harney county

With ‘Skull’ event, Burns stakes a claim as America’s best gravel riding destination

Avatar by on June 18th, 2018 at 4:22 pm

Justin Pitts drove nine hours from San Francisco to Burns to ride in the Skull 120. Here he is on an unmarked road north of Dry Gulch Reservoir.
(Photos: Jonathan Maus)

The town of Burns in Harney County is one of the most remote places in Oregon. At over 10,000 square miles, you could fit 21 Multnomah Counties inside of it. And with a land mass about the size of Massachusetts, Harney County has less than one resident per square mile.
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Ready for a challenge? Harney County’s ‘Skull’ ride is waiting

Avatar by on May 30th, 2018 at 9:43 am

Scenes from the inaugural Skull in 2017.
(Photos: Harney County Chamber of Commerce)

About 130 miles east of Bend lies the small, high desert town of Burns, Oregon. People from the Northern Paiute tribe have lived there for thousands of years. Today, like many eastern Oregon towns, the area gets by mostly on farming now that most of the big timber is gone.

But there’s another natural resource that is just coming into its own: unpaved roads that are perfect for bicycling. And an interesting partnership of local, state and federal agencies are leading the charge to promote them. The marketing vehicle for this new discovered asset is the Skull 120/60/30/Relay ride — a combination endurance/gravel/cross-country/sightseeing race/ride that will roll out on its second annual edition June 16th.
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