Crater Lake Inn to Inn Bike Tour
Updated: Dec 26, 2021
8 Day - 320 Miles - July 2021
We booked an 8-day Crater Lake Inn to Inn trip with Adventure Cycling Association, where all lodging and meals are included. There would be no cooking or convenient store food on this trip. Recent wildfires in Oregon threatened to alter or cancel our trip. Luckily the air quality in Eugene was clear the day we arrived. There were ten people in our group plus the tour leader, but no SAG support. We all carried our own gear and did our own mechanical repairs. We headed out from Eugene and rode next to the McKenzie River. After 62 miles in 97-degree heat we arrived at our destination, Belknap Hot Springs. Most of our group didn’t feel like jumping into the 104 degree hot springs. We were staying in cabins that turned out to be more like a luxury home. On day 2, we had a 21-mile, 3700-foot climb over McKenzie Pass. At the summit there was a huge lava field from an eruption 15,000 years ago. We had a fantastic view of the Three Sisters Mountain Range. We descended into the town of Sisters. The next day we rode to the town of Bend. In typical Oregon weather, it rained all day, but we were prepared with rain gear. From Bend we traveled up to Mt. Bachelor and descended to Elk Lake Resort. We were treated to another outstanding cabin. On day 5, it was 63 miles through lush forested countryside. Traffic was light, skies were clear, and temperatures were cool, which made for perfect riding conditions. We arrived in the town of Chemult by mid-afternoon. Day 6, we headed to Crater Lake National Park. After entering the gate we rode an additional 10 miles with a fair amount of climbing to get our first view of the lake and it was spectacular. Wizard Island stuck out of the lake like a miniature mountain. The lake is 1943 feet deep and is the deepest lake in America. We finished the 40-mile day by checking into the Crater Lake Lodge. That evening, Ximena and I went out at midnight to enjoy the stars against a pitch-black sky. It was worth missing a little sleep to see the Milky Way in all its glory. On day 7, we rode around Crater Lake. The route was 35 miles with 3800 feet of climbing. We rode clockwise for ease of pulling in and out of the many lookout points. We stopped often to take photos and to appreciate the amazing views. The ride around Crater Lake is one of those bucket list items. It is challenging, beautiful, and fun. It is everything a bike ride should be. Back at the lodge, we relaxed on the patio and enjoyed cold drinks while watching the sunset. Day 8, we were up at 5:30am to watch the sun rise over the lake. It was breathtaking. The day was a short 22-mile ride to our final destination, Diamond Lake. During our last lunch together, the group reminisced about the past week and the bond that we had formed. Our tour ended with a shuttle ride back to Eugene. Adventure Cycling set up a magnificent tour. The route, the food, and the accommodations were stellar. Until next time….