For the most part, the first half follows NF-1028 which is well graded gravel. The second half follows the Old Santiam Wagon road which varies from decent gravel to wop-to-dos, to rough rocks, and lots of dust. On the second half you will be passing through mainly burned out areas.
The Old Santiam Wagon road is historically interesting. It dates back to 1859 from Sweet Home to Cache Creek Toll Station. In 1905 the first automobile, 1904 Buick Curved Dash Runabout named Scout, passed over the road on a transcontinental race. In 1866 the toll for a one-horse team, something about the size and power of my Sidekick, 😮 was $2.00 or about $29.00 in today’s dollars.
I stopped at Big Lake and headed for Hwy 20. You can continue on around Big lake, past Sand Mt. and out to Hwy 20 at the Little Nash snow-park just past Santiam Junction or over to Hwy 126 north of Clear lake.
Historical info from, “Sisters Country Historical Society”