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  1. #1
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    Help me plan a Spring trip through Oregon.

    Planning on driving through Oregon for our Spring Break trip this year (is that an oxymoron?). Entering in the Southeastern part from Nevada ending up in Portland by Wednesday April 6.

    I've heard of many of the must do trails in OR but don't know which will be ridealbe this time of year and what the best route would be for hitting MRT, Bend, North Umpqua, and maybe some coastal stuff. I see another thread suggesting Williams River Trail. Is that near Tilamook?

    We'll return down the coast into Northern California then across back into NV. Someone on another thread said there was legal riding trails in the Redwoods National Park.

    I'll be with the family so will be looking for some fun beginner to intermediate stuff that my son and I could do together.

    Other suggestions for fun/interesting things to see or do along this route are also welcome.

    thanks in advance.

  2. #2
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    Hey KRop, used to trade posts with you quite a bit when I was a homer. Unfortunately won't be a whole lot to ride April 6th, and I think most of my usually helpful Oregon residents have "help me plan my OR trip" fatigue. Ashland may be a good bet for the lower elevation stuff. Not sure on the status of Umpqua but if it's not under snow it will most definitely be wet...very wet. Again the lower stuff might be rideable not sure. The top half of MRT will most likely be under snow (which is a shame as this is the ride). Hood River should have some rideable stuff but nothing worth driving for in my opinion.

    The goods that should be rideable, Sandy Ridge, Black Rock, and The Wilson River Trail which is in Tillamook Forest and holds up well to rain. Should also definitely be some good riding in Bend, Mrazek is an awesome early season trail.

    Not aware of any riding in Redwoods NP per say but there is good riding in the Redwoods further south toward Santa Cruz.

    Would be happy to meet up and ride but am getting surgery here shortly. I will chime in more as it comes to me and maybe my post will inspire others.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by big JC View Post
    Hey KRop, used to trade posts with you quite a bit when I was a homer. Unfortunately won't be a whole lot to ride April 6th, and I think most of my usually helpful Oregon residents have "help me plan my OR trip" fatigue. Ashland may be a good bet for the lower elevation stuff. Not sure on the status of Umpqua but if it's not under snow it will most definitely be wet...very wet. Again the lower stuff might be rideable not sure. The top half of MRT will most likely be under snow (which is a shame as this is the ride). Hood River should have some rideable stuff but nothing worth driving for in my opinion.

    The goods that should be rideable, Sandy Ridge, Black Rock, and The Wilson River Trail which is in Tillamook Forest and holds up well to rain. Should also definitely be some good riding in Bend, Mrazek is an awesome early season trail.

    Not aware of any riding in Redwoods NP per say but there is good riding in the Redwoods further south toward Santa Cruz.

    Would be happy to meet up and ride but am getting surgery here shortly. I will chime in more as it comes to me and maybe my post will inspire others.
    That's pretty spot on, especially with early spring around here and after a mostly dry winter..which means we make up for it with mucho rain/snow in spring more than likely. I would stay east or south of the cascades as suggested. If not too wet and in the Portland area, Sandy Ridge is definitely worth the trip and BlackRock is pretty rad as well.
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  4. #4
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    The lower end of the McKenzie might be a good stop with the boy. Nothing too technical or steep. If it is not raining you will be fine. Middle Fork should be okay too... well, the lower end. Like big JC wrote the Wilson River trail will be in solid form for a great day. Hit Sandy for sure!
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  5. #5
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    Hi there! Right now in Bend most trails are under snow or are muddy and should be left alone. You can see what trails are available here: Trails. This will change leading up to your trip, so check back closer to when you are passing through the Bend area. You can stop at any bike shop to purchase a map and be directed to what trails are open East of town. We will not be starting our shuttles to the trails for at least another month or so...
    The McKenzie River Trail is currently under snow all the way to Deer Creek, and this might not change between now and when you are coming. This means the bottom few miles might be open, but most of the trail will be closed and might not be worth the drive. You could call the Forest Service office in McKenzie Bridge and see if Castle Rock/King Castle down the road from the MRT is open, which is an amazing trail.
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  6. #6
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    Thanks guys. Sounds like some good info. Looks like we should stop in Bend and try Phil's. That looks like fun. Maybe hit the lower parts of the MRT.

    Williams River Trail and Sandy Ridge after we drop down from Portland sound like good bets as well.

    I'll do a bit more research on the bike legal trails in Redwoods NP and report back.

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    I think you mean wilson river. If so, that ride it OK but nothing to write home about.

    Sandy Ridge(pdx), Blackrock(Dallas), Syncline(Hood River) and GT400(Hood River) will all be good. Post Canyon(HR) and Cold Creek(SW Washington) are likely to be good. Bend may be more of a crap shoot.
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  8. #8
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    Sandy Ridge is worth a look but Syncline has much better weather than the west side of the Cascades. The trail system is fun and scenic! Worth a trip.

    I don't think Phil's will be dry by early April but who knows. If they are wet they should not be ridden. The trail system is okay but nothing to shout about...just a gateway to better trails up high in the Bend area.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by KRob View Post
    Looks like we should stop in Bend and try Phil's.
    Phils in Bend will not be ride-able in early April. Still snow and wet trails there which means stay off the trails. Trails east of Bend are the choices this time of year. Check out Horse Ridge. Not the best of Bend riding but it's what there is this time of year and the Bend vibe is pretty cool. Again, please don't ride lower Phils this time of year.

    It is Wilson River Trail, not Williams River and it is a good one to ride this time of year.

    Hood River area trails may be okay. Sandy Ridge will be pretty wet but otherwise okay.
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  10. #10
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    Oh, Ok. I was checking the "trails" link cogwild posted and it looked like Phil's was ready... but I see I misread it. Looks like we'll pass through Bend then.

    Yes. I meant Wilson River. We'll be heading west from Portland to Tilamook probably next Tuesday (April 5th) or thursday (April 7th) along the wilson river. Where is the best place to pick up that trail where my wife could drop us off then meet us down river aways. .... or is the Wilson River trail more of an out and back?

    I'll head over towards Hood River if the riding and views are worth it, but may be a bit out of our way.

    Syncline and Sandy Ridge sound promising. Just viewed a report/vid from everytrail.com on Syncline though Sandy Ridge looks to be more on-the-way as we're coming into Portland.
    Last edited by KRob; 03-25-2013 at 03:56 PM.

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    Hit sandy if it's not covered in snow, but with the coming weather forecast I think you will be good to go. From portland, Hood river is only about 1.5 hrs and worth the drive just for the views that can be seen from the hwy. In my opinion the gorge is one of the best parts of Oregon. Depending on how you drive north from bend it would be really easy to hit Black rock and then back to I-5 to the portland area.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by KRob View Post
    Oh, Ok. I was checking the "trails" link cogwild posted and it looked like Phil's was ready... but I see I misread it. Looks like we'll pass through Bend then.

    Yes. I meant Wilson River. We'll be heading west from Portland to Tilamook probably next Tuesday (April 5th) or thursday (April 7th) along the wilson river. Where is the best place to pick up that trail where my wife could drop us off then meet us down river aways. .... or is the Wilson River trail more of an out and back?

    I'll head over towards Hood River if the riding and views are worth it, but may be a bit out of our way.

    Syncline and Sandy Ridge sound promising. Just viewed a report/vid from everytrail.com on Syncline though Sandy Ridge looks to be more on-the-way as we're coming into Portland.
    I am always a big fan of the out and back, but I think you should start at Elk Creek CG and have the wonderful wife pick you two up at the forestry center. Logistically you will save time and driving. Short, mean climb to start from Elk Creek. Longer climb to a viewpoint after that. Pretty much DH to the forestry center. I hope that makes some sense.
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  13. #13
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    How about the 3rd weekend in May?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by KRob View Post
    Oh, Ok. I was checking the "trails" link cogwild posted and it looked like Phil's was ready... but I see I misread it. Looks like we'll pass through Bend then.
    Bend is still worth a stop for the town itself and Horse Ridge is a decent high desert ride. There are other lower elevation trails that are also good for winter riding around Bend. I'd make that stop if I had time as it is still worth the effort.

    Quote Originally Posted by KRob View Post
    Yes. I meant Wilson River. We'll be heading west from Portland to Tilamook probably next Tuesday (April 5th) or thursday (April 7th) along the wilson river. Where is the best place to pick up that trail where my wife could drop us off then meet us down river aways. .... or is the Wilson River trail more of an out and back?
    I recommend Jones Creek trail head to Keenig Creek trail head. It has some climbing and some exposure but it is rated at moderate. Or, you could out and back from Jones Creek down stream toward the foot bridge and back to Jones Creek if the climbs beyond that seem too tough. Here's a link to the trail flier.

    http://www.oregon.gov/ODF/tillamooks...ig_Cr_2009.pdf

    Enjoy your trip up.

    Just saw poppa's post. Elk Creek to Jones is beyond what I would take a beginner-to-intermediate rider. JMO. Here's the flier for that section: http://www.oregon.gov/odf/tillamooks...rail_v2009.pdf
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by k2rider1964 View Post
    How about the 3rd weekend in May?
    What about it?
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  16. #16
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    I posted this in another topic the other day but these are your riding options in Bend currently:

    Horse Ridge. About 15 miles of of trail. Plenty of climbing, good views. Quite technical in many sections.

    Maston/Cline Butte: About 20 miles of trails. Lots of new trails as of the last few weeks. Fairly flat terrain unless you add cline butte to the mix. Good views of Deschutes canyon on the new trails. Otherwise not very scenic unless you climb Cline Butte.

    Horse Butte: 15-20 miles of trails. Views for miles. Not much vertical here. Fairly flat rolling terrain, but not as flat as maston. A few techy sections.

    Smith Rock/Grey Butte: Can't beat Smith rock for views. But ride early to avoid the foot traffic if starting in the park. There is a new trail on the back side of Smith which connects up to the connector over to grey butte. Overall about 20 miles of trails here. Lots of vertical on the back side of Smith and Grey Butte is pretty much all climbing.

    Radlands in Redmond. I've done a little trail work there, but have not ridden. Guessing 10-15 miles of trails? More interesting terrain than Maston from what I saw. Fairly techy and rocky from what i know...

    Regarding riding on Phil's... it depends on when you ride. Ride early morning while the ground is frozen and you can get all the way up to road 300 on any of the trails without any trouble. There is almost no snow. Anything above that has snow. I just hiked up Whoops and Down helipad today (this is all above road 300). Trail work parties are happening now on lower phil's and there is a good possibility that by early April those trails will be open. They just need to dry out a bit more. 1-2 weeks I would guess.

    Some of the trails above listed actually ARE some of the best Bend has to offer. Grey butte/Smith Rock has nothing like it really. Much of Phil's is pretty basic single track with no views at all, so many of the trails listed above you may actually enjoy more. They just aren't as close to town as Phil's so they don't get as much love.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by poppa#1 View Post
    I am always a big fan of the out and back, but I think you should start at Elk Creek CG and have the wonderful wife pick you two up at the forestry center. Logistically you will save time and driving. Short, mean climb to start from Elk Creek. Longer climb to a viewpoint after that. Pretty much DH to the forestry center. I hope that makes some sense.
    That's the way I would do it.

  18. #18
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    KRob, I'll just throw this in, too, since you're headed to Tillamook. We rented a cabin North of Tillamook, and rode the Gales Creek/Browns Camp area last fall. It is right off hwy 6 between Portland and Tillamook, so you'll be going right by it. We rode from University Falls above Browns Camp down to the bottom of Gales Creek. The trail is generally very smooth (at least compared to mountain west trail conditions) with some fun rooty areas. Best "new" ride I did last year. And we rode it during a family reunion, so we had a crew of everyone from experienced DH riders (on their DH bikes, no less) to inexperienced riders on borrowed bikes -- fun was had by all. Fun enough that later in the week we went back to do Storey Burn -- also fun, but don't waste your time on the "free ride" loop that they've built up there, whatever it was called. I think that is a project that died in the middle of completion.

    It is around the highest point on that part of the coastal range, but I grew up in Portland, and don't remember ever having regular snow on that road when I was a kid. Maybe the locals can let you know trail conditions. But it was a fun ride, definitely a nice change from semi-arid desert riding. FWIW, I thought it was better than Sandy Ridge (which I also did last fall, and was also fun).

    Also, I'll put a plug in for Black Rock if you can swing it. Even if you have little interest in free riding, it is tons of fun, and the easy runs like Banzai don't require you to get off the ground at all if you don't want to. I think you and your boy would have lots of fun playing around at Basic Training and taking a run or 2 down Banzai. Just a unique, fun riding area that I can't stand to miss any time I'm in the area.

    Quick note -- Bend trails are fun, to be sure, but they are going to be a little more like what you're used to in Nevada. The Western Oregon stuff is a totally different experience if you haven't ridden it before. I would focus my efforts over there, as fun as Bend is, just to try some new riding -- zooming through the huge trees on soft, smooth trail surface of pine needles and loamy soil is a nice change from the rocks and ledges of Utah and Nevada. Just my $.02. Also, I can dig deep and come up with some names of lower elevation trails around Eugene/Oakridge/Cottage Grove that we used to ride year round when I was in school at UofO if you're going to be in that area, and if it looks like conditions wont allow you to hit MRT or some of the classic stuff that shouldn't be missed.
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  19. #19
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    A week is going to help since we're having warmish temps on the WetSide (EwwJean/Oakridge area), but the "good" stuff is still harshed with snow for the most part. In Oakridge, the goods are all topped with snow. Alpine, Heckletooth, Moon Pt...snow keeps you from getting more than half way in/up/on. In Eugene area, the river/creek trails are fine, but nothing exciting/trip worthy...Hardesty/Lawler/Eula are all topped with snow and full out/back or shuttles aren't possible. Goodman and Eagle's are too wet and should be avoided. In my neck of the woods, Cottage Grove, the only trail totally open is Brice Creek. It's an excellent creek trail, not destination worthy since it's short (5.5 miles, plus falls extension can add 1.5ish). We've done a TON of work on Crawfish in the last month and it still needs to be avoided. We're working on it every week still and the trail is voluntarily closed (lower section between Brice Rd and 2263-717). There's still A LOT of snow to walk through to get to the top or Knott trail or Adams Mt. Way.

    We have WhyPass 25 minutes off I5 west of Cottage Grove that's totally open and fun to ride and certainly can accommodate you and your son's needs....BUT...to experience the best of it you need some guiding, we still can't publish maps.

    Through this winter since we're working on Crawfish to get my gravity fix we've been going to Blackrock, a lot.

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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tystevens View Post
    KRob, I'll just throw this in, too, since you're headed to Tillamook. We rented a cabin North of Tillamook, and rode the Gales Creek/Browns Camp area last fall. It is right off hwy 6 between Portland and Tillamook, so you'll be going right by it. We rode from University Falls above Browns Camp down to the bottom of Gales Creek. The trail is generally very smooth (at least compared to mountain west trail conditions) with some fun rooty areas. Best "new" ride I did last year. And we rode it during a family reunion, so we had a crew of everyone from experienced DH riders (on their DH bikes, no less) to inexperienced riders on borrowed bikes -- fun was had by all. Fun enough that later in the week we went back to do Storey Burn -- also fun, but don't waste your time on the "free ride" loop that they've built up there, whatever it was called. I think that is a project that died in the middle of completion.
    Thanks for the Browns Camp/Gales Creek suggestion Ty. Does this map look anything like the route you did?

  21. #21
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    The Pac NW has a great resource, Cascadesingletrack.com

    Here is their overview of Gales Creek/Storey Burn/Browns Camp

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirt farmer View Post
    The Pac NW has a great resource, Cascadesingletrack.com

    Here is their overview of Gales Creek/Storey Burn/Browns Camp
    Thanks. That is a nice resource. Not one of google's top hits though.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by KRob View Post
    Thanks for the Browns Camp/Gales Creek suggestion Ty. Does this map look anything like the route you did?
    Yeah, that looks close. Here is another map of the Browns Camp area: http://www.oregon.gov/ODF/tillamooks...Loop_v2009.pdf I guess we probably did the left half of the figure-8 on the map you posted.

    First off, we shuttled it (we had 7 or 8 people, so we had to take 2 cars, anyway, and most of us aren't much for climbing if we can help it!). We left one truck at the bottom, near where your map says "start" -- actually, there is a road right there that I think was called Gales Creek road, taking off from hwy 6 -- follow that for about a mile and you come to the Gales Cr. trailhead. We took the other truck to the University Falls TH on the map I linked, and it looks like we actually rode the Gravelle Bros trail. That was my favorite part of the ride -- kind of a roller coaster, ups and downs, roots to jump off, etc. After a few miles, we took a left where it ducks under the highway (nice -- you don't have to cross the road), and linked up to the Storey Burn trail. It was a fairly stiff climb up from there to the top, and then a great run down to the Gales Cr. trailhead.

    I hate to even guess how long it took us -- we were doing the accordion-thing (you know, the group stretches out and gathers back up every 10 minutes or so) due to the variety of rider abilities in the group (including my mom (don't laugh -- she is about as strong a rider for a 56 yr old woman as you'll find!) and a couple sisters-in-law who don't ride much were with us), and we all pretty much walked up the climb, so we weren't in much of a hurry. Maybe 90 minutes to 2 hours?
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  24. #24
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    Hey KRob,

    Current trail conditions around Portland are improving. We had a low elevation snow last week and this affected trails like Sandy Ridge and Brown's camp the most. (1000 to 1500 ft elevation) The snow is melting and hopefully we won't get any more before your trip.

    The rides in the area you will probably like the most would be Sandy Ridge, Gales/Stroyburn/Brown's, and Syncline or Post Canyon in the Gorge. Wilson River trail is o.k. but not something I would choose to ride unless there were no other options.

    I am surprised no one mentioned Sisters Three Creeks trail network for early season Central Oregon riding. The trails there are usually dusty by the time Phil's in Bend is ready to ride.

    If you would like someone to show you around the trails in the PDX area, just let me know.


    EDIT: We went to Paradise Royal trail on the California coast a couple of years ago. It is purpose built trail and has a campground at the trail head. Highly recommended if you have the time. (it is a long twisty and sometimes steep drive to get there from Fortuna)
    Last edited by bubba13; 03-27-2013 at 11:02 AM.
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tystevens View Post
    Yeah, that looks close. Here is another map of the Browns Camp area: http://www.oregon.gov/ODF/tillamooks...Loop_v2009.pdf I guess we probably did the left half of the figure-8 on the map you posted.

    First off, we shuttled it (we had 7 or 8 people, so we had to take 2 cars, anyway, and most of us aren't much for climbing if we can help it!). We left one truck at the bottom, near where your map says "start" -- actually, there is a road right there that I think was called Gales Creek road, taking off from hwy 6 -- follow that for about a mile and you come to the Gales Cr. trailhead. We took the other truck to the University Falls TH on the map I linked, and it looks like we actually rode the Gravelle Bros trail. That was my favorite part of the ride -- kind of a roller coaster, ups and downs, roots to jump off, etc. After a few miles, we took a left where it ducks under the highway (nice -- you don't have to cross the road), and linked up to the Storey Burn trail. It was a fairly stiff climb up from there to the top, and then a great run down to the Gales Cr. trailhead.

    I hate to even guess how long it took us -- we were doing the accordion-thing (you know, the group stretches out and gathers back up every 10 minutes or so) due to the variety of rider abilities in the group (including my mom (don't laugh -- she is about as strong a rider for a 56 yr old woman as you'll find!) and a couple sisters-in-law who don't ride much were with us), and we all pretty much walked up the climb, so we weren't in much of a hurry. Maybe 90 minutes to 2 hours?
    That sounds perfect for me and the boy. He's not much for climbing either..... he can climb, but you'd think you were killing him to hear him complain about it. Ha ha.

    Of course, that's assuming things have dried out sufficiently since your recent snowfall.

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