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  1. #1
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    North Umpqua Trail 3 day ride logistics input please

    I have searched the threads and though I can find lots of references to how awesome the ride is, and that Cog Wild does offer 3 day tours with a choice of camping or hotel stays, I cannot find anything to help me put his together own my own.
    I’m hoping for some input that will enable us to put it together.
    The stuff I’ve read online say the route is between 58-79 mi. Can anyone clarify this?... that is a pretty wide discrepancy. A few buddies and I would like to complete the route in a 3 day ride. I have found references that state campgrounds with facilities are plentiful along the route - one reason to make this a multi-day adventure. And supplies can be picked up along the way as needed. And apparently there are 10 major trailheads that provide access to the trail.
    Ideally it’d be nice to have a cabin/lodge/hotel and restaurant/general store about every 25 miles along the trail. I don’t want to pack camping supplies, food, beer and water on my bike for 3 days, but I’d sure like to enjoy those things at the end of each day. Does anyone know if there are lodging options available that will allow for anything close to this? And the trailheads that would be accessed?
    And then I will still need to get back to my vehicle (where ever that may be) at the end.
    I am not totally opposed to the Cog Wild thing, heck it may be my only option. It’s just that sometimes it is nice to have the added sense of adventure of putting it together yourself… and not being constrained to someone else’s itinerary.
    Any insight will be greatly appreciated!

  2. #2
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    I did the Cog Wild tour last summer so I'm not going to be much help. I didn't pay attention to the trailheads for the most part and we jumped around a bit rather than doing section #1, then #2, etc...If I remember correctly , we did 56 or 60 miles over the (3) days. I did the hotel version of the tour and we stayed at The Steamboat Inn.

    On day 1, we basically started 19-20 miles east of the hotel on the south side of the highway and rode back essentially to the hotel. I don't know what the day 2 section was called but on day 3, we rode the 'Dread & Terror' section which was fantastic. It rode thru an area where all the hippies camp out (they smelled poorly) and use the hot springs while naked.

    I don't have a ton of advice but just as long as you have (2) vehicles. I'm sure it won't be that difficult to plan. The one issue is there were a couple turn-offs or forks in the road where you would need to know where to go.
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  4. #4
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    I did ride section of the trail as out and back. While it's a nice trail I would not want to ride it for three days in a row when there are so many trails in Oregon.
    Just stay for three days in Oakridge, ride beautifully diverse stuff every day with much more vertical - and enjoy excellent local beer.
    The other somewhat overrated "epic" around is McKenzie river trail - I had much more fun on short but steep Castle Trail near it's lower trailhead. May be it's me but I prefer to pedal less when riding downhill - and those "along the river" trails are often rather flat.
    Still the environment is beautiful and I will probably ride some section of North Umpqua in summer...

  5. #5
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    North Umpqua Trail

    I've spent a good bit of time down on the North Umpqua Trail.

    The section open to bikes comes in at right around 70 miles. I've done that in as little as a day and as many as three days. Three days allows for relaxing. The BLM website that someone provided a link to is very nice and useful.

    As a three day trip I suggest setting up a base camp at Tokatee Campground. Car camp it up. Bring two vehicles for shuttling.

    Day one: Ride Lemolo - Dread and Terror - Hotsprings right back to your camp. Very nice ride. Arguable, the best the trail has to offer, but the other sections are very nice.

    Day Two - Deer Leap through Panther. Nice riding. No major climbs, but lots of short punchy climbs. That is the nature of the trail actually. An out and back on Deer Leap is also fun if you want a day off from shuttling. The middle sections of trail are fun though.

    Day Three - Mott and Tioga. Tioga has a pretty rugged climb up Bob's Butte. Cool section though.

    I would guess that Lemolo might be snowed in / not cleared of trees until Memorial Day this year. Just a guess. Its tough to get clear info from govt agencies about trail conditions. From my experience, they are pretty conservative with posting trail closures. Point is, if you see a bridge is listed as "unpassable" that may not really be true.

    No / little poison oak above Deer Leap. A bit of PO on Deer Leap, and plentiful from there on down, but it shouldn't;t be a deterrent. Great trail.

    There is a store at Dry Creek sort of near Steamboat Springs. Not accessible from trail. Rumors are they offer shuttles as well. I don't know the details.

    Doing the trail on your own without wanting to bike pack would not be easy. There is lodging at Lemolo Lake, Steamboat, and maybe downstream, but the trail is on the non road side of the river for the lower 2/3 and no where near a road for the top 1/3, with the exception of Lemolo. Buddy up and self shuttle. That's my two cents.

  6. #6
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    The trail parallels a river, which has a highway along side of it. There is a nice BLM (IIRC) campground near the bottom end of the trail, a lake at the upper end, and other campgrounds in between. Take two vehicles, save the Cogwild $. Trailforks.com had decent maps of the area the last I looked.

  7. #7
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    Thank you. That is what I was hoping for, some folks that knows the area to chime in.
    So, could we avoid shuttles by camping at Tokatee and doing out and backs…?
    1st day; hot springs through Lemolo about 22 miles each way, 1850 elevation gained going out, lost coming back.
    2nd day; Deer leap through Panther 26 miles each way, 1316’ elevation lost headed out and gained coming back.
    3rd day we would need to relocate base to near the end of the trail (looks like Swiftwater park guest house, North Umpqua retreat or river Vista vacation homes) and ride out and back tioga through mott 21 miles each way, 300’ elevation gain out, lost coming back.
    Does that seem at all reasonable to those that know the area? I realize those are big days and we’ve basically rode it twice in 3 days.
    Instead of tokatee campground maybe we could stay at Umpqua's Last Resort or Steamboat Inn.
    I still need to figure out where the general stores are.

  8. #8
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    lol, I just looked at the actual climbing and descending on those trail segments from trailforks.com.
    Likely more than we'll want to chew each day. Got some math to do before I get too excited about this

  9. #9
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    I usually camp in the Eagle Rock campground, 2-3 miles upstream of Illahee Flats. It is at the halfway point on the NUT and works well for a 2 day tour.
    Umpqua National Forest - Eagle Rock Campground

    Umpqua's Last Resort offers a shuttle service. We used them a few times. They also have a small store and gas station that sells beer, snacks and emergency camping supplies.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by dimitrin View Post
    lol, I just looked at the actual climbing and descending on those trail segments from trailforks.com.
    Likely more than we'll want to chew each day. Got some math to do before I get too excited about this
    I have been down there twice, once for a quick day trip in the spring, starting from the West end of the trail. That was an easy out and back. Then again on an ill fated attempt to ride it all in one day. We picked the hottest time of year, with smoke from forest fires blowing upriver toward us, and made maybe 45 of the 70 before calling it. There is a LOT of climbing for being a 'river trail'. I think it would be much more enjoyable if broken into a couple days. My guess is 3 days would be plenty.

  11. #11
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    Nut

    Where are you coming from for this trip? I really recommend partnering up and having two vehicles for a shuttle or paying for one if there is a service that people recommend. Out and backs on any section are very possible and nice, but the really cool thing about the trail is the one way ride through such cool terrain.

    The trail has a lot of punchy little climbs. Three days would not leave most folks wanting for more, but you can always out and back more each shuttle day if you feel like adding miles.

    Despite following the river downstream, the overall downhill trend is seldom noticed.

    The store is more or less directly across from Horseshoe Bend Campground if I remember correctly. That is a nice place to camp as well. Bring a big cooler dude, and you won't need the store. Its far from well stocked.

  12. #12
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    The North Umpqua Store at Dry Creek closed last November and has not yet sold. There is a small store at Lemolo Lake and then nothing until Idleyld Park and Glide. The Steamboat Inn has a restaurant. The shuttle services should be able to drop off supplies, you'll just need to be prepared.

    There are a couple of miles of the trail near the bottom that are still closed from damage by the Cable Crossing Fire. You would have to check with the BLM on an ETA.

    Also, the Hot Springs TH is now day use only with no dispersed camping allowed for two years. Maybe will cut down on the hippie factor?

    I think you'd probably be happier doing a shuttle. Umpqua's Last Resort and Lemolo Lake Resort both do shuttles with Umpqua's Last Resort being nicely situated in the middle of the trail.

  13. #13
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    This is awesome, thanks.
    I think a shuttle is the ticket. We plan on late August on this, part of a 2 week mtb tour of the great state of Oregon. Our 3rd. I hope y'all know how sweet you have it.
    Starting to get a little stoke...

  14. #14
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    brings back some memories several years ago three friends and I did the Umpqua in two days.....
    Camped at Toketee Lake with two cars, shuttled up to Lemelo and rode back to Toketee first day,

    second day early in the AM (before daylight) we dropped a car down at Swiftwater park hauled back up to Toketee and rode down to Swiftwater park all on singlespeeds......somthin' like 22m day 1 and 48m day 2.

    Just about killed us I tell ya!

  15. #15
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    Man... I hope I'm reflecting back several years from now on this trip... as I'm planning another!
    I'm thinking 3 days will allow for some side trip adventures in the area. Sight seeing, fishing or whatever.
    That Oregon single track is hard to beat!

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