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  1. #1
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    Bend recommendations for this weekend

    Wife and I are headed to Bend area for climbing and xc biking for 3 days. We've never ridden Bend trails. Trailforks shows a ton of trails, any recommendations for a fun 15 mile"ish" loop? We'll be on HT's can still handle some techie terrain.

    Also, do you need some sort of permit for parking at trailheads in the area? TIA

  2. #2
    Nat
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    Most of the trailheads that people use for mountain biking (Phil's, USFS Welcome Center, Conklin road) do not need a Forest Pass, but the snow parks (Swampy Lakes, Dutchman, Wanoga) now require a sno-park permit since it's after Nov.1.

    https://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/DMV/page...k_permits.aspx

    There are I think four thousand previous threads asking about Bend trails so you might want to pick through those but for a 15 mile loop on hardtails with "some" tech terrain you might want to stay in the Phil's area. Maybe go up Ben's and down Phil's.

    You said you're climbing. Does that mean out at Smith Rock? If so, check out the Grey Butte area with a spur out to the top of Burma road while you're there. It's an awesome fall ride with views. Park at Skull Hollow and head out to the top of Burma road either around the north of the butte if you want a longer route or the shorter spur along the south of the butte for a shorter route. Make sure to descend the canyon to the south of the butte though.

    https://bendtrails.org/trail/smith-rockgray-butte/

  3. #3
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    Check with BendTrails as you get into town. Trees and snow are coming down day-by-day. If you already have a NW Forest Pass then you'll be fine in most areas, unless you venture into a fee-zone OR state park. You can get the passes at most bike shops or at the welcome center near Conklin Rd and Century Dr.

    Hopefully some of the locals have recent information on what's clear. EDIT - Like Nat, who beat me to it, right up there ^^^

    Generally you can get some fun loops in general out of the Phil's trailhead, going up Ben's (or Kent's) as high as you can then coming down Phil's (or Kent's). If you can get up Pinedrops and descend Lower Whoops that's quite a hoot.

    For more technical features you can start from the Welcome Center and get out onto COD or Grand Slam.

  4. #4
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    I’ve never seen a thread just like this one ...


    Has it gotten to the point that we need a sticky basic visitors guide for Bend first timers, and another for Oakridge first timers?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by SchralphMacchio View Post
    I’ve never seen a thread just like this one ...


    Has it gotten to the point that we need a sticky basic visitors guide for Bend first timers, and another for Oakridge first timers?
    I looked for a sticky first... Previewing several other threads didn't answer my question, but I must admit I don't have the patience to read "the four thousand" previous threads.

    I did note the trail from Skull Hollow, which is where I stayed on previous climbing trips. Thanks for the recommendations.

  6. #6
    Nat
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    That area around Skull Hollow is so nice to ride. The north side of Gray Butte can be a bit rocky and steep in places but the views down towards Smith are superb. I might have to go there again myself soon.

  7. #7
    Nat
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    I just learned that there is a running race going on at Smith Rock and Gray Butte this weekend. Nice timing. It figures that the one weekend I want to go there there’s an event. It looks like Sunday would be the day to ride out there, as the half marathon stays around Smith and doesn't head over to Gray Butte.

    https://www.alpinerunning.co/run-the-rock-50

  8. #8
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    I think a page at BendTrails.org with this general type of info would be good for new people in town. So much to choose from. We have discussed internally about adding popular rides as a category, but have not put in the time.

    That said - If every tourist in town heads to the same few epic rides, that could maybe suck.

    What do you all think?

  9. #9
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    I'm not a believer in "secret spots" – it has less power in my mind than it even did when I was a surfer – so go for it!

    Looking at the Trailforks heat map of the area, I notice that the obvious loops are the ones getting traffic. Maybe it would help to suggest beginners try out the Ticket to Ride stuff from the Welcome Center in addition to the standard up Ben's and down Phil's loop?

    Pointing people to different classes of trails might be appreciated. People looking for jumps might not be the same people looking for rock features.

    To me a big part of Bend (even now that I know the trail system) is navigating the conditions and what's open/riding great v.s. what's got blowdown or snow or dust, and maybe that would be a good topic for newbies/beginners.

    You should also add something about proper signaling in the roundabouts, the great (Crux) vs ok (Boneyard – beer stellar, food ok) vs nah (Deschutes – except the brewery tour is awesome) brew pubs, and not moving to Portland if you like mountain biking.

  10. #10
    Nat
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    Maybe there should be a standard disclaimer of, "Mountain biking in Bend sucks. Go to Oakridge."



    Yeah I'm looking at you, K2Rider1964.

  11. #11
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    I agree with the idea of a "First-Timers' Guide" to the Bend area. But I wouldn't confine it to Bend. There are a SH*TLOAD of trails and trail networks to ride in a 100-mile radius of Bend. Too often I think people get hung up on the name "Bend" when they should be saying "Central Oregon."

    Bend Trails is a great site—but if you're not really familiar with the area, seeing all those trails can be totally bewildering!

    Scott
    29er wheels are dangerous. They may cause you to go faster which can result in serious bodily injury. —Jim311

  12. #12
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    Is everything open? Or is there snow on the upper elevation stuff?
    Redding Trail Alliance - www.reddingtrailalliance.org

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