Documentary film tour is happening at dealerships and clubs around the country.

Film Tour Schedule

The film will be available for free on YouTube in May.

More about the ORBDR Film and Tour

Host an ORBDR Film Screening

ORBDR LODGING

Denio Junction has a small country store, restaurant, bar, gas station, and hotel all in one stop. There are 7 rustic rooms available.
This place has plans to expand further with more lodging and camping options.  Call ahead to book well in advance.

Address: 51550 Denio Hwy 140, Denio, NV
Phone: (775) 941-0610

Fields Station has a small country store, restaurant, gas station, and hotel all in one stop.  There are three cabins with 8 rustic rooms available. Call ahead to book well in advance.
There are no other lodging options in this immediate area.

Address: 22276 Fields Drive, Fields, OR, 97710

Phone: 541-495-2275

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Plush Bunkhouse is a small AirBNB cabin across the street from the Hart Mountain Store. There is one bedroom and a futon. Call ahead to book well in advance. 

Address: 28228 Hogback Rd, Plush, OR 97637
Phone: (541)-891-3635

Lakeside Motel features warm & cozy rooms located on the banks of Baert Lake. Great restaurant for breakfast and walking distance to town.  Call ahead to book well in advance.

Address: 87275 County Hwy 9-28, Christmas Valley, OR 97641
Phone: (541)-576-2309

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Christmas Valley Desert Inn Motel has 4 single units and 8 double queen rustic units. Call ahead to book well in advance.

Address: 87217 Christmas Valley Hwy, Christmas Valley, OR 97641
Phone: (541)-576-2262

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East Lake Resort has 17 rustic cabins. There are no TVs, phones, cell phone service or wifi in any of the rental units. Call ahead to book well in advance.

Address: 22440 Paulina-East Lake Rd, La Pine, OR 97739
Phone: (541)-536-2230

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Rustic cabins available ranging in price and size. Call ahead to book well in advance.

Address: 22440 Paulina-East Lake Rd, La Pine, OR 97739
Phone: (541)-536-2240

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Fantastic bar and grill with huge outdoor area and great menu.
This place currently does not offer lodging but will be expanding with numerous options for lodging and camping.

Address: 87146 Christmas Valley Hwy, Christmas Valley, OR 97641

Phone: (541)-576-2014

4 star luxury resort with many amenities. Call ahead to book well in advance.

Address: 17600 Center Dr, Sunriver, OR 97707
Phone: (855)-420-8206

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3 star hotel in Sisters Oregon. 

Address: 500 US-20, Sisters, OR 97759
Phone: (541)-549-1234

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2 star hotel in Sisters, Oregon

Address: 605 N Arrowleaf Trail, Sisters, OR 97759
Phone: (541)-549-7829

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3 star hotel in Sisters, Oregon

Address: 1026 West Rail Way Sisters, OR 97759
Phone: (541)-904-0967

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Small, rustic motel in Detroit, OR with 4 rooms. Call ahead to book well in advance.

Address: 175 Detroit Ave, Detroit, OR 97342
Phone: (503)-854-3344

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3 star hotel in the charming ski town of Government Camp.

Address: 87450 Government Camp Loop, Government Camp, OR 97028
Phone: (503)-272-3205

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3 star hotel in the ski town of Government Camp.

Address: 30521 E Meldrum St #9, Government Camp, OR 97028
Phone: (503)-272-3316

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3 star hotel in the ski town of Government Camp with a great restaurant (try the huckleberry pancakes!)

Address: 88611 Government Camp Loop, Government Camp, OR 97028
Phone: (503)-272-3325

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3 star hotel on the banks of the Columbia River

Address: 1108 E Marina Dr, Hood River, OR 97031
Phone: (541) 386-2200

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3 star hotel on the banks of the Columbia River

Address: 1108 E Marina Dr, Hood River, OR 97031
Phone: (541) 386-2200

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ORBDR FOOD

Denio Junction has a small country store, restaurant, bar, gas station, and hotel all in one stop.

Address: 51550 Denio Hwy 140, Denio, NV
Phone: (775) 941-0610

Fields Station has a small country store, restaurant, gas station, and hotel all in one stop.  Fantastic burgers and milkshakes.
Check their hours as they tend to close early and there are no other restaurant options in Fields.

Address: 22276 Fields Drive, Fields, OR, 97710

Phone: (541)495-2275

A small country store, restaurant, and gas station in Plush, OR.  Great place to have a burger, or gather snacks and supplies for camping and on the trail.

Address: 28229 Hogback Rd Plush, OR 97637

Phone: (541) 947-2491

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Fantastic bar and grill with huge outdoor area and great menu.
This place will be expanding with numerous options for lodging and camping.

Address: 87146 Christmas Valley Hwy, Christmas Valley, OR 97641

Phone: (541)-576-2014

Address: 57276 Park Rd, Christmas Valley, OR 97641

Phone: (458)-262-5346

Address: 87285 Christmas Valley Hwy, Christmas Valley, OR 97641

Brewpub and American food.

Address: 57100 Beaver Dr Bldg 4, Sunriver, OR 97707

Phone: (541)306-5154

American food.

Address: 190 E Cascade Ave, Sisters, OR 97759
Phone: (541)-549-7427

Himalayan Food & Taphouse

Address: 523 US-20, Sisters, OR 97759

Phone: (541)-904-4694

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Address: 171 E Main Ave, Sisters, OR 97759

Phone: (541)-588-2054

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BBQ & Pizza

Address: 195 Detroit Rd S, Detroit, OR 97342

Phone: (971)-285-1207

Address: 100 Detroit Ave, Detroit, OR 97342

Address: 105 Breitenbush Rd, Detroit, OR 97342

Phone: (503)854-3039

Great restaurant with incredible diner breakfast.  Be sure and try the huckleberry pancakes!

Address: 88611 Government Camp Loop, Government Camp, OR 97028

Phone: (503)-272-3325

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Address: 88817 Government Camp Loop, Government Camp, OR 97028

Phone: (971)-275-8512

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Address: 87304 Government Camp Loop, Government Camp, OR 97028

Phone: (503)-272-3172

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Fine dining.

Address: 27500 E Timberline Road, Government Camp, OR 97028

Phone: (503)-272-3311

Italian food

Address: 1108 E Marina Dr, Hood River, OR 97031

Phone: (541)-386-4410

Chinese food

Address: 2680 Old Columbia River Dr, Hood River, OR 97031

Phone: (541)-386-5331

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Brew pub

Address: 506 Columbia St, Hood River, OR 97031

Phone: (541)-386-2247

ORBDR FUEL

87 Octane Only

Denio Junction has a small country store, restaurant, bar, gas station, and hotel all in one stop.

Address: 51550 Denio Hwy 140, Denio, NV

Phone: (775) 941-0610

Clear Premium available but sometimes premium pump has issues and can only be run by store attendant.
Fields Station has a small country store, restaurant, gas station, and hotel all in one stop.

Address: 22276 Fields Drive, Fields, OR, 97710

Phone: (541)-495-2275

87 Octane Only

A small country store, restaurant, and gas station in Plush, OR.

Address: 28229 Hogback Rd Plush, OR 97637

Phone: (541) 947-2491

Clear Premium Available

Address: 87497 Christmas Valley Hwy, Christmas Valley, OR 97641

Phone: (541)-576-2200

Address: 56896 Venture Ln, Sunriver, OR 97707

Phone: (541)-593-8767

Clear Premium Available

Address: 411 W Cascade Ave #1500, Sisters, OR 97759

Phone: (541)-549-0537

Address: 210 E Cascade Ave, Sisters, OR 97759

Phone: (541)-549-1027

Address: 1001 Railway, Sisters, OR 97759

Phone: (541)-549-5400

Address: 105 Breitenbush Rd, Detroit, OR 97342

Phone: (503)-854-3039

Address: 93770 US-26, Government Camp, OR 97028

Phone: (503)-337-2277

Address: 90149 Government Camp Loop, Government Camp, OR 97028

Phone: (503)-272-3692

Address: 2385 OR-35, Hood River, OR 97031

Phone: (541)-386-5855

Address: 949 E Marina Dr, Hood River, OR 97031

Phone: (541)-386-7887

ORBDR MOTORCYCLE DEALERSHIPS

Cascade Moto

Tigard, OR 97223

WEBSITE

Cascade Moto is Portland, Oregon's ADV headquarters. Both our Triumph and BMW showrooms stock new and used adventure bikes, parts and apparel, ADV accessories, and more. Both of our locations are near the start of the WABDR and ready to help you make your next ride the best yet. Come stop by our shop and tell us about your next adventure!

ORBDR PACKING LIST

This packing list serves as an example and is not intended to be a complete list for your backcountry riding needs. Feel free to customize this list to work for you.

  • Helmet
  • Boots
  • Goggles
  • Gloves (2 sets)
  • Protective gear (pressure suit, Leatt brace, knee braces)
  • Jacket
  • Pants
  • Balaclava or neck gaitor
  • Water bladder or bottle
  • Hydration pack
  • Ear plugs

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Below are answers to some of the Frequently Asked Questions about the Oregon Backcountry Discovery Route.

The Oregon BDR is a 750 mile multi-day backcountry adventure and dual sport motorcycle route starting in Denio Junction Nevada and ending in Hood River Oregon. The route follows remote and primitive roads along some of the most beautiful, unique, and isolated places in the state! The route is very remote in places so plan for any eventuality. The route takes you through small towns and unique attractions to see along the way.

The Oregon BDR can be ridden from start to finish generally from early July to the end of September. There are several high elevation places where snow lingers later into the season which may require a slight detour early in the season, most notably the snow bypass tracks titled “OR1 ALT – Hart Mountain Snow Bypass” and “OR4 ALT – Skyliners Snow Bypass”. Wildfires are also a possibility and can require reroutes around those affected areas.  Always check the Route Updates page for more information on current reroutes and closures.

Roads on the Oregon BDR are more challenging in some places than most other BDRs, especially in extreme dry or wet periods due to the natural road material. You may experience sand and/or rocky surfaces for longer periods than other BDRs especially in the southern portion of the route. Optional harder sections increase the difficulty with steep, loose, and rocky terrain. These harder sections can be bypassed if so desired. We consider this route intermediate-plus but not the hardest route in the BDR lineup.

The harder “expert” sections on the ORBDR are quite difficult so do not attempt them if you are not a very experienced and competent rider. 

Extreme heat is possible in the southern and central high desert portion of the Oregon BDR so pack plenty of water! Heat can transform natural road material into more soft and deep sandy surfaces. Additionally, rain, snow, and cold temperatures are possible at either ends of the riding season. Heavy rains can turn dirt roads into deep, slick mud. It is best to prepare for any weather eventuality.

Yes. As with all the BDR routes, the ORBDR was designed for riding South to North, but it can absolutely be done North to South. The route ends at a major interstate passage in the town of Hood River, OR. Please be prepared for two-way traffic everywhere on this route and always remember to Ride Right to avoid head-on collisions around blind corners.

The time each person takes to ride a BDR can vary based on many factors including your preparedness, riding skill/stamina, breakdowns, weather, and many other factors. There are 7 sections with services (gas, food, lodging) at the beginning and end of each section. It is suggested to ride a section per day but not a requirement. 

There are no special permits or passes needed for normal groups of riders. Street legal motorcycles with a license plate can ride the Oregon BDR.

Designated public campgrounds can be found in the national forests and other places along this route. A few of the public campgrounds are identified on the ORBDR map as a small tent icon and are listed on the www.RideBDR.com/ORBDR page. Dispersed camping is also available throughout the route but be aware that each forest and land manager has their own guidelines so it’s advisable to check their websites. Camping is not allowed on state trust lands except where there’s a designated campground. See our map above to see the brown shaded areas where the state doesn’t allow camping or fires or off-route vehicular travel.

In the national forest campgrounds campfires are allowed, but check with local Ranger Stations to determine if campfires are allowed before you build one. In most cases, campfires are only allowed in fire rings. See our map above to see where the many state trust lands are located (brown shaded areas). If you are dispersed camping, we don’t suggest building fires. Instead, bring a camp stove for cooking and boiling water to avoid the risk of fires in Oregon’s arid landscapes. Be sure to fully extinguish fires so they are DEAD-OUT. Use water to ensure a fire is fully extinguished and the ground is left cool and wet.

Never pass fuel. It’s one of the golden rules of adventure riding. The longest gap between fuel stops is 150 miles from Denio Junction NV to Plush OR. Riders in section 1 may divert to Fields Oregon to top up, reducing the section length to 135 miles. 75-100 miles in other sections.

The ORBDR is one of the most remote routes in the lineup. Because of this fact, lodging opportunities are slim but there are some along the way. The ORBDR page lists many of the hotels, motels and lodges that you’ll pass by. We highly recommend that you plan properly and make advanced reservations when possible. Carrying a minimum of “emergency” camping gear is important in Oregon as lodging can be unavailable and you can also get stuck at any time due to wet backroads from afternoon rain squalls.

We highly recommend that to plan your adventure on the ORBDR, you use online lodging/travel aggregators in addition to the listing of lodging options on the ORBDR page and the ORBDR Butler Map.

This route cannot be ridden without the use of GPS tracks.  Be prepared and bring the ORBDR Butler Map AND your navigation device with the latest ORBDR GPS tracks loaded. Free GPS tracks are available for download on this site. The route can also be navigated using a smartphone GPS navigational app like Gaia, Rever and others. The ORBDR expedition documentary film is a great source of information about the route and is available via on-demand video platforms like Vimeo and will be released for free on YouTube following the official film tour.

Any GPS unit capable of handling 15 track logs with a minimum of 1500 points each is suitable for use on the ORBDR. Garmin models that work best for this application are: Zumo XT, Zumo 590/595/395/396, Montana, and 276Cx. Many other GPS units are compatible with the GPX file format, check the owner’s manual of your device for more information.  You can also import the tracks into a GPS navigational app, like Gaia GPS, but make sure you have the premium version of the app, so you can navigate via offline maps.

Cell phone service is very limited on this route so a satellite communication or tracking device is recommended for emergency situations.  The ORBDR is one of the most remote routes to date and you should expect to not be able to easily reach services for much of the duration between towns.

Any bike that has a license plate, can run knobby tires, has adequate suspension, can carry the gear you will need, and has enough fuel range. Most adventure or dual-sport motorcycles will be suitable for the trip.  However, if you are planning on doing the Expert sections, we recommend a mid-sized bike for this route unless you are very comfortable on a big bore bike in rough technical terrain.  Even very experienced riders on our team reported being challenged on larger bikes by some of the technical sections of the route during the filming expedition. Choose the bike that you are the most comfortable riding in challenging terrain and that you are not afraid to drop a few times.

DOT approved knobby tires are strongly recommended.  Riding this route without at least a 60/40 tire (60% dirt, 40% road) could be dangerous.

Segments of this route can be ridden two-up for those experienced in riding off-highway with a passenger and luggage. However, we strongly advise against riding the technical sections of this route two-up.

Please don’t go off the route anywhere where it’s gated or signed for seasonal or permanent closures, don’t venture onto private property.

The ORBDR route includes a few instances where the track follows an easement road through private land. In many, but not all cases, the land owners have installed “private land” signs and it is important that riders acknowledge these signs and stay on the designated track. If you are unsure of the land ownership adjacent to the roads, such as outside of national forest lands, it’s best to stay on the track to avoid trespassing. In all cases riders should not ride off the roads which creates new trails and damages vegetation. Please remember that riding off the designated roads can jeopardize our right to use these roads for recreation.

Yes. There may be gates and/or barricades along the route. When you encounter gates, leave them as you found them. If they were open, leave them open and if they were closed, close them again after you pass through. If you pass by ranches, be courteous and ride respectfully. In spring and early summer there may be temporary closures when crews are repairing washouts, downed trees, and other road hazards. If roads are closed due to wildfires, do not ride around the signs as that can put you or fire crews in danger and can get you a hefty fine. Check the BDR website for route updates before you go.

On most BDRs riders will encounter gates across roads and the ORBDR is no exception. These gates are important and are used by ranchers to control and separate herds. The rule of thumb is to leave the gate as you’ve found it. This means that if it was closed when you found it, close it after passing through. If it was open, leave it open. It is important for riders to follow this rule to prevent animal herds intermixing, and respect the rights and needs of private landowners and permittees.

Please abide by posted road closure signs. Ignoring these signs is a sure-fire way of getting a road closed for good. That said, sometimes locals will post unofficial “road closed” signs on public roads for their own personal reasons. Additionally, land managers may not have removed a “closed” sign from a seasonal road – even though the sign right next to it clearly displays the open/closed dates. In these cases, use your best judgment – if in doubt navigate around the closed road and report it to BDR. And please remember never to engage in arguments with local land owners.

Each state has its own recreational fishing requirements and restrictions. To learn about the required licenses and stamps for fishing (and hunting) in Oregon, visit: https://myodfw.com/fishing/licensing-info

We do our best to post the most up-to-date information about the route on ridebdr.com/ORBDR.  We depend on the BDR community to inform us about route and road conditions, so if you encounter any road closures or severe conditions that are worth reporting, please contact us with the information.

There is also a dedicated ORBDR Facebook group page.  We recommend that you join the group prior to your trip to read trip reports and comments from other riders about their experience on the route. Search for: Oregon Backcountry Discovery Route (ORBDR).

Oregon is a habitat for many animals like deer, antelope, bears as well as smaller animals like coyote, porcupines, and snakes — all of which make their way to the road at some point. Be alert everywhere you go as animals can and will cross your path along the route – especially at dusk.

Antelope are known for wanting to race motorcycles, but don’t encourage them. Slow down as soon as you see animals as, for some reason, they like to cross in front of bikes instead of running away from them. Look out for wild horses when you are in open range land.  Appropriate food practices while camping is an absolute must for your safety and the animal’s safety. 

Yield to all animals whether wild, domestic, or livestock by slowing down or stopping. Many locals in rural areas keep their dogs off-leash on their property and dogs love to chase motorcycles – be cautious and considerate.

All of the roads used on the ORBDR are open to vehicles. If you do decide to drive this route you will want a 4×4 with high clearance as the route has deep puddles, large rocks, huge ruts and steep loose grades. Always stay to the right and go slow around blind corners to avoid head-on accidents with others using the roads. We recommend traveling south to north to minimize head-on traffic.

When we filmed the ORBDR documentary our support vehicle remained on major roads as much as possible to keep the dirt roads free from vehicles.

It is absolutely essential that you Ride Respectfully and follow the tips outlined in our Ride Respectfully campaign.  Remember, it’s up to all of you to preserve our access – we can easily lose access to many of these roads if we don’t practice proper etiquette. Always represent BDR and the ADV community in the best light.

Rating the Routes by Difficulty

We often get requests to provide the difficulty ratings of the BDR. We do not officially rate roads or routes because the difficulty can change from day to day depending on weather, changes in road conditions, and road damage caused by a variety of forces including wind, storms, flooding, snow, logging, forest fires and more.

The difficulty experienced by an individual also depends on their off-road skills, level of fitness, stamina, bike size and amount of weight carried on the bike. For these reasons we can’t provide a rating system like a ski resort or OHV park.

We can help you a bit by ranking the existing Backcountry Discovery Routes from most difficult to least difficult. Here is the list: CABDR-South, NEBDR, AZBDR, ORBDR, WYBDR, UTBDR, COBDR, NVBDR, WABDR, NMBDR, IDBDR, MABDR.

So CABDR-South is the most difficult especially if you ride the expert sections and MABDR is the easiest in general terms. Although MABDR is the easiest there are still a few challenging rocky sections and the several water crossings that can get very difficult if the water is high.

Be sure to also review the FAQ’s for each route and our General FAQs prior to embarking on your trip.

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