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.
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
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.
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!
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!