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  1. #1
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    north umpqua, mckenzie river, etc - christmas week - is it even possible?

    My wife's family lives in eugene. We go out every christmas. This year she'd like to try some easy trails around where she grew up. This got me thinking about some trails for myself (intermediate in technical skills). I'm looking at the north umpqua and mckenzie river trails as potentials. I'm sure the top portions of both will be snow covered beyond reasonable rideability. But I'm wonder at about what elevation, given average weather conditions, the trail would still be rideable at christmas. Also, when there is lighter snow pack, how nasty/icy does it get?

    Also, I'm completely open to any other recommendations of trails that might be suitable for winter riding. Length 15-50mi, technical difficulty 1-3 of 5.

    And if I'm unforgivably naive, and the whole of all oregon mtb in december is one constant blizzard-of-the-century, feel free to tell me to scrap all thought of riding while I'm there this year.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    I will be in Roseburg around Christmas and was planning on ridding some of the Umpqua. Message me...

  3. #3
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    north umpqua, mckenzie river, etc - christmas week - is it even possible?

    Deer Leap segment is pretty far up there, but is beautiful and a blast to ride. Might be snowed in though.

  4. #4
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    The lower end of the MRT at the McKenzie Ranger station is ~1500' in elevation, the Belknap Springs area is ~1700' and Trail Bridge Reservoir is ~2100'. This lower part of the MRT is a blast to ride but not very technical and I have no idea if there are restrictions in the winter time for riding it or not. Trail Bridge to the McKenzie Bridge is about 14 miles one way, Belknap Springs about 5 miles.

    I generally figure the snow line for the central Washington Cascades at around 1500', give or take 500' depending on the weather. We routinely ride in the foothills here up to 1000' (Tokul area) and higher on Tiger Mountain, etc. on logging roads. Going deeper into the Cascades, it gets (much) wetter in a hurry, so that is a concern where the ground isn't frozen and/or snow covered already.
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  5. #5
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    Don't know about Umpqua. McKenzie trail may have lowest bit passable as DR noted, but IMO its not worth a separate drive out there to ride (though it is pretty). If you're in Eugene, find some Disciples of Dirt guys/gals to lead you through the Why Pass area (west of Lorane). Maybe try their fb? http://www.facebook.com/DisciplesofDirtMTB

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by eLBy View Post
    Don't know about Umpqua. McKenzie trail may have lowest bit passable as DR noted, but IMO its not worth a separate drive out there to ride (though it is pretty). If you're in Eugene, find some Disciples of Dirt guys/gals to lead you through the Why Pass area (west of Lorane). Maybe try their fb? http://www.facebook.com/DisciplesofDirtMTB
    Or try the DOD forum at Disciples of Dirt . Not everyone uses facebook (I don't)...

    ---

    It really depends on the year as far as trail conditions go. One year a group of us were able to ride Alpine from Kate's Cut-In to the bridge only having minimal snow on the road and in the bunchgrass meadow. Another year, I'd have have been lucky just to ride from the Buckhead shelter down. Get my (snow)drift? The lower part of the MRT to about the blue pool should be open however. I ridden that section most of the year. Other options are the great King-Castle/Castle Rock, which sees little snow, Whypass (check out the DOD), Larison Creek, Lower Middle Fork Trail and Bryce Creek trail. If you're looking for riding partners, check out the DOD.

  7. #7
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    Hi Dinsmore,

    I will be hitting MRT next weekend. I'm going to recon the top of the trail (North end). It's difficult to predict how much of this last snowfall (December 6th) will melt, as it was extremely cold for 4 days after (Sat. thru Tues.). As of Dec. 14, trails are clear of snow in the Oakridge area up to 2500 ft. (probably up to 3300 ft). Though this was on a trail that is relatively south-facing (North Shore and Tie-trail up to the Winberry Divide). I will post first at Disciples of Dirt website under the trail conditions forums. So check there often

  8. #8
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    Hey guys, also thinking of heading there around xmas, keep this thread updated! thanks!

  9. #9
    What day are we riding?
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    Vaughn - you get a chance to check out MRT?

  10. #10
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    Rockin, Sorry for the huge late reply. I personally drove up there and reconned the entire upper half of the trail. Did it on 12/19/13. It rained and snowed a little on 12/20/13. No precipitation since that date. At least not in Eugene. So it is clear. On that date, the 19th, there was some frozen snow at the top, but totally rideable! I was injured, so I was unable to reply for a while. A NON-MTB injury, oh so ironic. so sad. ok thanks. I have pictures I took, but I can't figure out how to post them in this "quick reply" as I'm on the way to getting drunk. so direct message me if you want the images. cheers.

  11. #11
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    Hi there. We rode from the bottom of the trail up to Deer Creek and back. Would have gone higher, but started to run out of day light. We were staying just West of the trail, so we rode without a shuttle, otherwise we probably would have started at the top. Hear it is completely open.
    We stayed at the Horse Creek Lodge and would highly recommend the place!
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