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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


Suttle Lake Loop
via the Suttle Tie Trail

Length: 13.6 miles
Type: Partial Loop
Duration: 3  Hours
Elevation Gain: 750 Feet

To Reach:

From Bend: Take US-20 Scenic Byway 10 miles past Sisters.  Turn left onto George McAlllister Road.  The trailhead and gravel pullout is immediately on your right.
From Portland: Take Santiam Pass over the cascades - US-20 Scenic Byway.  10 miles before Sisters is Geo. McAllister Rd.  Turn right and then hang a quick right into the gravel pullout and the trailhead.

Mountain Biking at Timothy Lake on Mt. Hood, Oregon

Trip Report:

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 flat. 

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 burned out.

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.


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