Lower Crooked River Back Country Byway

Bureau of Land Management, Oregon.

Just 40 minutes east of the hubbub of Bend, Oregon, sleepy Highway 27 winds 43 miles north from Highway 20 to the city of Prineville. Although the entire route is a state highway, the southernmost 18 miles are unpaved but are of high-standard graded gravel suitable for a passenger vehicle. Private ranches are interspersed among public rangelands with views of rolling hills and towering basaltic buttes. After the paved section begins, the back country byway crosses the spillway of Bowman Dam before descending into the gorge of the Chimney Rock segment of the Crooked Wild and Scenic River with its dozen recreation sites. Here, access to camping, fishing and hiking opportunities are available year-round.

Know Before You Go:

Point of Interest:

Hike up the 1.3-mile Chimney Rock Trail to its namesake butte located prominently above highway 27 opposite the Chimney Rock campground. Access to the trail is across the highway at the Chimney Rock Trailhead.

For a different view, visitors can ride the 18-mile Crooked River Canyon Scenic Bikeway from Prineville to Big Bend Campground. Designated in 2018, this moderate route takes riders from picturesque farms to towering cliffs.

Nearby Activities


From Bend, Oregon: Drive 33.3 miles east on State Highway 20; the junction with State Highway 27 -the Lower Crooked River Back Country Byway- will be on your left.

Additional Information

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