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  1. #1
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    How come no one ever talks about our 400+ miles of singletrack in La Grande?

    It seems we have more singletrack than Bend or Oakridge.

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    Please post some links to your trails. Will be in Walla Walla from time to time and I'm only familiar with the trails around Echo.

  3. #3
    Nat
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    So get it started! I'm sure people would visit if they knew there was something there to be had. What's happening in La Grande?

  4. #4
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    Summerville Where the heck have you been?! In Cornucopia or something?!!! BTW, ever rode there yet?

    We've been talking on and off about La Grande for the past few years, and I have been visiting as well. Maybe the only place better is Steens Mtn down past Burns.

    LA GRANDE ROCKS. This area is so far out of the way and that is what makes it so special. I really enjoy riding Mt Fanny, and going over to North Powder and Anthony Lakes was a baslt too.

    You know anything about getting up to the top of Mt Fanny via behind Cove? We drove in the way from the west towards Elgin, but I see stuff that looks like trails and such headed to the top right behind Cove.

    So, what are your reccomendations, we are all ears.
    Good friction shifting is getting hard to find nowadays....

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    I love that part of Oregon, the couple times I've been there. But is there really 400+ miles? My first clicks around that site linked I notice Hood River is included (??) and the Anthony Lakes rides seem to be mostly doubletrack.

    So what are the top singletrack rides right around the LaGrande area?

  7. #7
    TrinityRiverKerplunk
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    Great site so far! Even has the Cornucopia loop I am hoping to do. Sketchbook, is it legal though???

    I ahve known about MERA, but this is the first timeI have seen this site, sure beats others by a lot, seriously.

    Quote Originally Posted by sketchbook View Post
    Good friction shifting is getting hard to find nowadays....

  8. #8
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    I'm sure the 400+ miles is just marketing speak. That's like 300 days of sunshine here in bend.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by sketchbook View Post
    I'm sure the 400+ miles is just marketing speak. That's like 300 days of sunshine here in bend.
    Agreed. And looking at your link above, I see many OHV trails and dirt roads. Sure, they can be ridden, but it's like kissing your sister.

  10. #10
    TrinityRiverKerplunk
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    Uhhh, kissing your sister???

    Man, I am not one to give you any bad rep, at all, ever. But that one really stinks. To each their own!

    Mt Fanny is doubletrack, but Anthony Lakes isn't, Cornucopia sure the heck isn't and there is so much other stuff in the area that hasn't even been liberated yet. That link sketchbook provided does a great start since this is such a large area and trying to find anything takes an enormous amount of time and resources (gas).

    Bend is OK, but this area is so much better for me in terms of cost (WAY cheaper) than Bend or Eugene/Oakridge, the people are even more straight forward, and there is hardly anyone else out there.

    So, if you like to ride alone like I do, this is the area!
    Good friction shifting is getting hard to find nowadays....

  11. #11
    Afric Pepperbird
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    Quote Originally Posted by unicrown junkie View Post
    Uhhh, kissing your sister???

    Man, I am not one to give you any bad rep, at all, ever. But that one really stinks. To each their own!

    Mt Fanny is doubletrack, but Anthony Lakes isn't, Cornucopia sure the heck isn't and there is so much other stuff in the area that hasn't even been liberated yet. That link sketchbook provided does a great start since this is such a large area and trying to find anything takes an enormous amount of time and resources (gas).

    Bend is OK, but this area is so much better for me in terms of cost (WAY cheaper) than Bend or Eugene/Oakridge, the people are even more straight forward, and there is hardly anyone else out there.

    So, if you like to ride alone like I do, this is the area!
    No, I'm not saying LaGrande area trails are like kissing ones sister, not at all! Just the thought of riding OHV trails in general, which I assume make up a good chunk of the "400 miles of singletrack".

    I've been to that area several times, it is gorgeous and wonderful.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by unicrown junkie View Post
    Summerville Where the heck have you been?! In Cornucopia or something?!!! BTW, ever rode there yet?

    We've been talking on and off about La Grande for the past few years, and I have been visiting as well. Maybe the only place better is Steens Mtn down past Burns.

    LA GRANDE ROCKS. This area is so far out of the way and that is what makes it so special. I really enjoy riding Mt Fanny, and going over to North Powder and Anthony Lakes was a baslt too.

    You know anything about getting up to the top of Mt Fanny via behind Cove? We drove in the way from the west towards Elgin, but I see stuff that looks like trails and such headed to the top right behind Cove.

    So, what are your reccomendations, we are all ears.
    I know everything about Mt. Fanny. There is an enduro type ride up there that reminds me of Full Enchilada, but more like a half enchilada.

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    400+ in the La Grande area which would include Baker City, Enterprise, Elgin, Joseph, and areas within about an hour drive of La Grande. Halfway/Cornucopia area is included in the figure too. There is much more singletrack then this in the wilderness, so that figure only includes outside of wilderness legal singletrack. I guarantee that number is accurate.
    Thanks for the responses.

  14. #14
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    And the figure is a conservative estimate at 400 miles of singletrack. I'd guess we have probably more like 600-700. If we included OHV then we have thousands of miles of trail, so I'm not including that. Singletrack means one track, as in singular trail without a split track. At least that is our definition of singletrack here.

    The only main caveat with our singletrack is that most of it is advanced and rugged riding. There are very few beginner or intermediate trails. Also, due to the low number of trailworkers here, some of the trails need some work. Also, Mt. Fanny has some singletrack on it and the half enchilada I mentioned would probably be about 50% singletrack.

  15. #15
    Nat
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    We need some ride pics, ASAP!

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by summerville View Post
    400+ in the La Grande area which would include Baker City, Enterprise, Elgin, Joseph, and areas within about an hour drive of La Grande. Halfway/Cornucopia area is included in the figure too. There is much more singletrack then this in the wilderness, so that figure only includes outside of wilderness legal singletrack. I guarantee that number is accurate.
    Thanks for the responses.
    Well if you're talking singletrack, double track and OHV tracks included within 100 miles of La Grande....well then you might as well include Bend, Oakridge, Sisters, The NUT and MRT into "the Oakridge area" in which case you're talking 1000s of miles of singletrack.

    Caz
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  17. #17
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    Bend is 4 hours away and Oakridge more. I'm talking about an hour drive which would be within the realm of what any town would call their trails (e.g. Oakridge). And I was just talking about singletrack in that figure.

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    Quote Originally Posted by summerville View Post
    Bend is 4 hours away and Oakridge more. I'm talking about an hour drive which would be within the realm of what any town would call their trails (e.g. Oakridge). And I was just talking about singletrack in that figure.
    I believe Caz was talking about the idea of how many miles of single-track are within a certain 100 miles of Bend or Oakridge, as you were kind of whining about how La Grande is being ignored about how many miles of single track is there compared to what is available in Bend/Oakridge. You seemed to making it out that there was more miles of single track in the La Grande area, but that mileage was spread out over a larger area than is considered when people say how many miles of single track is in Bend or Oakridge. If you considered all of the trails that are within 100 miles of eachother between Bend, Oakridge, and the NUT, you are talking huge miles.

    ANYWAY, major time splitting hairs going on here. Fact of the matter, your biggest problem in La Grande is that you will simply never have as many people to ride or work on your trails as are present in Bend and Oakridge, as Bend and Oakridge have larger population centers and are within a higher traveled transportation route from California up to Seattle/BC, plus better proximity to airports. That is not to say "right on!" for what you guys are putting together over there in La Grande. I LOVE that part of the state, and spend a lot of time in the Richland/Halfway area chukar hunting, and really want to start getting into backpacking up in the Eagle Cap area. But as for refined trails and tourist destination for mountain biking, I would not expect to have La Grande be put on even footing with Bend or Oakridge.

    By the way, getting as much trail information and maps publicized, free, would help people get interested. Try posting your trails up on the mtbproject with photos so people can freely check it out and plan a trip without having to subscribe to something. Personally, with so many options around for my time and recreation, it is easy to just pass up something where I have to pay just to see if it something I might like.

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    Thanks for clarifying Gaucho. Point well taken on the Bend/Oakridge proximity. I grew up near Oakridge in the early 90s and mountain biked around there and Bend and don't recall MTB trail crews or many mountain bikers during that time so I wouldn't say La Grande will never become a destination. I suspect Moab was the similar.

    If some tourism or other entity would like to compensate for the work in making the map data public, I'm sure that could be done. For now, people can pay like they would for any other bike guidebook if they want to see all of the guides. This project was started and presented online well before the MTB Project so I doubt the data will be translated over to that site where the advertising income will not be going to the people who did all the work to gather and present the data.

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    I live in Ketchum, Idaho and am driving to Sandy, Oregon Friday (09-13-13) to meet friends flying in from Illinois. I have heard good things about the riding in La Grande and would like to make a stop there to break up the drive and get in some single track. What would be a good afternoon ride if I only had one shot at it? Our group plans on riding Sandy Ridge Saturday and possibly Surveyors Ridge, then four nights in Bend and three in Oakridge. Thanks in advance for any help.
    Last edited by lml427; 09-11-2013 at 02:30 AM. Reason: add date

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by summerville View Post
    Thanks for clarifying Gaucho. Point well taken on the Bend/Oakridge proximity. I grew up near Oakridge in the early 90s and mountain biked around there and Bend and don't recall MTB trail crews or many mountain bikers during that time so I wouldn't say La Grande will never become a destination. I suspect Moab was the similar.

    If some tourism or other entity would like to compensate for the work in making the map data public, I'm sure that could be done. For now, people can pay like they would for any other bike guidebook if they want to see all of the guides. This project was started and presented online well before the MTB Project so I doubt the data will be translated over to that site where the advertising income will not be going to the people who did all the work to gather and present the data.
    Don't get me wrong, I'm a capitalist, for those who put together the guides, if they want to make money off their efforts, more power to them. However, if you REALLY want more people to come to your area to ride, anything you can do to make it easier to research and make plans is likely to help. Just look at all the tons of free resources for trail researching in Bend . . . it makes it incredibly easy for someone to check out what is available and decide if they want to come. Times change, and as it does, profit-making opportunities change with them. Speaking personally, I really was considering heading over your way this weekend to take advantage of some work I have to do over in Fossil, then go camping/fishing/riding. But I did get a little frustrated with trying to nail down where I could mix it all in together, and instead opted to go where I had much more certainty at Little Cultus or Waldo.

    My point about the challenge of La Grande to become a destination, I simply think it has a pre-existing deficit to Bend relative to the fact that Bend has long been a tourist destination and had much more infrastructure to accommodate tourists. As for Oakridge, it is much closer to a much larger population center (Eugene) with a large number of young, active people (UO), as well as being right off the I-5 corridor, which has WAY more travel than does I-84. Finally, there is going to be decreasing residual demand for bike-related tourists.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to make it out that La Grande is not a fantastic biking destination already, and has a bright future. Just pointing out there is a reason that Bend and Oakridge gets more press. As I said before, I love your area and really want to do a camping trip integrating riding and fishing over there. That may be the real potential for you guys, for local riders to do as much as you can do, and to get folks to come over and go camping and do some great rides. By the way, some fantastic looking trails there

  23. #23
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    totally agree. Practically Everyone in Bend owns an adventure map. All Bend trails and more are online for free - so it's silly to think that posting online maps of things = people NOT buying a map.

    Not only that, but you get to look at a map before buying. There's nothing to see what you are buying on the lagranderide site. Nothing.

    Strava has almost NOTHING for mountain biking in La Grande area. Everyone there is apparently a roadie. Either that or they intentionally don't post MTB rides (so as to keep it all a secret).

    Case in point, Cog Wild's co-owner Lev is on Strava. He owns the local guide shop. Guiding is more than just being the only person that knows where the trails are.

    Create some buzz. Make some things public. Invite some well known town riders to La Grande for an ultimate weekend.

  24. #24
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    Maybe partner with Adventure Maps to get something made for the La Grande area?

  25. #25
    Nat
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    Great pics! Thank you for posting them.

    If you want to turn LaGrande into a biking destination, it might be helpful to look at the history of Fruita, Colorado. Fruita is not very far from Moab, which was a well-established biking destination long before Fruita became one. There was really nothing going on in Fruita, until one industrious person decided to change that and turned the town into a destination.

    How Fruita And Moab Became Mountain Bike Meccas « CBS Denver

  26. #26
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    I recommend the Dutch Flat trail as a quick hop off and ride from the freeway. It is between Baker and La Grande near the bottom of the highway up to Anthony Lakes. The top end is at a junction with the Elkhorn Crest Trail at the wilderness boundary. Normally in La Grande we would recommend MERA as the closest singletrack to the freeway, but the last month or so it has "officially" been closed due to loose bison roaming the trails. They're fun trails and you can get lost easy right now (signage is coming along though) but you're never far from your car even if you get lost. There are some better trails around, but they're farther from the freeway. I'd recommend Umatilla Rim Trail if you want to go out of your way and loop around the tollgate route.

  27. #27
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    The Umatilla trail looks pretty sweet,

    Umatilla Rim Trail Mountain Bike Trail, La Grande, OR

  28. #28
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    Thanks for the pictures. Beautiful scenery... always looking for new places to roll around. When does the season close down due to Old Man Winter?
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    Lower elevation trails are good through November usually but up higher they'll probably only be good until late October. Be aware that there are hunters in the fall and some places can be a mad house during centerfire rifle season, but thankfully that is short. Most of the hunters are good nurtured about us though, but I'd wear high vis clothes. The other good news is that most hunters are rather lazy now and only look for places they can ride their ATV and the roads and trails they can use are becoming more restricted. Lately, I hardly see any hunters on singletrack because that involves some physical fitness.

  30. #30
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    Thanks for the response! Great info and a good reason to wear some of the awfully bright jerseys that don't get worn very often. I have always had solid encounters with the hunting crowd.
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    So what are the "don't miss trails there in the 15-20 mile range?

    We planed to head up that way in Oct. to hike, but sounds like some good biking as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by summerville View Post
    It seems we have more singletrack than Bend or Oakridge.

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    Quote Originally Posted by poppa#1 View Post
    I have always had solid encounters with the hunting crowd.
    A few years ago, I was doing a little solo weekend back pack trip on the PCT when a tree about 8 feet to the side of the trail muttered "have a nice hike". Despite the 30lb pack on my back, I must have jumped 3 feet in the air and nearly shat myself. Then the tree muttered "sorry, didn't mean to startle you". A bow hunter in full camo leaning against the tree was almost invisible to me. After a few seconds for the adrenalin to burn off we had a bit of a chuckle, i wished him luck in his hunt, and on down the trail I went.

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    Woodman: For proximity to downtown La Grande, I would say MERA right now. While I'd rate it as don't miss, they definitely not the best trails around especially for hiking. My answer would be different if you are hiking vs biking, because of wilderness. There are a few don't miss trails right around the 20-25 mile range from La Grande for hiking.

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    Oh my... I had a similar experience on Panther Creek wayyyyyyyyyyyyyy back. The guy was invisible 'til he wanted me to see him... like a cat. I was impressed and he got a big kick out of it as well.
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  35. #35
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    I say organize an XC race... Lots of miles, but not too technical, like Echo. That'll get people going out there as a destination and get others stopping as they pass through. It'll probably take several years to sew the seeds, but it could happen.
    "I wrote a hit play! What have you ever done?!"

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  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by poppa#1 View Post
    Oh my... I had a similar experience on Panther Creek wayyyyyyyyyyyyyy back. The guy was invisible 'til he wanted me to see him... like a cat. I was impressed and he got a big kick out of it as well.
    Our hunters around La Grande are easy to spot. They are driving around on gravel roads in their rig wearing cammo. They're from out of town too because the locals usually go to their secret spot and get their kill on opening day of bow season.

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    Thanks to everyone that posted feedback. I'm understanding better the answer to the original question, which was meant to be quite literal. I was not intending to infer La Grande should be a destination like Oakridge and Bend, but comparatively with this much trail it seems we would at least have a modest reputation; yet, there is essentially no talk of this part of Oregon. When Kirk with the Ibis demo fleet came here this summer, he was told we didn't have anything either but about 2 hours into a trail he said, "I guess this answers the question, 'Is there riding in La Grande?'"

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