Nearly every leg of this relaxed ride is punctuated by incredible views of the Cascade mountain range. It is perfect for an early or late-season ride—when most of the more challenging roads in the area are covered in cinder.
From Bend, take the Powell Butte Highway to OR 126. Go west (left) on 126 to Redmond. In Redmond, go south (left) when you come to 6th Street (it’s a one way) and then west again (right) on Glacier (another one way street). Glacier becomes 126. Follow 126 (also known as the McKenzie Highway) on to Sisters. From Sisters, turn southeast (left) back towards Bend on Highway 20.
Powell Butte Highway
The Powell Butte Highway is a rural country highway with just enough curves to keep you awake—including several fast 90 degree blind sections that county road planners have been trying to eliminate for years. The road runs by the Bend airport, the entrance to Pronghorn (one of the areas many high end resort communities), Brasada Ranch (yet another high-end resort community), and Powell Butte itself before ending at OR 126 about halfway between Redmond and Prineville. Expect light traffic.
OR 126 from Powell Butte to Sisters
OR 126 is a bit straighter and more heavily traveled than the Powell Butte Highway. It remains a rewarding ride due to the outstanding views of the Cascades you’ll find filling your shield, goggles, or sunglasses as you travel west. It is best ridden at a slower pace. Look for Roberts Field to the south (on your left) just before you hit downtown Redmond. Roberts Field is Central Oregon’s largest airport and home to the Redmond Air Center where the Redmond Smokejumpers and firefighting air tankers are based. You’ll pass through downtown Redmond as you continue west. Two of the region’s many golf courses are located between Redmond and Sisters along 126—Eagle Crest and Aspen Lakes.
US 20 from Sisters to Bend
Like OR 126 from Powell Butte to Sisters, US 20 is a fairly straight stretch of road with moderate traffic. Traffic tends to move a bit faster, but this last leg of the trip is the most scenic, making it a good road to kick back and cruise. A viewpoint about midway between Sisters and Bend offers unparalleled views of the South, Middle, and North Sisters mountains and is well worth a stop.
View Bend, Oregon – Redmond – Sisters Loop in a larger map