Oregon Backcountry Discovery Route 5

In August 2016 I headed out to conquer Oregon’s Back Country Discovery Route #5.  The route traditionally starts at New Pine Creek, California and goes north ending in Walla Walla, Washington, but like many before me I reversed the route and rode it north to south. Three days in and finally hitting my stride I ran in to the Unity Rail Fire just outside of Unity, Oregon so I hit the slab and motored back to Walla Walla to pickup my truck and figure out a way to not have to admit defeat.

In September I returned to Walla Walla and set out again on the OBDR 5.  I completed the ride in 10 days despite several re-routes, a few mechanical issues and a lot of side trips to Fire Lookout Towers along the way.  There were parts of the ride that were amazing, there were sections I’d not ride again with a heavy bike.  I lost a few bolts, bent some bars, dented the bash plate, learned a few lessons and had a fantastic time.

The Oregon Backcountry Discovery Route 5 photo gallery is here.

The .gpx file.  This is my actual route including the detour just west of Unity, Oregon to follow routes still open from the Unity Rail Fire in 2016.  There were four other on trail re-routes due to fallen trees and steep washed out terrain I could not negotiate with the KLR.  The re-routes were minor and followed the original route closely.

A video from clips along the trail.


Dan Written by:


  1. marc
    October 6, 2017

    looks good for a bikepacking trip…the kind with pedals

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