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  1. #1
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    Best bet for good DH riding in central OR?

    I'm going on vacation in Bend between 8/7-10 and I want to do some DH riding at least one full day. What would be the best place to go? I'll be on my own so shuttling will be almost impossible unless I hook up with a local or talk my wife into being my driver for something near Bend. Is MT Hood worth the drive from Bend for serious DH riding? Willamette Pass looks like another option but it looks like there's a race that weekend which may make it too crowded. I'm dying to ride some new terrain Thanks for your help.
    Last edited by joefa; 08-04-2009 at 07:03 PM.
    I only came here to do two things, ride my bike and drink some beer, and it looks like I'm almost out of beer....

  2. #2
    Let's roll.
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    Hmmm...you might want to reconsider your choice of bike for Central Oregon. Both Mt. Hood and Willy Pass are a decent drive from Bend proper...over an or so north (Hood) and south (The Pass). Aside from the mountains, there are very few dedicated DH runs in and around Bend . I've heard about a trail here and there, but it's definitely not what Central Oregon is known for. Bend is prime XC territory (though there are a few freeride trails popping up), so if I were you, I'd bring a smaller bike. If you gotta do the DH, I've heard Willamette Pass is better than Ski Bowl, but I don't know first hand.
    Bend, Oregon. Proof you don't have to die to get to heaven.

  3. #3
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    I don't really mind driving a few hours if the riding is worth the trip. I'm really just wondering if Hood Skibowl is worth the drive for DH riding. Even if there's only a couple really good DH runs, that would be enough for me....
    I only came here to do two things, ride my bike and drink some beer, and it looks like I'm almost out of beer....

  4. #4
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    There is a new shuttle service here in Hood River, another hour past Ski Bowl, called Ride Division that offers a shuttle service to the top of Post Canyon.

  5. #5
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    As far as Ski Bowl goes, expect only a handful of trails with a lot of rocks and heavy dust. If it turns out to not be your thing you can always get a few rides in on the Alpine Slide.

  6. #6
    troubled economist
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    FYI, I haven't been to SkiBowl this year yet, but a couple of my buddies went up to SB two weeks ago and did say that they're building some features in the trees:

    A new beginner freeride area is almost complete. All ladders and little step ups with no consequences. Impressive clean dimensional lumber builds by a couple of kids. They said there will be an intermediate and expert line before said and done.
    It's OK, the Pro course for the races heads into the woods and that's where it gets a little gnarly w/ a decent rock garden and drops.

  7. #7
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    Cool, I think I'm going to make the drive to SkiBowl on Saturday and give if a go. I don't really have a bike that I can pedal up right now so shuttle or lift assist is my only option. I don't mind if there's only a couple runs as long as there's some decent gnar....just want to do some DH'ing while I'm up there.

    Thanks for all the info!
    I only came here to do two things, ride my bike and drink some beer, and it looks like I'm almost out of beer....

  8. #8
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    I wouldn't go to ski bowl over Willamette. They block the race trails for normal days and the other trails are quite mellow for a DH bike.

    Willamette has a race this weekend but Saturday is just practice, so you can ride everywhere without anything being closed. I raced hood a couple weeks ago and have been to Willamette the past two weekends. Its super rough and fast, perfect for properly using your DH bike, especially if you like going fast. Its super dusty and loose, so riding with buddies is usually kept to the lift.

    You can also ride Klein (sp?) Butte, which is 15 minutes out of bend, runs are shuttleable, or walkable. Short, but there is plenty to keep you busy during the week and a ton of jumps at the bottom that will keep you going for hours.

    Hood is 1:45 from Bend, Willamette is about 1 hour depending on how fast you drive.

  9. #9
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    Thanks Smokie, that's good info. I would've been pissed if I had driven all the way to skibowl only to find out that the good DH runs were closed. Sounds like Willamette is definitely my best bet.... I was just concerned about it being too crowded because of race weekend but I'll take my chances....
    I only came here to do two things, ride my bike and drink some beer, and it looks like I'm almost out of beer....

  10. #10
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    Practice for the first round was very so small. There was no one there, especially early. Get there at 10 and you can ride until 7. Maybe once or twice you will have to wait in line. The only downside is they have the slowest lifts on the planet! Only 50 racers Sunday. So not crowded at all!

    Look for me in the pits, I will get there close to 1 and stay until 4 or 5. Silver A4, 09' Yeti 303. Cant miss me, I will fill you in on the good stuff if you didn't find it on your own.

    I heard there is an AutoCross race in the parking lot, so if it looks super crowded, its because of that.

    Have fun, and pin it!

  11. #11
    VP/ Terrain Designer
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    Cline Butte should not be ridden in the summertime, due to the horrible soil conditions.
    Downhill trail #1 has pretty much been washed out by the recent thunder storms; its going to take a bit of work this fall to get it back to its original condition.
    Braun Enterprises LLC, Building Cool Stuff

  12. #12
    trying to ride
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    I was not impressed with skibowl what so ever. Only had 2 "black" trails open that were powder dry with next to no features at all. There's 3 FR trails on the map. Make that about 75% of one trail actually constructed. They were doing work on the first trail when I tried to ride through. I had a better run pedaling around in Phil's and descending Whoops...now that was a fun trail. Great work from the guys/gals in the bend area

  13. #13
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    ride the glade trail and the top portion of pioneer bridal and pop out just below the truck runout.. needs to be shuttled but oh so good.. best to rip it on a DH bike, all mountain would be OK as well...

  14. #14
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    Yeah, if you're looking for DH trails, stay far away from Bend area....they have nothing but flat **** with some wooden **** built on it too fool themselves into thinking they are more then XC. Cline BUtte is worthless, just a dusty butte that noone likes to ride in the summer. So yeah go to Black Rock, W. Pass, Ski Bowl, or P. Canyon, otherwise, pull your spandex tight and go pedal.

  15. #15
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    Thanks everyone for all the info. I actually ended up riding Willamette on Saturday. Rode the sport and elite race courses (China Rider/Mind Bender?) pretty much all day and also a couple runs on El Paso which was cool but also kind of sketch since I was out riding solo and it's out in BFE. Good riding overall and all the peeps I met were way cool. Definitely going back there next time I'm visiting the in-laws in Bend.
    I only came here to do two things, ride my bike and drink some beer, and it looks like I'm almost out of beer....

  16. #16
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    glad you had fun, was so sic on Saturday, The dirt was absolutely epic, I have never ridden there in anything but 8 inches of silt, so much faster with some moisture! You definitely caught it on an rare day!

    I'm sot sure if I saw you up there or not, let me know the next time you are in town, we can head down there and you wont have to ride solo.

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