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 670-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.

ORBDR – SECTION DESCRIPTIONS

Section 1: Denio Junction, NV to Plush – 166 Miles

The Oregon BDR starts at the quaint hotel, restaurant, and gas stop known as Denio Junction in Nevada. From there, Section 1 travels north on pavement to the Oregon border and continues another 18 miles on Highway 205 where the track turns left onto a dirt road and ascends Domingo Pass (6400′) in the Pueblo Mountains. If you continue straight on Highway 205, you’ll find the town of Fields which serves as an alternate starting point for the route. Both Denio Junction and Fields have gas and lodging options but it is advised to book your rooms well in advance.

After crossing over Domingo Pass, it’s a long ride through vast open lands in southeast Oregon. The roads will vary in width and alternate between gravel and dirt, and include some nice double-track. Watch for loose silt beds on these segments especially later in the riding season. Riders can opt to explore the more difficult and optional out-and-back track to the summit of Beatys Butte (7918′).

Consider stopping for a quick dip at Hart Mountain Hot Springs or the visitor center for Hart Mountain National Antelope Refuge before descending to the general store in Plush, the end of Section 1. 

Section 2: Plush to Christmas Valley – 98.5 Miles

Plush has food, drinks, and a gas pump—amenities that you’ll need before starting Section 2. Be sure to check for hours of operation before you arrive. Not far from Plush the fun factor kicks in as the route ascends into the  Coyote Hills. Riders will encounter a long straight powerline road that goes north and leads to Highway 395 at the upper end of Lake Abert—an alkali lake that is mostly dry in late summer. After crossing the highway, the gravel roads are in good shape for a stretch, but eventually the track deteriorates into rocky sections that demand careful line selection to avoid flat tires. Be mindful, there is an arched cattle guard that could prove dangerous if taken at speed. In addition, there are a few barbed wire ranch gates throughout this section, please close after you ride through. 

The terrain remains this way for over 40 miles, so take your time and hydrate along the way. Eventually the route descends into Fandango Canyon and takes you to the rural town of Christmas Valley which has a more complete selection of services. 

Section 3: Christmas Valley to Sunriver – 101 Miles

You’ll take gravel roads that head north out of Christmas Valley as you start Section 3. Not far into the day’s ride, two optional 1/4 mile hikes lead to a volcanic feature called ‘Crack in the Ground’ and a viewpoint at ‘Green Mountain Lookout’ (5190′). The route then turns onto Millican Road (remember to leave gates as you found them) and then enters Deschutes National Forest. The roads in this area are usually in good shape early in the year but can get silty and rocky as the riding season progresses. Take it easy if the silt is deep or if the roads are wet, as they’ll be slick and sometimes impassable. If time permits, take advantage of two optional out-and-back rides to discovery points: the viewpoint on Pine Mountain (6348′) and the Paulina Crater in Newberry National Volcanic Monument. 

This next section might provide some of the most epic and memorable riding on the entire ORBDR. We’ve dubbed this “The Luge ” as it is a fun section of tight, twisty forest road that winds down the mountain and feels like riding a luge. After recomposing yourself and wiping the smile off your face, the main track follows a road that wraps around the north end of the Paulina Crater and then crosses Highway 97 at the town of Sunriver.

Section 4: Sunriver to Sisters – 60 Miles

Gas up in the resort town of Sunriver and get ready to enter an area of Central Oregon that hosts outdoor recreationalists of all kinds. Keep the speed down and watch for walkers and cyclists who could be crossing the roads on singletrack trails in the vicinity. 

The next section of the ORBDR hopscotches between dirt and tarmac via Cascade Lakes Highway and Skyliners Drive. Soon afterward, expect steady climbs into an area where snowpack occasionally lingers into mid-July. If the snow is gone, this segment is a real treat with fun, flowy roads and includes a short side trip option to Three Creek Lake, which has a small store with limited supplies. Continue through blissful, tight two-track to the vibrant western-themed town of Sisters, named for the Three Sisters volcanoes which are visible from portions of the road.

Section 5: Sisters to Detroit – 76 Miles

The track north of Sisters journeys back onto roads within Deschutes National Forest. Skylight Cave is a recommended short side trip for cave lovers to get their spelunking on. After a fun whoops-filled section of the Old Santiam Wagon Road, there is an optional Advanced track to loop around Cache Mountain and the summit of Cache Mountain (5579′) where excellent views of the Cascade Range can be seen. The riding north of Cache Mountain can be sandy and include plenty of bumps in late summer. This section is a delightful experience which soon connects with a brief segment on Highway 20. 

The route then follows miles of typical forest roads before descending to the east shore of Detroit Lake. Paved roads lead the rest of the way to the town of Detroit which was devastated by the Beachie Creek Fire in 2020. The town is being rebuilt and can use the infusion of tourist dollars, so stop and support local businesses while riding through or staying for the night. 

Section 6: Detroit to Govt Camp – 89.9 Miles

North of Detroit is another area that has been impacted by recent wildfires. In 2021, the Bull Complex Fire burned a large portion of Willamette National Forest.  Traverse through burnt out forest, with an option to detour to Olallie Lake.  There’s a small store on the shore of this scenic lake which has food and supplies in the summer months (no fuel there). Olallie Lake also offers excellent camping and has cabins available. After Olallie, the route becomes a navigational challenge, so you’ll want to pay close attention to the GPS tracks, as intersections are easily missed. Near the end of Section 6 the route passes by both Timothy and Clear Lakes which are excellent places to visit. The final miles are on Highway 26 and end at the town of Government Camp which has a fine selection of lodging, restaurants, and pubs. 

Section 7: Govt Camp to Hood River – 78.9 Miles

The last section of the ORBDR leaves Government Camp on Highways 26 and 35. After leaving pavement, the route follows a blissful series of roads on a circuitous route through Mount Hood National Forest. The byways in this area to the southeast of Mount Hood are rocky and exposed at times, so keep your focus and ride within your ability. Factor in stopping at the numerous amazing viewpoints along the way.

The route follows a short segment of the historic Old Barlow Wagon Road which unfortunately has been closed recently due to forest fires—hopefully it will open again soon. The track then heads true north following high elevation ridges on Gunsight Butte, Lookout Mountain, and Surveyors Ridge. The last ten miles are on pavement, but they are exceptionally scenic and pass through rural farms within the Hood River Valley. The ORBDR ends at a park where Hood River meets the mighty Columbia River in the city of Hood River. 

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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The Left Coast Lodge, located in Sisters, OR, is a historic motor lodge (formerly Sisters Motor Lodge) which, under new ownership, has been transformed into a launchpad for adventure in Central Oregon.  All of the rooms have been updated and are nicely appointed.  We have easy and safe onsite parking, a bike washing station, and a perfect property for relaxing and taking in views of the mountains.  We are a block from town and located right near a gas station offering ethanol free gas.  Come by and add the perfect stop to your incredible adventure.

Address: 511 W Cascade Ave, Sisters, OR 97759
Phone: 541.549.2551

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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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A peaceful B&B with the addition of glamping units, kayaks and hammocks. Located four miles away from Detroit Lake. Call for availability.

Address: 49750 N Santiam Hwy, Idanha, OR 97350
Phone: (503) 854-3500 | (503) 507-9610

https://www.facebook.com/rushingriverretreat/

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.
There is a very short section (about a mile) in the Santiam Pass OHV area where we are using an OHV trail that is full Jeep width in our tracks. This will be rectified as soon as snow melts and we can scout the bypass. All other roads in this area are legal forest service roads for any licensed street legal vehicle to use. This has been verified with the Willamette NF Detroit Ranger District.

Parking at the East Lake boating site (Section 3 Bonus) requires a fee. Riding through does not.  For more information click HERE

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.

Read more about Oregon fire regulations, restrictions, and updates HERE

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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