The trailhead was easy to find, after enjoying
tremendous views of six snowpeaks from US-20
from Bend. We couldn't help but stop and
gaze at the incredible scenery on this bright
and sunny late April Saturday. The
trail starts with a slightly declining doubletrack,
still soft from the previous week's snow,
passing through the open pine forests the
area is so known for.
The trail continues this
way for a couple of miles before switching
to a fun singletrack for the remainder of
the outbound portion of the ride.
A great feature of this trail is that there
are no long climbs, no steep drops, just
zippy ups and downs. Not quite as
zippy as Phil's Trail, but fun and fairly
The trail starts a gradual
incline that it keeps fairly constant for
at least a couple of miles, with some nice
drops in between, before crossing a couple
of wooden bridges over a couple of small
creeks, then passing over a paved road.
At this road, the trail continues straight,
but we decided to take a left and go down
to see the new Suttle Lake Lodge.
In a word - wow. The lodge is magnificently
handcrafted by a local Sisters artist -
the woodworking alone is worth a visit.
There is a lakeshore restaurant as well
as a nice deli where we stopped for lunch
- beautiful place, can't wait to stay there.
Suttle Lake was dotted
with whitecaps as the wind had really picked
up, but the skies were blue and so was the
lake waters. Simply beautiful.
We headed down the Suttle Lake trail which
goes 3.4 miles around the lake and were
met almost immediately with felled trees.
We had to portage over a dozen trees, but
eventually they ended and we zipped along
the fun singletrack trail with neverending
scenic views of the lake to our left.
Along the way we passed
lots of campers and campsites, some boat
launches, and several lovely natural ampitheaters
built into the hillsides. When the
trail ended, and merged back into the Suttle
Tie Trail, we crossed back over a paved
road, then almost immediately were met with
snow. Just a few patches we had to
carry past, then back to nice open singletrack
with only a few fallen trees to worry about
along the way. The singletrack portion
of the 5-mile return leg is largely downhill,
so that was a lot of fun, but the sandy
doubletrack is mostly uphill, so by the
end of the trail our legs were pretty well
We really enjoyed this
trail - it was fast, fun, and easy, but
still offered enough obstacles to keep it
interesting as it twisted in and out of
trees. We also enjoyed that the trail
was well marked and easy to follow - not
something we've had a lot of success at
in the past. We look forward to staying
at Suttle Lake Lodge sometime soon and doing
the trail again at that time.