Rim to Roseburg is an amazing, epic downhill ride…fast and beautiful. Experience an almost 7,000 feet elevation drop in about 100 miles.
It’s an exciting ride but because of the relentless downhill for about half of its length, make sure your brakes and other equipment are in good shape. And, particularly in the higher elevations, watch for pavement changes, smooth to rough, and narrowing lanes. Remember to Share the Road as you race downhill. Route 138 often carries truck traffic, including logging trucks during warmer seasons and RVs on weekends. Although drivers are usually courteous, lanes can be tight along some stretches and it’s important you stay safe.
You start in Oregon’s only national park, stunning Crater Lake, and head north to Route 138, an Oregon and National Scenic Byway. Turning West on 138, you pedal towards Diamond Lake, Oregon and its legendary rainbow trout fishery. Diamond Lake Lodge might be a good place to provision up if you’ve forgotten anything. As you ride towards Diamond Lake, pause and admire Mount Thielson to the north — a raw spike against the sky — the remnant of an ancient volcano.
Past Diamond Lake you’ll find beauty all around you in long, downhill stretches and more unique natural features, including many waterfalls, beautiful rock formations, and a hot spring. The Toketee Ranger Station lies just off Route 138 and offers a place to water-up and obtain natural history information, including a waterfall brochure that might help you pick some spots to stop on your way to Roseburg. Several waterfall locations offer toilet facilities and outstanding rushing-water views.
Stop at the at the Last Resort and Dry Creek store for snacks and beverages and, later, at the world-famous Steamboat Inn for lunch. You might want to call ahead to the Inn to check availability. Further along, the Bureau of Land Management has facilities at Susan Creek, including toilets and rest areas.
Later in the ride will be the Idleyld Trading Post and more food and drink opportunities in Glide, Oregon.
While in Glide, be sure to check out the Colliding Rivers overlook and interpretive area. It’s the only place in the world where two rivers, the North Umpqua and Little Rivers, meet head-on in swirling chaos. Nearby, a log-cabin Exploration Center will give you more information about the area. When you arrive in Roseburg, you will find breweries, a winery, good food, and comfortable lodging waiting for you.
If your bike needs servicing, Canyon Creek Bicycles and Waldron’s Out Door Sports both offer repair and accessories.
The Roseburg Area Chamber of Commerce operates a Visitors’ Center at the junction of Spruce Street and Washington Ave. The Center has a lot of useful information about amenities and resources in the area.
Crater Lake is accessible from many directions and roads. For example, if traveling along I-5, drivers can take Oregon Exit 30 at Medford and follow signs to Crater Lake, or take Exit 124 in Roseburg and follow Route 138 east, or take Route 97 from Bend to Route 138. Of all the routes, the scenery and riverscape along Route 138 from Roseburg to Crater Lake are the most dramatic and beautiful.