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oregon trail guide

Deschutes River Trail 

Peterson Ridge

Phil's Trail

Phil's Helipad

East Fork Hood River
(Mt. Hood)

Suttle Lake

Timothy Lake
(Mt. Hood)

Tumalo Falls


Central Oregon Trail Guide

Central Oregon is home to some of the west's best mountain biking.  With smooth, fast, singletrack, and towering mountain views, you can hardly go wrong.  The Bend area is the most popular for biking, with dozens of amazing trails, but other areas such as Sisters have several excellent choices.  The East Mt. Hood area is included in this guide, because we have only tested one trail so far in that region, not enough for a guide of its own.  

The Central Oregon area is known for its sunshine, its golf, and it's mountain biking.  The area consists of high desert plateaus and sub-alpine forests of primarily ponderosa pine and juniper, though the higher rides break into noble fir and mountain hemlock.   The western backdrop consists of the Central Oregon Cascades, with frequent vistas of Mt. Washington, Mt. Jefferson, Three Sisters, Broken Top, Three Fingered Jack, Mt. Bachelor, and Mt. Hood.  The days end earlier here than in the Portland area, due to the western horizon being blocked by the cascades, but the days are nearly always dry and sunny, in contrast to the Portland area.  Over 300 days of sunshine a year make for excellent riding conditions, though it can get hot and dusty late in the summer.  At around 4,000 feet in elevation, it can get chilly at night, so be prepared.  

Hotels are difficult to find in Bend.  Though plentiful, they are nearly always booked well in advance.  Campgrounds are plentiful, though, and the Deschutes River makes for a nice ambience.  The Bend area is only about 3 hours from Portland, making it an easy weekend trip.  To get here, take I-84 east to Highway 97.  Turn south, and follow the road all the way to Bend.  From south of Portland, take Santiam Pass over the Cascades, and up US-20 into Bend.  Sisters is a touristy western-theme town about twenty miles northwest of Bend.  With a population of 900, there isn't much to see there, though it is usually packed with tourists.  Check out the Mexican Restaurant, though.  With some excellent authentic dishes and live mariachi, it is quite excellent.  Redmond is about 11 miles north of Bend, and offers lower priced accomodations, while Sunriver lies about 20 miles to the south, housing a major resort complex.

Make sure you have a forest park permit, as most trailheads require them.  Plan on wearing long pants if it's not too hot, because the sagebrush and manzanita can overgrow the trails quite often and give you some good scratches.  If you like blazing, hard-packed singletrack descents with banked corners, this is the place for you!

To read our trip reports, see photos, and find information about a trail, click on the links at left.  We'll add more as we bike more!



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