Christmas Valley, Oregon – A Dual Sport Day Trippers Dream

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by Austringer, Apr 18, 2019.

  1. Austringer

    Austringer Adventurer

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    Many years ago I build a small cabin in the high desert agriculture community of Christmas Valley Oregon. My purpose was to provide a place to stay while I enjoyed my then favorite activity which happened to be falconry back then. At the time, I had little interest in motorcycles (10 year recover from DB accident) and no knowledge of modern dual sport adventure riding (although I had camped from my motorcycle several times). While hunting with my hawks, I started seeing a few bikes in the desert and eventually stumbled upon the OBCDR website whereupon I was hooked and have since planned and completed several 500-800 mile rides in the area. Recently I’ve been itchin to get out again early but neither my son or best buddy have time. However my wife planned a vacation at the cabin over easter so I had opportunity to ride!

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    The desert around CV is expansive, diverse and remote! Google earth exposes all the roads, two track and cow trails very well. Even fence lines are visible. After spending a few evenings on the computer, I was able plot multiple 50-150 mile loops and routes from the cabin totaling well over 600 miles. The routes I planned were easily imported to BCN so I had a good basis for my rides. During my dual sport day trippers vacation, I was able to prove a few of the routes although I still have a LOT of riding to do to prove them all.

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    CV is an agriculture town 100 miles from anywhere known for it’s premium alfalfa…and jackrabbits when the cycle is high. CV has a gas station, 2 grocery stores, 2 food joints, motels, an auto parts store, airport and cowpasture golf course…oh…and a medical clinic (potentially important). The main road is paved although all adjacent roads are dirt. You really don’t even need a plated bike to enjoy the area. The OBCDR passes right through CV. You can virtually travel any direction and be in wild places within a few minutes.

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    Generally speaking, the area around CV is open range. I encountered a few wire gates which I promptly closed. The few developed private ranches were generally avoided although I’ve found folks in the area quite friendly and accustomed to “free ranging recreationists”.

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    The desert south of CV is probably my favorite…remote, forbidding, topographic, expansive and terminates at dunes or alkali flats adjacent to large alkali lakes…and food. The towns of Plush (100 mi), Summer Lake (20 mi) and Paisley (50 mi) to the south all have gas and food. The finest burger in the world is made in Plush, OR. The south routes are also bisected by scenic HY 31 and 97 which provides a worry free bail-out route if needed. Not uncommon to see antelope and wild horses in this area.

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    SW of CV allows the day tripper to tour scenic Winter Rim of the Fremont Winema National Forest. The main roads are smooth cinder while the side routes are dirt. It would be an easy ride to Thompson Reservoir if you wanted. The towns of Summer lake and Silver lake provide opportunities for gas and food. Deer and elk are not uncommon in this area. There have even been wolf sightings.

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    North of CV allows the day tripper to tour a couple large lava flows, crack in the ground, fort rock, hole in the ground. North is the only direction I’ve encountered an issue with fences. Although I’ve found public routes, I’m still looking for alternate routes to expand opportunities. It’s a long ways to Prineville, but that’s the best opportunity for food/fuel to the north. HY20 would be your bail-out to the north.

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    East. Sand Dunes! The CV sand dunes are pretty impressive and fairly unknown. They are only about 25 miles from CV but offer thousands of acres of sand. Farther south is the Steins Mtns. A long trip from CV across the desert would get you there but you’d probably have to buy gas in Riley and take HY97 and the CV HY home. The lost forest is also just beyond the dunes…unique ponderosa pine trees growing where water is scarce


    The possibilities are endless are endless riding out of CV. I've got a ton of routes saved both proven and unproven, however I cant figure out how to attach them. If I get that figured out, hope you guys enjoy. Of course you use them at your own risk. Never ride alone and carry the survival essentials always in the desert. My longest ride this trip was a 114 mile loop toward Abert lake. The pictures attached are from that trip. Rain, snow and cold, but still a total blast!

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    #1
  2. N-Id-Jim

    N-Id-Jim Long timer

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    This is brilliant ! Bring it on
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  3. liv2day

    liv2day Life is about how you handle Plan B Supporter

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    I love that area, you should explore further east and make your way to Fields Station for a milk shake (and burger - they have fantastic burgers). Do an over-nighter and either stay with the folks at Fields, or head north a bit and stay at the Alvord Hot Springs - perfect way to end the day's ride with a soak.

    Great job getting out there this time of year, it's not exactly prime riding weather...lol. I'm itching to get back to that part of our great state, still peeved I couldn't complete my solo rip last summer.

    Thanks for taking the time to post, seriously like your cabin :thumb :thumb
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  4. Austringer

    Austringer Adventurer

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    We rode to Fields in October. 815 miles round trip as I recall. Stayed at Fisher HS, Alvord HS, Anderson Crossing and back as Fisher on the way home. Burgers and shakes in Fields. Bought T-bones in McDermit for dinner at Anderson crossing. Food on the ride is important! Hoping to do a 3-4 day loop from CV through the Steins and up toward Burns and back some time this summer. That little cabin in CV is a great starting point! The weather this week was cool-cold but totally bearable. It was actually much colder in October.

    Troy
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  5. seaduck100

    seaduck100 Been here awhile

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    You kick up any sage hens out there? I used to hunt Jacks, chukar, and Huns around the Paisley area. That is gorgeous country.

    The road going from paisley to the Warner wetlands and up the fault block range to the S.E. used to be terrible washboard.
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  6. Austringer

    Austringer Adventurer

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    Saw a few jacks and wild horses. No sage hens. I think I've only seen them near CV once. My falconer friends I think keep it a secret if they see any. In 2007 the jacks were so thick they crossed the roads in droves.
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  7. hajduk

    hajduk Adventurer

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    Hi
    I'm going there on 17th of June and would love to check out the crashed plane, and some other places. do you have any .gpx tracks that I can upload on garmin gps?
    #7
  8. AHRMA17L

    AHRMA17L Been here awhile Supporter

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  9. BrockEvan

    BrockEvan Brock Warwick Supporter

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    This looks fantastic! Congratulations on getting back into riding and congratulations on whatever you did in life to have been able place a cabin in that location!
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  10. BrockEvan

    BrockEvan Brock Warwick Supporter

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    Post some more photos!
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  11. Austringer

    Austringer Adventurer

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    What AHRMA17L said. I tried loading tracks to ADV rider with much trouble. The site he recommends might be better. You can look at google and find routes easily. Fandango is the gateway to the south desert country.
    You can convert google KMZ files to gpx using an online converter, but it sometimes doesnt work.
    #11
  12. Austringer

    Austringer Adventurer

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    benwiggin2. What I did in life was dedicate a year of weekends and endless hours of travel to build that little cabin. Unfortunately I'm doing it again building a shop here at home and not prepared for the debilitating heat which will be her in 3 days. I'm too old for this shit! I should be riding. I'll try to scrounge up some more pix.
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  13. Austringer

    Austringer Adventurer

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    Attached Files:

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  14. Austringer

    Austringer Adventurer

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    IMG_0860.JPG This is near Abert lake to the south of CV. Dry year.
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  15. Austringer

    Austringer Adventurer

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    IMG_3754.jpg 120 miles SW of CV last year.
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  16. Austringer

    Austringer Adventurer

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    IMG_3726.jpg Near petroglyphs by Hart Mtn.
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  17. Austringer

    Austringer Adventurer

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    IMG_0857.JPG 20 miles south of CV
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  18. BrockEvan

    BrockEvan Brock Warwick Supporter

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    Great stuff thanks for sharing! Do you know of any native habitation / archaeological sites in the area?
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  19. Austringer

    Austringer Adventurer

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    I would imagine there are sites all over the area, however the only obvious ones I am aware are the Paisley Caves and the petroglyphs near Hart Mtn. There is obsidian everywhere, but I've only found one broken point in literally hundreds of miles of walking while hunting with my hawks.
    #19
  20. Flailmaster

    Flailmaster Adventurer

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    Thanks for posting this! We've been down there at the dunes many times, but it's usually on the way to and from other areas (NVBDR, Owyhee, etc.) Good to know there's some more fun stuff hiding in those hills. Congratulations on finding such a sweet spot! You might find those trails a bit more crowded now ;)
    #20
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