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  1. #1
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    planning oregon trip, want "locals" advice/help

    Planning a trip to do some mountain biking and see the great state of Orgeon. I would like to
    the makenzie river trail, as it seemsit would be awesome.
    I want advice on other trails in that area or other areas of the state with large concentration of MTB trails. I will likely be travelling in motorhome so campgrounds are good, and will be towing my jeep, so can shuttle, ride up down whatever. Just want to have a great MTB vacation with my teenager son and wife.

    Also, any biking near the coastline? let me know about those too.

    Also looking for any suggestion on other great things in the state to see when we are taking a brake from biking.

    We live in Grand Junction CO, so the kokopelli trail and fruita area trails are home so we are comfortable with a lot of technical stuff ( the teenager more than me, wisdom is taking over), and excited to try a different type of terrain like I see in the pics of the Oregon trails

    Tentatively planning on a June trip.. but want to know if that is the best time as far as weather etc

    Appreciate any and all of your input.

  2. #2
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    You will love the McKenzie river trail. So pretty. Has some technical sections for sure.

    Other Areas you can look up online.

    Oakridge
    Umpqua river trail
    Waldo Lake loop
    Ochocos/lookout mountain
    Hood river area trails

    There are a few good trails in and around mt hood. Not sure of the specifics.

    Bend has the most trails in one location. When you come to town I'd be happy to show you around. Too many trails to list!

    High trails don't melt from snow till July probably so keep that in mind.

  3. #3
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    thanks, I will look into those areas as well.

    What constitutes a high trail? not sure which those are... I will check the elevation of Eugene, bend etc. we are at 4500' elevation here and snow clears pretty quick,

    sketchbook, what town are you in? in case I want to take you up on the offer?

  4. #4
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    Oakridge has good trails, Bend has several, and Mt Hood has a good cluster that's my favorite: Sandy Ridge, Knebal/8 Mile/Starvation Ridge, Hood River (Post Canyon) and Syncline. Blackrock is in Falls City and definitely worth the drive if you like freeride/downhill.

  5. #5
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    I'm in Bend. Love to show people around, so seriously don't hesitate to reach out.

    High elevation is more in the 6-7k range I would say. Bend is pretty high already. Close to 4k in town. There are also Elk calving closures through the first half of the summer.

  6. #6
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    I second (third?) the Mac River trail and Oakridge for world-class rides. There are great camping options near both. Bend has great trails, but I tend to think of Bend in terms of "go for the town, stay for the riding." 14 Breweries, live music, etc. Trails are good, but you can find similar quality in other spots. For any of these places, bringing a fly rod along is also an excellent idea for your off-the-bike time (a 5 or 6 weight is ideal that time of year for browns, rainbows, and summer steelhead).

    Having lived out your way (Gunnison/Crested Butte) and having ridden a lot in Fruita, I'd strongly recommend you consider your tire choice before getting out here. Our trails aren't "more technical", but they're different. In general, a bigger footprint and wider knob spacing pays off here (e.g., Nevegal, Ardent), versus the "lots of small knobs" that work well in your playgrounds (e.g., small block 8, captain controls). We have a lot of off-camber, polished roots and year-round clay, as opposed to pulverized granite and slabs. Bend will be most similar to what you are used to; the trails around Hood (and the Mac River trial) will be very different.

    Enjoy your trip!
    Keith in Corvallis

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  7. #7
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    My wife and I also did this trip last summer from Colorado in our pop up. We started in Bend and did a day of trails there, we camp just outside of town. there is a big network of trails but is not like the rest of the riding in OR in regards to the lush forests we went out there to ride through, but it was a real cool town. Our favorite trail was the North Umpqua river trail, we did the Dread and Terror/hot spring section and looped it with the road. If you have a separate vehicle you could shuttle more of the trail, we camped at the Toketee lake campground. Also did the Mckenzie river trail and camped in the campground right at the end of the trail, we paid for a shuttle to the top, this was a cool trail by we both like the north umpqua better. We also camped in Oakridge for a night on the salmon creek NF campground (favorite campground) and road the salmon creek trail, the other rides had forest fires going on so didnt get to try them out. We wanted to check out hood river area, but didnt have time.
    have fun.

  8. #8
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    Bend and Oakridge. The trails in Oakridge are fantastic and there are LOTS of them. The riding is less technical riding than Bend, more forested "alpine jungle" type of riding.
    "Got everything you need?"

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by jquackjr View Post
    Also, any biking near the coastline? let me know about those too.

    Also looking for any suggestion on other great things in the state to see when we are taking a brake from biking.

    Tentatively planning on a June trip.. but want to know if that is the best time as far as weather etc

    Appreciate any and all of your input.
    There are some MTB trails on the coast depending on what part you are going to. June is nice compared to March but later in the summer would probably be a better choice for overall trail conditions and limit the possibility of some of the higher trails still having snow on them.

    The prime spots to stay awhile at at ride multiple days are probably Oakridge and Bend. Bend is the mecca for multiple trails and a variety of other activities to do. There are lots of things to do based on your interests throughout Oregon so you won't go wrong anywhere you go to ride.

    The typical must ride list would probably also include the North Umpqua trail along with the ones you have mentioned. My personal recommendations also include Mary's Peak, Black Rock, Sandy Ridge and Newberry Crater.

    As others have mentioned, post up where you are going to be and I'm sure you will find plenty of local riders who could show you some of the trails. I live in the Salem area and am always willing to show some new peeps some of our trails.

  10. #10
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    I personally would not visit Oregon in June, the month always seems to be very wet, at least in Portland. If I remember correct, last June was the second wetest June on record. I'd plan your visit for July or September.
    I only ride bikes to fill the time when I'm not skiing.

  11. #11
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    June can work, especially if you're planning on spending a lot of it over towards Bend--they get almost 300 days of sun a year. You can ride most of the rest in June; just plan on some rain and mud.
    Keith in Corvallis

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  12. #12
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    I'd ride Umpqua, bend- ride tiddly winks, funner, and any other high elevation trails you can. The lower stuff is all boring xc for the most part. Makenzie river trail, black rock, sandy ridge, hood river for post canyon. There are so many more places to see but those are a few of my favorites. Also in june there are two Oregon enduro races going on so check your schedule with the race schedule if you want to avoid the races and blown out trails.

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    Search function is down, but I posted a lengthy response to a similar thread last year that you might find helpful. If anyone has the link, maybe they can post it here

  14. #14
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    Generally speaking June is a fairly dry month. But it is somewhat unpredictable. July-Sept are entirely predictable: dry.

    You might watch the weather over the next few months. If we have a wet Spring, trails west of the Cascades will still be fairly muddy in June.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by OregonSS View Post
    June can work, especially if you're planning on spending a lot of it over towards Bend--they get almost 300 days of sun a year. You can ride most of the rest in June; just plan on some rain and mud.
    June in Bend usually means the Phil's complex, PRT (Sisters), DRT, and the "winter" trails, and Mrazek to not-so-far above the canal.

    All the great Bend stuff is usually July, at least.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by OregonSS View Post
    I second (third?) the Mac River trail and Oakridge for world-class rides. There are great camping options near both. Bend has great trails, but I tend to think of Bend in terms of "go for the town, stay for the riding." 14 Breweries, live music, etc. Trails are good, but you can find similar quality in other spots. For any of these places, bringing a fly rod along is also an excellent idea for your off-the-bike time (a 5 or 6 weight is ideal that time of year for browns, rainbows, and summer steelhead).

    Having lived out your way (Gunnison/Crested Butte) and having ridden a lot in Fruita, I'd strongly recommend you consider your tire choice before getting out here. Our trails aren't "more technical", but they're different. In general, a bigger footprint and wider knob spacing pays off here (e.g., Nevegal, Ardent), versus the "lots of small knobs" that work well in your playgrounds (e.g., small block 8, captain controls). We have a lot of off-camber, polished roots and year-round clay, as opposed to pulverized granite and slabs. Bend will be most similar to what you are used to; the trails around Hood (and the Mac River trial) will be very different.

    Enjoy your trip!
    that is a great thought, I usually ride captains, but have conti trail king 2.4 on one bike and considering those or rode Geax sturdy ( f) and Gato (R) last year and liked those, wider , bigger knobs.

    open to other suggestions, would rather invest in some that will work and have great rides.. what 29er tires are you all running on bend, makenzie river and the oakridge area trails... so far looking at those areas...have to make time for the girls who don't ride so will making sure they are having fun too...

  17. #17
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    Trail Kings are awesome for this area. However, if it's dry, the trails you just listed are quite smooth compared to other techy trails. The bottom 25-20 miles of Mackenzie River is pine-needle smooth. Really your Captains would work great, too.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by jquackjr View Post
    thanks, I will look into those areas as well.

    What constitutes a high trail? not sure which those are... I will check the elevation of Eugene, bend etc. we are at 4500' elevation here and snow clears pretty quick,

    sketchbook, what town are you in? in case I want to take you up on the offer?
    Our snow most definately does not "clear pretty quickly" as we typically get a LOT more than you at high elevation. 40+feet of it is not uncommon, not to mention it's much heavier snow with much less sunshine to melt it away. I was postholing as late as mid August last year at elevation (angels staircase). I take the time to point this out as timing will be really important to make the most of your trip out here and well you're getting plenty of good trail advice. The last 2 summers running it rained most of June on the west side of the Cascades and in the same breath would say you will run into fires if you wait untill Sept. ort late Aug. My advice would be to come end of July beginning of Aug. That's when trails are at their peak (packed in, dry, and not yet dusty), the days are long, the rain has stopped, and hopefully no fires yet.

    There is camping EVERYWHERE, good camping to. One area that hasn't been mentioned yet is St Helens. While that isn't in OR it's not far and so worth it.

  19. #19
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    I'm also considering a trip to OR this summer. Thanks for the beta. I found the post you mentioned:
    August in Oregon
    I used to build these: www.bikesonsnow.homestead.com
    I now build trails: www.sinuosity.net

  20. #20
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    Don't forget we will have a daily shuttle at 9am from Bend starting as soon as there is a rideable route from Swampy or Wanoga. This could start as late as mid-June, but hopefully sooner! Check out our local shuttles page on our website and/or if you are local to Bend send us an email at info@cogwild.com to be added to our local email list.
    Link to local shuttle page on our website
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    Sponsored by Deschutes Brewery!! Come ride..

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cog Wild View Post
    Don't forget we will have a daily shuttle at 9am from Bend starting as soon as there is a rideable route from Swampy or Wanoga. This could start as late as mid-June, but hopefully sooner! Check out our local shuttles page on our website and/or if you are local to Bend send us an email at info@cogwild.com to be added to our local email list.
    Link to local shuttle page on our website
    Probably much sooner. I would say two-three weeks and you should be in business. Heard Funner is already rideable. Cheers!!
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  22. #22
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    Thanks again all, have made some tentative changes to plans.. looking at mid july rather than june... going to head up towards Columbia river gorge so may hit Mt Hood area and possibly up towards Mt St Helens. then going to come down the coast line, ride, rest, maybe get to ride in the redwoods Near Crescent city CA then back to Eugene/oakridge Mac river trail etc... getting excited now, had a busy spring but been riding here a lot to get ready to have a great trip there. Are there any guide books on amazon about these trails? singltracks .com have good maps? Wanna be as prepared and get the most out of my riding days..
    thanks again for all the great suggestions.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by jquackjr View Post
    Are there any guide books on amazon about these trails? singltracks .com have good maps? Wanna be as prepared and get the most out of my riding days..
    thanks again for all the great suggestions.
    I've been happy with the maps at Mountain Biking, Hiking, Nordic Skiing Trail Adventure Maps- Waterproof . Not perfect (which is hard with constantly changing trails), but their maps seem to be the best out there. Would be curious to hear what others think.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by jquackjr View Post
    Thanks again all, have made some tentative changes to plans.. looking at mid july rather than june... going to head up towards Columbia river gorge so may hit Mt Hood area and possibly up towards Mt St Helens. then going to come down the coast line, ride, rest, maybe get to ride in the redwoods Near Crescent city CA then back to Eugene/oakridge Mac river trail etc... getting excited now, had a busy spring but been riding here a lot to get ready to have a great trip there. Are there any guide books on amazon about these trails? singltracks .com have good maps? Wanna be as prepared and get the most out of my riding days..
    thanks again for all the great suggestions.
    If you are going mid July, I would really encourage you to enroll for the Mountain Bike Oregon event at that time.. Mountain Bike Oregon Details | Mountain Bike Oregon
    We did it as part of a tour last year, and will be including it in an even longer tour this year. They have free demo bikes, great beer, plenty of food, shuttles to every where and great ride leaders. In fact having those great ride leaders make a huge difference. My wife is not near as fast or aggressive rider as I am, but on every ride she was able to hang with a group of riders and ride leader that was good for her pace, while I was able to harass our ride leader with a group of hammerheads at our pace. We rode the same trails, each at our prefeered pace (with guides) and I never had to worry about her getting lost or pissed at me for leaving her behind.
    Last year her and I did a week. This year I have a couple of buds and we are doing 12 days.
    Good thread.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaewannabe View Post
    There are some MTB trails on the coast depending on what part you are going to. June is nice compared to March but later in the summer would probably be a better choice for overall trail conditions and limit the possibility of some of the higher trails still having snow on them.

    The prime spots to stay awhile at at ride multiple days are probably Oakridge and Bend. Bend is the mecca for multiple trails and a variety of other activities to do. There are lots of things to do based on your interests throughout Oregon so you won't go wrong anywhere you go to ride.

    The typical must ride list would probably also include the North Umpqua trail along with the ones you have mentioned. My personal recommendations also include Mary's Peak, Black Rock, Sandy Ridge and Newberry Crater.

    As others have mentioned, post up where you are going to be and I'm sure you will find plenty of local riders who could show you some of the trails. I live in the Salem area and am always willing to show some new peeps some of our trails.
    I look forward to taking you up on that offer!

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