Kiwa Butte and Dinah-Moe-Humm trails
Directions: From Bend, drive 15 miles southwest along Century Drive to Wanoga Sno-park. Start out on the Tiddlywinks Trail, which connects to the Kiwa Butte Trail after about 3 miles (right turn onto singletrack). The Kiwa Butte Trail connects to Dinah-Moe-Humm at a four-way intersection after another 3 miles (another right turn onto singletrack). Dinah-Moe-Humm runs for 5 miles to Edison Butte Sno-park. Bikers can also start their ride at Edison.
Distance: Kiwa Butte Trail is about 3 miles and Dinah-Moe-Humm is about 5 miles.
Elevation gain: About 1,000 feet.
Features: Outstanding Cascade peak views, varied terrain, technical trail features and passing lanes.
Rating: Aerobically moderate and technically moderate.
Season: Summer and fall.
EDISON SNO-PARK — With so many options for mountain biking trails during mid- to late-summer in Central Oregon, it can be hard to know where to begin.
Most higher-elevation trails west of Bend are now snow-free and accessible, opening up seemingly endless opportunities for the fat-tire crowd.
The Wanoga trail system southwest of Bend, designed and built over the past 10 years by volunteers with the Central Oregon Trail Alliance, offers about 30 miles of diverse singletrack. The west end of that system, near Edison Sno-park, offers riders an escape from the crowded trails closer to Bend, but it is still just a half-hour drive from town.
I made that drive one morning last week, getting started early to avoid the afternoon heat that would reach 95 degrees.
My plan was to ride the Dinah-Moe-Humm Trail and part of the Kiwa Butte Trail out and back from Edison for about a 15-mile outing.
Dinah-Moe-Humm is a 5-mile trail of moderate difficulty and is named for a Frank Zappa song. The rolling, twisty path cuts through the lodgepole pine and small buttes of that section of the Deschutes National Forest south of Century Drive. Like many of the trails in the Wanoga network, Dinah-Moe-Humm was designed by COTA with the ideal mix of climbing, downhill and flowing sections.
The 8-mile stretch of singletrack that includes the Dinah-Moe-Humm and Kiwa Butte trails was designated as a state scenic trail by the Oregon Recreation Trails Advisory Council and the Oregon Parks and Recreation Commission in 2014. The section of trail was completed in 2011 and on clear days includes numerous views of snow-covered Cascade peaks.
The Kiwa Butte Trail features sprawling views of Broken Top, Tam McArthur Rim and the Three Sisters. A section of the Dinah-Moe-Humm trail offers dramatic views of Mount Bachelor, Kwohl Butte, Tumalo Mountain, Diamond Peak and Maiden Peak.
From the trailhead across Forest Road 45 from Edison Butte Sno-park last week, I mounted my bike and started out over a couple of technical, rocky portions, and then encountered a bit of a climb. The trail was quite sandy and dusty, cutting through a dense lodgepole pine forest.
As I ascended Bowl Butte the trees gave way to open space, and I twisted around a few turns until I reached the summit. From there, I took in views of Mount Bachelor, Kwohl Butte and, farther in the distance to the southwest, Diamond Peak, though smoke from area wildfires made the peaks somewhat difficult to see. I then descended Bowl Butte along several fast switchback turns.
As I cruised through more thick forest and green grass, I launched off several small jumps, built naturally into the flow of the trail. I eventually arrived at a primary junction, where the Dinah-Moe-Humm, Kiwa Butte and Tyler’s Traverse trails all intersect.
I turned onto the Kiwa Butte Trail and rode about a mile to a viewpoint featuring South Sister and Broken Top. Kiwa also connects to Tiddlywinks, so there are myriad options for loops of varying distances within the Wanoga system. Riders can also shuttle from Edison and ride Dinah-Moe-Humm and other trails in the Wanoga and Phil’s Trail networks all the way back to Bend.
From the viewpoint along Kiwa Butte, 7½ miles into the ride, I turned around to head back toward Edison and was happy to find that much of the way back was downhill.
Trails in the Wanoga complex seem to offer more open spaces than the Phil’s Trail network north of Century Drive, and the forest surrounding Wanoga’s trails has a different feel — more lodgepole pine and dead trees.
Featuring several “Y” sections where the singletrack breaks into two separate paths to offer passing routes, the trails not only are scenic but also race-friendly.
This past weekend, the Haulin’ Aspen marathon and half marathon were staged on the Wanoga network trails — including Dinah-Moe-Humm and Kiwa Butte — so the already dusty trails are likely even more dusty and chewed up. But a few rain showers could put the singletrack back into prime shape for late-summer and fall mountain biking.
When local mountain bikers are faced with the problem of too many trails — a good problem to have, no doubt — Dinah-Moe-Humm near the east end of the Wanoga network is a good place to start.
— Reporter: 541-383-0318,
Editor’s note: Mountain Bike Trail Guide, by Bulletin outdoors writer Mark Morical, features various trails in Central Oregon and beyond. The trail guide appears in Sports on alternating Thursdays through the riding season.