I couldn't wait to hit this trail, as last time I was in Bend, I
bolted up Phil's Trail and had a total blast!
Unfortunately, I had difficulty from the get-go. My tires had
gotten low since my last ride, and when I went to pump them up, my
pump broke. Then, as I set out up the trail, my seat came
loose. I tried to tighten it, but my wrench broke! I
would not be deterred, however. I borrowed a pump and a
wrench, and was on my way.
The ride starts out along
Phil's Trail, so
follow the well-marked signs up a gravel road, up a singletrack
trail, and through some freshly logged area up and down a
rollercoaster ride and some fairly level ground, until hitting the
red cinder road called FR-300 at 5.8 miles. Turn
right and bolt
down the hill, and up the steep other side, then down again to a
fork at 6.3 miles, where on the right side of the trail facing West,
you'll see signs marking the bottom of the Whoops Trail.
Turn left now on FR-310, an old
doubletrack. Continue riding straight ahead,
through an open pine forest until you reach a T intersection, where
you turn right on FR-4615. At 10.1 miles, turn right at a
four-way onto FR-300, then up a hill and right onto an unmarked
singletrack to the ride's high point.
From here, let the fun begin! Bomb through
the manzanita jungles, passing Phil's Trail and hooking up with Kent's
Trail for a while. You can vary the route on any of several
intersecting trails you pass along the way. The ride back is a
blast, and the nearly 11 miles goes by SO fast. This is what
mountain biking in Bend is famous for.
As you head down FR-300, you'll see a sign on the
right as you head up the hill. This is not the trail, I found
out the hard way. I saw the sign marked "H" and followed it.
Wrong Move! After a bit of excellent singletrack, I saw
several signs marked "Detour", and large portions of the trail were
blocked off by logging. Ignoring the signs, as it was
nearly 7:00 and all logging activity had ceased for the evening, I
ended up running into humongous log piles as far as the eye could
see, blocking the trail completely. I carried my bike over
several, but that only revealed more. Eventually, I carried
uphill and hooked up with Beale Man's trail (a fun stretch of
manzanita-ridden singletrack), which took me back to Phil's Trail,
which I rode back to the trailhead, completely missing half my ride.
Watch out for the logging, but other than that,
this trail was a blast, and I highly recommend it. The only
thing missing from this ride was the views that many of the other
rides offer. It is primarily open pine forest and manzanita,
with little or no mountain views. Who cares? You're
going too fast to stop for the views anyway!