The Spirit Mountain to Salem Gravel Grinder

In an effort to push past the remnants of a fever, I decided to join my friend Joseph this past weekend for a gravel ride from Spirit Mountain Casino to Salem.  To get to the casino, located in Grande Ronde, it is a mere $3 on public transit, and only a 30 minute drive.  The route was put together by Joseph, and only slightly tweaked by me to make our last 20 miles more gravel heavy than highway heavy.  Our bus ride had almost no other passengers, which provided Joseph and I the opportunity to speak freely – about bikes mostly – until we arrived at the casino.

The Route

Want more detail or the GPX version of this route?  Click here.

The busiest sections of the ride are the bookends, as it starts with a 1.5 mile ride along highway 18, and ends on a 5 mile ride along highway 22.  But outside of that, it is a quiet mix of pavement and gravel.

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The route also has a short 2 mile hike option around mile 18 to see Niagara Falls, a 100 foot free fall waterfall.  There was not one person on the trail with us or even in the parking area the entire time we were there, and the falls was truly impressive.

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I’ll let the pictures do the rest of the talking, but this route is definitely worth checking out if you’re a local Salemite and gravel is your thing.  And since it ends on Edgewater, you can either stop for a beer at the Growler Fill, or else buy a family size fry at Nancy’s and eat the whole thing, which is what Joseph and I opted for after the ride.