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Thread: N. Umpqua Trail

  1. #1
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    New question here. N. Umpqua Trail

    So, I'm doing some preparation for riding this trail the end of May, and I'm looking for some additional information. I have gleaned most of the info I could find on the internet, IMBA epic, MTBR trail, Dirtworld Trail, Wherewolf's ride report, SLinBend's recap... one of the key pieces of information I'm missing though is the BLM FS webpages which appears to have been removed, all the old links to trail info now go to this page: http://www.blm.gov/or/site_moved.html

    So, I was wondering if anyone had those pages cached by any chance?

    It looks like we are probably going to do this as a 3 day ride, so I'm looking for the BLM pages and any other information/recommendations/GPS logs/whatever ya got that you'd be willing to share and help me out.

    Thanks much.

    -Jon

  2. #2
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    I found the BLM brochure here:

    http://www.fs.fed.us/r6/umpqua/publi...l-brochure.pdf

    Still looking for advice though.

    -Jon

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by thorir
    ... one of the key pieces of information I'm missing though is the BLM FS webpages which appears to have been removed, all the old links to trail info now go to this page: http://www.blm.gov/or/site_moved.html

    So, I was wondering if anyone had those pages cached by any chance?

    -Jon
    Yup... they pulled the site for the foreseable future. It was all in flash, so I doubt cache would do you a heck of a lot of good. Sounds like some wacky politics affected BLM website info in general... something about security issues. Silly, as that was the best public website I've ever seen.

    W/ that said, the brochure you found (thanks for the link by the way) pretty much encompasses everything the site offered. Basically, just plot out the mileage you think you can handle daily and tailor the trip around that. The trails are very well marked (on the upper half at least... never have ridden the lower few sections), so GPS would be more for fun than a necessity.

    And when you had inquired before, I had posted a partial rundown of the trail segment descriptions another MTBR member wrote, but couldn't find the original document. Well, I found it just the other day! And I've decided that I'm going to put together a webpage detailing all the info that folks always ask about. It's minimal now, but it includes the said document. You can find it here:

    http://gittyup.net/northumpqua

    I'll be posting pics soon.

    You may want to call either the Forest Service or the BLM to find out about any detours on the lower section. I know there was one last year that required riding a few miles on the main road (pavement). As for camping, it is ample along the entire route. And if you go mid-week, you are sure to find a spot. Weekend may be a different story. I've stayed at White Horse (near the end of Dread and Terror I believe) and it sits right next to a waterfall. 2 sites at the back of the campground are the best. Hope that helps!

  4. #4
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    Nice. Thanks for archiving that. After reading through the brochure I have a fairly good idea of how the ride should progress. I only wish my trip was sooner .

    I do still have one question though. What about the Maidu segment. Can ya ride from Digit Point to Kelsay Valley? Everyone seems to start with the Lemolo Segment, is that because the Maidu segment is in wilderness or otherwise unridable? Or just because 70 miles is enough?

    Thanks,

    -Jon

  5. #5
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    Can't ride from Digit Point as the trail is in the wilderness area. To ride the segment it is an out and back from Kelsay.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by SLinBend
    Yup... they pulled the site for the foreseable future. It was all in flash, so I doubt cache would do you a heck of a lot of good. Sounds like some wacky politics affected BLM website info in general... something about security issues. Silly, as that was the best public website I've ever seen.

    W/ that said, the brochure you found (thanks for the link by the way) pretty much encompasses everything the site offered. Basically, just plot out the mileage you think you can handle daily and tailor the trip around that. The trails are very well marked (on the upper half at least... never have ridden the lower few sections), so GPS would be more for fun than a necessity.

    And when you had inquired before, I had posted a partial rundown of the trail segment descriptions another MTBR member wrote, but couldn't find the original document. Well, I found it just the other day! And I've decided that I'm going to put together a webpage detailing all the info that folks always ask about. It's minimal now, but it includes the said document. You can find it here:

    http://gittyup.net/northumpqua

    I'll be posting pics soon.

    You may want to call either the Forest Service or the BLM to find out about any detours on the lower section. I know there was one last year that required riding a few miles on the main road (pavement). As for camping, it is ample along the entire route. And if you go mid-week, you are sure to find a spot. Weekend may be a different story. I've stayed at White Horse (near the end of Dread and Terror I believe) and it sits right next to a waterfall. 2 sites at the back of the campground are the best. Hope that helps!
    Sorry for doing this, but I am about to hijack this thread due to renewed inspiration for exploration after seeing your site and pics of your trip. I fully doubt I will ever be able to get away for a full 6 months due to having a hefty mortgage payment and my wife wanting to get pregnant ASAP, but I am stongly considering a few mini road trips after much inspiration from your trip. Proposed road trips are as follows (I live in the Portland area)

    1) Rocky Mt. Dreamer (Stanley/Sun Valley, Moab, Fruita, Crested Butte and/or
    Hurricane/St.George/ Las Vegas, Brian Head, SLC) = 21 days

    2) BC Singletrack Heaven (Rossland, Nelson, Penticton/Kelowna, Pemberton, Whistler,
    Squamish) = 14 days

    3) Central WA/North Cascades Sampler (Leavenworth/Casmere, Entiat, Chelan,
    Winthrop/Twisp) = 10 days

    What are the must do's out of these proposed destinations, also would going at this solo be ok (the wife does not ride) and I always usually meet people.

    Also what is your favorite trail in Bend? I am asking this to see what kind of stuff you like riding. I consider myself an all-mt rider (climb to ride the stuff down as hard as possible, with appropriate gear of course).

    My favorite trails in Bend are: Metolius Windago/North Fork, South Fork, Mrazek, and Whoops (preferably going down of course, but North Fork is probably one of the most scenic climbs I have done in OR.

    Thanks,

    Jon.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by jgusta
    Sorry for doing this, but I am about to hijack this thread due to renewed inspiration for exploration after seeing your site and pics of your trip. I fully doubt I will ever be able to get away for a full 6 months due to having a hefty mortgage payment and my wife wanting to get pregnant ASAP, but I am stongly considering a few mini road trips after much inspiration from your trip.
    Glad to be of inspiration! That's about the best compliment one could ever hear. You've just made my day (which I need... I'm unemployed at the moment and on the job hunt... not pleasant when in Bend... although I am getting some good riding in As for getting away for 6 months... yup, that's a challenge. We leaned almost exclusively on our home equity to fund the trip. Gotta love Bend real estate (or Portland for that matter). No way we could have done it otherwise. I'd say your bigger challenge is pregnancy I can honestly say that doing that trip will be a fondly held memory for the rest of our lives... a defining moment. I'd do it again in a heartbeat. You MUST make this mini-trip work!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by jgusta
    Also what is your favorite trail in Bend? I am asking this to see what kind of stuff you like riding. I consider myself an all-mt rider (climb to ride the stuff down as hard as possible, with appropriate gear of course).

    My favorite trails in Bend are: Metolius Windago/North Fork, South Fork, Mrazek, and Whoops (preferably going down of course, but North Fork is probably one of the most scenic climbs I have done in OR.
    Sounds like we are quite similar from a riding standpoint. I'd put the trails you listed in my top 5 in Bend, if that helps at all. 2 that I would add are Storm King/GS and COD. Wait, we're at more than five now... I just can't decide! I climb as a means to and end... the downhill. I love fast, swoopy, burm laden downhills and getting some, but not too much, air under my tires. The Whoops is probably my favorite section of trail anywhere actually. Don't get me wrong, I love a good climb, but my motivation is always the downhill! To that end, I just sold my Superlight to get a Yeti 575. That should demonstrate where my priorities lay.

    Quote Originally Posted by jgusta
    Proposed trips:

    1) Rocky Mt. Dreamer (Stanley/Sun Valley, Moab, Fruita, Crested Butte and/or
    Hurricane/St.George/ Las Vegas, Brian Head, SLC) = 21 days

    2) BC Singletrack Heaven (Rossland, Nelson, Penticton/Kelowna, Pemberton, Whistler,
    Squamish) = 14 days

    3) Central WA/North Cascades Sampler (Leavenworth/Casmere, Entiat, Chelan,
    Winthrop/Twisp) = 10 days

    What are the must do's out of these proposed destinations, also would going at this solo be ok (the wife does not ride) and I always usually meet people.
    I can only speak to option 1 as far as personal experience, as I've not ridden the other 2 for the most part (although I have ridden Squamish). I would very much like to ride Rossland and Nelson at some point. Word of caution for Canada riding... they step it up a notch or 5 in terms of difficulty. They just ride on a different scale there. If you like the "pucker factor" kind of riding more than you like bombing down swoopy, buff singletrack, that may be a better choice for your trip. Lots of stunts, jumps, super-techy terrain, etc.

    Personally, I'm partial to option 1. By the sounds of it, it is very much in line w/ the type of riding you seem to like. Sun Valley and Crested Butte are easily my 2 favorite destinations of all time for mnt biking. Incredible climbs, laugh out loud descents, spectacular scenery, and best of all, very little traffic. Fruita is sweet as well. Moab, that's a no-brainer (heading there tomorrow actually!). Then of course you have Gooseberry Mesa outside of St. George (epic) and then you can swing by Bootleg in Vegas to really spice up the challenge. I'd say you've got a winner w/ that trip.

    Some trails that come to mind for that option:

    Sun Valley - Little Basin Creek, Fischer Creek, any of the "gulch" named rides, and Bald Mountain (don't take the lift... ride that sucker up... it's super fun) Prepare your lungs and legs for the elevation... it hurts. Buy a copy of Good Dirt... great trail descriptions and directions. Camp just about anywhere for free.

    Crested Butte - 401, Strand Hill, Dead Man's something or other (awesome all day epic... it's profiled on Gittyup). We never did find a good map for this area, although there may be one out there. Just go to the coffee shop downtown (it's a really small downtown) and hook up w/ a friendly local to hit the trails w/. They are super friendly and laid back there. Camp at Oh Be Joyful campground (free)

    Fruita - Pretty much any trail in the book is good. Get your map at Over the Edge. Camp off of Rd. 18 (free)

    Moab - I'll tell you after next week

    Bootleg - Any blue trail. Huge surprise in terms of "fun factor" at Bootleg. The trail behind the butte is awesome... views of Vegas almost the entire time. We camped in the parking lot... not sure if that's a no-no though. On your way out, hit Cottonwood Canyon and the Blue Diamond trails.

    That about covers the highlights. That will fill 3 weeks to the brim and then some. You could easily spend 7 days in Sun Valley alone. Same goes for Crested Butte and Fruita/Moab respectively. Something to chew on. If you need to pair down the trip, any of those individual spots would make great singular destinations that will send you home w/ an ear to ear grin and stories to tell for years. As for going solo, man, I don't know about that. We did see people on some of the trails, but we were alone a good portion of the time, and out of cel phone range. I'd be a little sketched going solo, but that's just me.

    Sorry for the book! I really need to update the Gittyup site to outline specific trails, directions, etc. and break everything down better. Maybe I'll do that between my job search activities Good luck!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by SLinBend
    Sorry for the book! Good luck!
    No no: thank you. Got me juices flowing too. More so on the long range dart board of dreams. Love a good road trip. Rode one of them "Gulch" trails a few years ago and I've been itching to get back ever since.

    My wife and I took a 6 week road trip, living out of the back of a Ford Ranger exploring all over the Colorado Plateau for our honeymoon. She's not a mountain biker, so it was more of a hiking trip, but I brought a bike and rode a few times, including using it to shuttle a hike through Grand Gulch. Good times, memories for life that and have not faded after 15 years.

    I really need to update the Gittyup site to outline specific trails, directions, etc. and break everything down better. Maybe I'll do that between my job search activities
    yes, do that!

    Back to the Umpqua thread:
    thorir's got my juices flowing on that one too and it doesn't require a 500 mile drive.
    Last edited by Snake Muesl; 03-23-2006 at 08:52 AM.

  9. #9
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    Glad the hijack spawned such an interesting discussion .

    I too got inspired reading through SLin's site, looked like a life changing trip (you can see the progression in the photos *smile*). I have been discussing other trips out of Portland with buddies this summer and this thread is making me drool. Do you have a timeframe on your trip? We are talking about Moab/Fruita... end of June/early July right now. And trying to figure out when to do Whistler (possibly the last weekend in July to check out Crankworks).

    By the way, I think we should go for a ride one of these days Jgusta, we have similar riding styles and both live in Portland (SLin too when I get down to Bend next). I'm coming back from a separated shoulder (2 months ago), so I'm a bit slow at the moment, but it sounds like we enjoy similar style riding. I'm PMing you my contact info.

    -Jon

  10. #10
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    Got it, thanks, I think we'll just head West, 70miles should be good enough .

    -Jon

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by SLinBend
    Glad to be of inspiration! That's about the best compliment one could ever hear. You've just made my day (which I need... I'm unemployed at the moment and on the job hunt... not pleasant when in Bend... although I am getting some good riding in As for getting away for 6 months... yup, that's a challenge. We leaned almost exclusively on our home equity to fund the trip. Gotta love Bend real estate (or Portland for that matter). No way we could have done it otherwise. I'd say your bigger challenge is pregnancy I can honestly say that doing that trip will be a fondly held memory for the rest of our lives... a defining moment. I'd do it again in a heartbeat. You MUST make this mini-trip work!!!


    Sounds like we are quite similar from a riding standpoint. I'd put the trails you listed in my top 5 in Bend, if that helps at all. 2 that I would add are Storm King/GS and COD. Wait, we're at more than five now... I just can't decide! I climb as a means to and end... the downhill. I love fast, swoopy, burm laden downhills and getting some, but not too much, air under my tires. The Whoops is probably my favorite section of trail anywhere actually. Don't get me wrong, I love a good climb, but my motivation is always the downhill! To that end, I just sold my Superlight to get a Yeti 575. That should demonstrate where my priorities lay.


    I can only speak to option 1 as far as personal experience, as I've not ridden the other 2 for the most part (although I have ridden Squamish). I would very much like to ride Rossland and Nelson at some point. Word of caution for Canada riding... they step it up a notch or 5 in terms of difficulty. They just ride on a different scale there. If you like the "pucker factor" kind of riding more than you like bombing down swoopy, buff singletrack, that may be a better choice for your trip. Lots of stunts, jumps, super-techy terrain, etc.

    Personally, I'm partial to option 1. By the sounds of it, it is very much in line w/ the type of riding you seem to like. Sun Valley and Crested Butte are easily my 2 favorite destinations of all time for mnt biking. Incredible climbs, laugh out loud descents, spectacular scenery, and best of all, very little traffic. Fruita is sweet as well. Moab, that's a no-brainer (heading there tomorrow actually!). Then of course you have Gooseberry Mesa outside of St. George (epic) and then you can swing by Bootleg in Vegas to really spice up the challenge. I'd say you've got a winner w/ that trip.

    Some trails that come to mind for that option:

    Sun Valley - Little Basin Creek, Fischer Creek, any of the "gulch" named rides, and Bald Mountain (don't take the lift... ride that sucker up... it's super fun) Prepare your lungs and legs for the elevation... it hurts. Buy a copy of Good Dirt... great trail descriptions and directions. Camp just about anywhere for free.

    Crested Butte - 401, Strand Hill, Dead Man's something or other (awesome all day epic... it's profiled on Gittyup). We never did find a good map for this area, although there may be one out there. Just go to the coffee shop downtown (it's a really small downtown) and hook up w/ a friendly local to hit the trails w/. They are super friendly and laid back there. Camp at Oh Be Joyful campground (free)

    Fruita - Pretty much any trail in the book is good. Get your map at Over the Edge. Camp off of Rd. 18 (free)

    Moab - I'll tell you after next week

    Bootleg - Any blue trail. Huge surprise in terms of "fun factor" at Bootleg. The trail behind the butte is awesome... views of Vegas almost the entire time. We camped in the parking lot... not sure if that's a no-no though. On your way out, hit Cottonwood Canyon and the Blue Diamond trails.

    That about covers the highlights. That will fill 3 weeks to the brim and then some. You could easily spend 7 days in Sun Valley alone. Same goes for Crested Butte and Fruita/Moab respectively. Something to chew on. If you need to pair down the trip, any of those individual spots would make great singular destinations that will send you home w/ an ear to ear grin and stories to tell for years. As for going solo, man, I don't know about that. We did see people on some of the trails, but we were alone a good portion of the time, and out of cel phone range. I'd be a little sketched going solo, but that's just me.

    Sorry for the book! I really need to update the Gittyup site to outline specific trails, directions, etc. and break everything down better. Maybe I'll do that between my job search activities Good luck!
    Thanks SL, you got to appreciate one's willingness to share info and their passion with mtb'ing. I hear with the job thing, mtb'ing kind of kept me together when my life was on hold for about a year trying to pass my board exam and playing the waiting game, luckily I had a very supportive wife. Yeah it sounds like the first trip proposed would be best as two different trips with CO being the emphasis of one and UT the other. Have a great time in Moab, perfect time of year to go, I have been riding there twice, need to ride Porc. Rim though next time through. Have a safe trip.

    - Jon.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by SLinBend
    Yup... they pulled the site for the foreseable future. It was all in flash, so I doubt cache would do you a heck of a lot of good. Sounds like some wacky politics affected BLM website info in general... something about security issues. Silly, as that was the best public website I've ever seen.

    W/ that said, the brochure you found (thanks for the link by the way) pretty much encompasses everything the site offered. Basically, just plot out the mileage you think you can handle daily and tailor the trip around that. The trails are very well marked (on the upper half at least... never have ridden the lower few sections), so GPS would be more for fun than a necessity.

    And when you had inquired before, I had posted a partial rundown of the trail segment descriptions another MTBR member wrote, but couldn't find the original document. Well, I found it just the other day! And I've decided that I'm going to put together a webpage detailing all the info that folks always ask about. It's minimal now, but it includes the said document. You can find it here:

    http://gittyup.net/northumpqua

    I'll be posting pics soon.

    You may want to call either the Forest Service or the BLM to find out about any detours on the lower section. I know there was one last year that required riding a few miles on the main road (pavement). As for camping, it is ample along the entire route. And if you go mid-week, you are sure to find a spot. Weekend may be a different story. I've stayed at White Horse (near the end of Dread and Terror I believe) and it sits right next to a waterfall. 2 sites at the back of the campground are the best. Hope that helps!

    Ok, I've had Umqua epic on the mind since last fall. I live in BC (as in British Columbia, not Barbie Camp). Now that you've ridden in my backyard (i just read gittyup), and also know Umpqua, I'd really like to hear what you have to say. Should I make the effort to get down there for this epic ride? Or should I ride the Zoo and Squamish and milk my local singletrack. I travel to ride, not ride to travel in this case.

    Me: leftist fisheries biologist, skiier, who was and xc rider, then racer, then freerider, and now am reformed all-mountain epic junkie (Heckler/Pikey style).Learned to ride on Hartland Dump trails. Did the moab/fruita FF trip a few years back and had a blast because it was so different from the northshore.

    Sorry lay it on me. And yes, your roadtrip was super inspiring!

  13. #13
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    Can anyone tell me what the total elevation gain is going from Kelsay Valley TH to Swiftwater TH? Is it possible to do this trail in 1 day?

  14. #14
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    Mmmmmmmmmm........ the Zoo. In the top 5 of my all time favorite places to ride. We met the friendliest cat out of any bike shop visited, ever, while in Nanaimo - Lonnie I believe his name was - Experience Cycling. We love Canada for that... super nice, down to earth folks. You lucky dog. When I was there it looked like civilization was really starting to encroach on the Zoo trail system. I trust the bulk of the trails there are protected and remain in tact?

    As for being able to recommend you make the trek to N. Umpqua based on your self-description, hell yes I can! It's really quite unique. The all-mountain epic in you will be drooling. Amazing forest and river, crazy fun singletrack, lots of climbing, and very low traffic. You won't find a lot of challenging technical like that of BC or Moab, although there is some exposure in certain areas. If you like the "flow" of Friuta (but w/ a lot more sustained climbs and descents), you will be right at home on the Umpqua. The best part is that it's 95% choice singletrack the entire length. That's hard to find anywhere you ride. We are spoiled in Oregon in that regard. You'll be pretty close to Crater Lake as well, which is a must visit if in the area. No riding, but amazing scenery. Also, if you're taking the time to come all the way down to Oregon, there are lots of rides you can hit while in the area. Oakridge comes to mind... the least known, least traveled, best XC riding in N. America in my book. Epic rides galore. You can even grab lift access on Willammette Pass, just up the road from Oakridge, for $12/day if you want to get your DH fix in (again, not very well known at all, but great riding). And of course there is the McKenzie River Trail.

    So ya... I can safely recommend the trip

    Quote Originally Posted by islander
    Ok, I've had Umqua epic on the mind since last fall. I live in BC (as in British Columbia, not Barbie Camp). Now that you've ridden in my backyard (i just read gittyup), and also know Umpqua, I'd really like to hear what you have to say. Should I make the effort to get down there for this epic ride? Or should I ride the Zoo and Squamish and milk my local singletrack. I travel to ride, not ride to travel in this case.

    Me: leftist fisheries biologist, skiier, who was and xc rider, then racer, then freerider, and now am reformed all-mountain epic junkie (Heckler/Pikey style).Learned to ride on Hartland Dump trails. Did the moab/fruita FF trip a few years back and had a blast because it was so different from the northshore.

    Sorry lay it on me. And yes, your roadtrip was super inspiring!

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    Quote Originally Posted by SLinBend
    You'll be pretty close to Crater Lake as well, which is a must visit if in the area. No riding, but amazing scenery. Also, if you're taking the time to come all the way down to Oregon, there are lots of rides you can hit while in the area. Oakridge comes to mind... the least known, least traveled, best XC riding in N. America in my book. Epic rides galore. You can even grab lift access on Willammette Pass, just up the road from Oakridge, for $12/day if you want to get your DH fix in (again, not very well known at all, but great riding). And of course there is the McKenzie River Trail.

    So ya... I can safely recommend the trip
    Just checked this thread because I love the N. Umpqua trail so much (and I'm only about 1.5 hours from it -- woohoo!).

    I only wanted to chime in that, although there is no legal singletrack within Crater Lake Park, it's still a great road ride to circumnavigate the lake. There are many great overlooks, and if you bring a lock or feel confident stashing the bike, there is a great, short-but-steep hike down to lake level at Cleetwood Cove, a hike up Mt. Scott, and other stops. Only thing is, the shoulder is not wide and the place is crawling with looky-loos in their cars. But I've survived a few rides there. Quite a unique experience.

    I love that ride, but given a choice, it's no choice. North Umpqua trail rocks!

    (And I'm doing the McKenzie River Trail tonight! Can I hear another woohoo?!?!?)

    OK, back to your reguarly scheduled thread...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Albee
    Just checked this thread because I love the N. Umpqua trail so much (and I'm only about 1.5 hours from it -- woohoo!).

    I only wanted to chime in that, although there is no legal singletrack within Crater Lake Park, it's still a great road ride to circumnavigate the lake. There are many great overlooks, and if you bring a lock or feel confident stashing the bike, there is a great, short-but-steep hike down to lake level at Cleetwood Cove, a hike up Mt. Scott, and other stops. Only thing is, the shoulder is not wide and the place is crawling with looky-loos in their cars. But I've survived a few rides there. Quite a unique experience.

    I love that ride, but given a choice, it's no choice. North Umpqua trail rocks!

    (And I'm doing the McKenzie River Trail tonight! Can I hear another woohoo?!?!?)

    OK, back to your reguarly scheduled thread...
    Albee, enough of the woohoo, well, not quite enough. When you and the other half of the crew turned around last night, we continued on up MRT to the first reservoir. After a few minutes to refuel in the rain we headed back for a total of something like 26-28 miles on a Wednesday night! ________ Woohoo! I am jealous of your ten miles prior to joining us though. Love KC/CR trails.
    Now, back to the N Umpqua discussion. It ranks up there as one of my favorites, yes, above the MRT. I haven't ridden either the top sections or the bottom down by Glide, but just about everything else, in bits & pieces. Tech enough in places, some sustained climbs (Illahee comes to mind), and flat out gorgeous country. Do it!

  17. #17
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    Hey Rob,
    I don't have all the details, but I can tell you that Kelsay TH is at 4280', while Swiftwater is at 800'. 70 miles of trail between the two. All of it rolling river trail, doesn't look like there is any single climb over about 700' but lots of ups & downs.

    I had a different question. Anyone have any thoughts on what the trail conditions should be like the end of May? I'm starting to worry that there may still be snow over Memorial Weekend which is when I was thinking about heading down...

    -Jon

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