38 trail rides in Central Oregon

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Local mountain bike routes, from entry-level to extreme

Intermediate, Technically intermediate, Spring, Summer, Fall, Aerobically intermediate

1. Mrazek Trail

Varied trail connects Shevlin Park to Tumalo Falls and links to Phil’s network

Mrazek Trail

Directions: From Bend, drive or ride 3.3 miles west on Newport Avenue as it turns into Shevlin Park Road. After crossing Tumalo Creek, turn left into the park and look for the trail on the left. Ride the Shevlin Park trails to the south end of the park, where Mrazek begins by following Tumalo Creek and then turns up and out of the park.

Trail features: A long singletrack trail that includes a gradual climb when ridden westward, and a long, sustained descent when ridden eastward.

Distance: The trail itself is 14 miles, but it can be linked to other trails in the upper Phil's Trail system for a much longer loop.

Elevation gain: As much as 2,000 feet.

Rating: Aerobically intermediate, and technically intermediate.

Season: Spring, summer, fall.

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Technically intermediate, Fall, Winter, Spring, Aerobically advanced

2. Smith Rock and Gray Butte trails

Ride remote areas of Smith Rock State Park

Smith Rock/ Gray Butte

Directions: From Bend, travel 22 miles north on U.S. Highway 97 to Terrebonne. Turn right on Smith Rock Road and travel 1 mile. Turn left on Lambert Road. Follow this for about 1 mile and look for signs to the park. Park in the day-use area, and expect to pay a $5 parking fee.

Length: Loop options of 9 to 12 miles. The Burma Road Loop, starting at the main park trailhead, is 11.4 miles; the Gray Butte Loop, starting from Grasslands Campground, is 9.2 miles.

Rating: Technically intermediate, aerobically strenuous.

Features: A grueling climb up Burma Road, followed by exhilarating, unique hillside singletrack; sprawling views of the Crooked River National Grassland and the Cascade Range.

Season: Fall, winter, spring.

Contact: Visit oregonstateparks.org and search for Smith Rock State Park.

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Technically advanced, Spring, Summer, Fall, Aerobically easy

3. The Whoops Trail

This trail set the precedent for downhill singletrack in Central Oregon

Whoops Trail

Directions: The Whoops Trail can be reached by bike via the Phil's Trail Network west of Bend. Bikers can also drive west on Skyliners Road from Bend to Road 300, where Lower Whoops ends. Road 310, just to the north of Junction 24, can be ridden up to Junction 29, the top of Lower Whoops and the bottom of Upper Whoops. (Lower Whoops is downhill only, but Upper Whoops can be ridden both ways.)

Length: Upper Whoops is about 1½ miles long and Lower Whoops is about 2 miles long.

Elevation gain: About 1,000 feet from Phil's Trailhead to the top of Lower Whoops.

Rating: Technically advanced, aerobically easy.

Trail Features: Fast singletrack with a variety of freeride features, including small jumps, large tabletop jumps and banked turns.

Season: Late spring through fall.

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Spring, Summer, Fall, Aerobically advanced, Technically advanced

4. Grand Slam-COD loop

Loop a is good option close to Bend during the fall

Grand Slam-COD loop

Directions: Accessible off Century Drive west of Bend near the Entrada Lodge, or farther southwest from the Cascade Lakes Welcome Station. Grand Slam and COD are also accessible via other trails from Phil's Trailhead.

Length: About 15 miles out and back; several loop options of varying distances available when combined with the Marvin's Garden, KGB, ELV, Storm King and/or Deschutes River trails.

Rating: Technically advanced; aerobically intermediate to advanced.

Trail features: Several technical rock sections, sustained climbs and fast downhill highlight this singletrack loop on the southern edge of the Phil's network.

Season: Spring through late fall

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Technically advanced, Summer, Fall, Aerobically advanced

5. North Fork-Flagline route

21-mile high country jewel for those too stubborn to shuttle

North Fork-Flagline Loop

Directions: Follow Skyliners Road west of Bend until it turns into Forest Road 4603 (a gravel road) and crosses Tumalo Creek. Continue another 3 miles to Tumalo Falls and park there.

Features: Lots of climbing followed by descending, and plenty of scenery, including numerous waterfalls, high alpine meadows and views of Broken Top. (This loop is at high elevation, so bikers should ride it before snow accumulates.)

Distance: About 21 miles.

Elevation gain: 2,000 feet.

Rating: Aerobically strenuous and technically intermediate to advanced.

Season: Mid-summer to fall.

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Aerobically easy, Technically easy, Spring, Summer, Fall

6. Ticket to Ride

New loop offers a fast, easy options for riders

Ticket to Ride Trail

Directions: From Bend, travel about 7 miles southwest along Century Drive to the Cascade Lakes Welcome Station on the right. The trailhead is located behind the building.

Distance: 6 miles.

Elevation gain: About 500 feet.

Trail features: A fair amount of climbing and some fast descents along mostly nontechnical singletrack.

Rating: Technically easy and aerobically easy.

Season: Late spring through late fall.

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Summer, Spring, Fall, Technically intermediate, Aerobically easy

7. Catch and Release/Deschutes River Trail loop

Plenty of variety on this 12-mile loop

Catch and Release/Deschutes River Trail loop

Directions: From Bend, drive southwest along Century Drive about 6 miles to the Forest Service welcome station near the junction with Road 41. The trailhead is across Century Drive from the welcome station.

Distance: About 12 miles.

Elevation gain: About 600 feet.

Trail features: A relatively flat, fast ride in either direction, with only a few technical rock sections. Flowing singletrack along Catch and Release and nice views along the Deschutes River Trail.

Rating: Technically intermediate and aerobically intermediate.

Season: Spring through fall

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Summer, Fall, Aerobically intermediate, Technically intermediate

8. Swampy Lakes

10-mile loop offers a good mix of climbing and downhill

Swampy Lakes

Directions: From Bend, drive 16 miles west on Century Drive to Swampy Lakes Sno-park on the right.

Distance: Featured loop is about 10 miles; many other loops and options of greater distances are available.

Elevation gain: About 900 feet.

Trail features: Rolling singletrack through the forest with occasional mountain views. Featured loop includes a mix of climbs, flat stretches, and descents.

Rating: Aerobically moderate and technically intermediate.

Season: Early summer through fall.

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Summer, Fall, Aerobically advanced, Technically intermediate

9. Swede Ridge Loop

A challenging, scenic ride west of Bend

Swede Ridge Loop

Directions: Head 10 miles west of Bend on Skyliners Road to Skyliner Sno-park on the left.

Length: 14 miles, two to three hours.

Elevation gain: About 1,000 feet.

Rating: Technically intermediate and aerobically strenuous.

Trail features: Challenging climbs and fast descents along singletrack, with numerous mountain views along the way. The Swede Ridge Shelter offers a midride pit stop.

Season: Mid-summer through fall.

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Spring, Summer, Fall, Technically advanced, Aerobically advanced

10. Tyler’s Traverse and Duodenum

Duodenum is a recently added loop trail in the Wanoga complex southwest of Bend

Tyler's Traverse and Duodenum

Directions: From Bend, drive southwest on Century Drive to Conklin Road. Turn left and drive about 4 miles to a gravel parking area on the right. The Tyler's Traverse uphill route begins from the parking area. The downhill route ends at the parking area. Bikers can ride the uphill route to access the Duodenum loop trail.

Features: A challenging climb and a mix of swooping downhill with moderate technical trail features, including jumps and banked turns.

Distance: Varies depending on loops; ride featured here is about 12 miles.

Rating: Aerobically moderate to strenuous and technically intermediate to advanced.

Season: Late spring through fall.

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11. Tumalo Ridge-Skyliners Loop

13-mile loop offers some of Central Oregon’s best mountain biking trails

Tumalo Ridge-Skyliners Loop

Directions: Head 10 miles west of Bend on Skyliners Road to Skyliner Sno-park on the left.

Distance: 13 miles, two to three hours.

Elevation gain: 1,300 feet.

Trail features: Challenging climbs and fast descents along singletrack, with numerous mountain views along the way. The Swede Ridge Shelter offers a midride pit stop.

Rating: Technically intermediate and aerobically strenuous.

Season: Summer and fall.

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Spring, Summer, Fall, Aerobically easy

12. Black Rock Trail

Trail skirts the edge of a vast lava flow between the Deschutes River and Lava Butte

Black Rock Trail

Directions: Riders can start from the Lava Lands Visitor Center near Lava Butte, a few miles south of Bend off U.S. Highway 97. Another option is to start from the Deschutes River Trail near Benham Falls.

Distance: The trail is 4½ miles long, but bikers can connect to the Deschutes River Trail for a longer ride.

Elevation gain: 630 feet

Trail features: Rolling singletrack along the edge of a vast lava-rock field.

Rating: Aerobically easy and technically intermediate.

Season: Spring through fall.

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Aerobically easy, Technically easy, Aerobically intermediate, Summer, Fall

13. Tumalo Creek Trail

Trail near Tumalo Falls a good option for beginners

Tumalo Creek Trail

Directions: Travel 10 miles west of Bend on Skyliners Road to Skyliner Sno-park on the left.

Distance: 7 miles

Elevation gain: About 100 feet.

Trail features: Smooth singletrack suited for beginners, with exceptional scenery through Tumalo Canyon and the Bridge Creek Burn to Tumalo Falls.

Rating: Aerobically easy to intermediate, technically easy.

Season: Summer and fall.

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Technically easy, Spring, Summer, Fall, Aerobically intermediate

14. Swamp Wells Trail

Mountain bikers can find solitude along Kelsey Butte

Swamp Wells Trail

Directions: From Knott Road in Bend, head east on China Hat Road approximately 4½ miles and turn right on Forest Road 1810. Heading south, follow signs to Bessie Butte Trailhead. The spur leading to Swamp Wells Trail is directly across the road. (Trail can also be accessed at Horse Butte Trailhead.)

Length: Out-and-back and loop options of varying distances. Bessie Butte to Kelsey Butte and back is about 10 miles; bikers can combine other singletrack and dirt roads for much longer rides.

Elevation gain: About 700 feet.

Rating: Technically easy, aerobically intermediate.

Trail features: High Desert singletrack riding among ponderosa pine trees and numerous buttes; expansive views of the Cascade Range and other mountains from viewpoint on Kelsey Butte.

Season: Early spring through late fall.

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Technically easy, Winter, Fall, Spring, Aerobically intermediate

15. Horse Butte

Trails offer a good alternative in the fall and winter

Horse Butte

Directions: From Southeast 27th Street in Bend, turn east on Rickard Road. Go 2 miles east on Rickard Road, then turn right on Billadeau Road, which turns into Horse Butte Road. This road becomes gravel and is marked by a Deschutes National Forest sign. Continue until you see the Horse Butte Trailhead sign. Turn right and park. The Arnold Ice Cave Trail is just across the road from the parking lot. The Coyote Loop Trail is farther south down the road.

Length: Loop options consist of 10 to 30 miles. The Coyote Loop Trail-Arnold Ice Cave Trail loop is about 10 miles; bikers can combine other singletrack and dirt roads for much longer rides.

Elevation gain: As much as 500 feet.

Rating: Technically easy, aerobically intermediate.

Trail features: High desert singletrack riding among sagebrush and some juniper trees; expansive views of the Cascade Range and other mountains; a few lava caves are located in the area; trails should be avoided in the summer when they become quite dusty.

Season: Fall, winter, spring.

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Technically advanced, Summer, Fall, Aerobically intermediate

16. Sparks Lake Trail

Upper-elevation trail offers challenges

Sparks Lake Trail

Directions: Go 25 miles west of Bend on Cascade Lakes Highway past Mount Bachelor. Turn left at the entrance into Sparks Lake. Stay left on the gravel road. The trailhead is located a short way down on the left.

Length: The out-and-back from Sparks Lake to Hosmer Lake is 12 miles and takes two to three hours. Shorter and longer options are available.

Elevation gain: About 500 feet on the way back from Hosmer to Sparks.

Rating: Aerobically moderate and technically advanced.

Trail features: The trail winds through various formations of lava rock and Mount Bachelor is in sight for much of the ride. Riders will encounter some technical rock sections and short, steep climbs.

Season: Mid-summer through fall.

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17. Fall and winter riding options

Horse Butte and Horse Ridge, and the area in between, offer some adventure for riders

HORSE BUTTE

Directions: From Southeast 27th Street in Bend, turn east on Rickard Road. Go 2 miles east on Rickard Road, then turn right on Billadeau Road, which turns into Horse Butte Road. This road becomes gravel and is marked by a Deschutes National Forest sign. Continue until you see the Horse Butte trailhead sign. Turn right and park. The Arnold Ice Cave Trail is just across the road from the parking lot. The Coyote Loop Trail is farther south down the road.

Distance: Loop options of 10 to 30 miles. The Coyote Loop Trail-Arnold Ice Cave Trail loop is about 10 miles; bikers can combine other singletrack and dirt roads for much longer rides, including trails that lead to Horse Ridge.

Elevation gain: Varies widely.

Trail features: High desert singletrack riding among sagebrush and some juniper trees; expansive views of the Cascade Range and other mountains; a few lava caves are located in the area; trails should be avoided in the summer, when they become quite dusty.

Rating: Technically easy, aerobically intermediate.

Season: Fall, winter, spring.

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Technically intermediate, Summer, Fall, Aerobically intermediate

18. Dinah-Moe-Humm, Kiwa Butte trails from Edison Sno-park

Trails include mix of climbs, downhill, and dramatic views

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.

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Aerobically advanced, Technically advanced, Spring, Summer, Fall

19. Funner-Tiddlywinks loop

This 13-mile loop offers cross-country climbs and freeride flavor

Funner-Tiddlywinks loop

Directions: From Bend, take Century Drive west about 10 miles. After a long straightaway and a chain-up area on the right, turn left into a small dirt parking area. Ride the singletrack west, then take a left onto Storm King. Ride Funner up to Wanoga Sno-park, and Tiddlywinks back down, or vice versa.

Distance: Loop is 13 miles.

Elevation gain: About 1,000 feet.

Trail features: Twisting cross-country singletrack with plenty of intermediate downhill features (boulders, dirt jumps and banked turns) and “Y” sections for passing during races.

Rating: Technically intermediate to advanced and aerobically intermediate to advanced.

Season: Late spring through fall.

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Summer, Fall, Aerobically easy, Technically intermediate, Technically advanced

20. Mt. Bachelor Bike Park

Lift-served, downhill trails mean easy up and thrilling down

Mt. Bachelor Bike Park

Directions: From Bend, drive 20 miles southwest on Century Drive to Mt. Bachelor's West Village Lodge parking lot. Pine Marten Express and Sunshine chairlifts serve downhill mountain bikers.

Distance: Trails and routes range from about 1 to 4 miles.

Elevation gain: -1,360 feet.

Trail features: Several different routes of varying difficulty, including excavated trails and hand-built singletrack. Easier trails will be accessible via the Sunshine lift.

Rating: Aerobically easy (no climbing!) and technically intermediate, advanced or expert, depending on the trail. Trail signage is posted.

Season: Summer through early fall.

Schedule: Open Mondays through Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Fridays through Sundays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. After Sept. 3, schedule will be Fridays through Sundays through early October.

Daily lift tickets: $42 for adults from 11 a.m. to close; $24 from 3 p.m. to close on Fridays through Sundays. (Season pass is $279.)

Gear: Riders are required to wear a helmet and closed-toe shoes, and mountain bikes must have functional brakes. Bikers are encouraged to ride full-suspension bikes with a minimum of 5 inches of travel and wear a full-face helmet with additional body armor, including kneepads and elbow pads. (Bikes are available for rent at Bachelor, from full-on downhill bikes to lighter enduro bikes.)

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Spring, Summer, Fall, Technically easy, Aerobically intermediate

21. Maston area

Maston area near Redmond offers flat, rolling trails near the Deschutes River canyon

Maston Area

Directions: From the town of Tumalo, follow Cline Falls Highway northeast for 4.4 miles. Turn right on Newcomb Road at a sign for Maston Trailhead. The trailhead, with ample parking and restrooms, is half a mile down the road. Parking is also available 3 miles north of Newcomb Road at the Juniper Trailhead, just off Cline Falls Highway.

Distance: 8- to 15-mile loop options

Elevation gain : As much as 520 feet

Rating: Technically easy and aerobically intermediate

Trail features: Flat and rolling singletrack through juniper trees and sagebrush, with views of the Cascade mountains. Trails are currently in decent shape, but avoid riding them in the summer when they could be extremely dusty. A map is available at www.ormtb.com. Click on “Bend” and then click on “Maston Area.”

Season: Fall, winter, spring.

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Spring, Summer, Fall, Technically advanced, Aerobically advanced

22. Cline Buttes trails

Myriad trails traverse large recreation area

Cline Buttes trails

Directions: From Tumalo, drive north on Cline Falls Highway. The trailhead is hard to find but is located on the left about 2 miles before the Juniper Trailhead (about 30 minutes from Bend). The trailhead includes a gated cattle guard and some mailboxes, as well as a Cline Buttes Recreation Area sign. The singletrack starts about 100 yards up the dirt road, on the left. For a complete ride description, visit www.mtbproject.com.

Distance: 8-mile loop, or 10-mile out-and-back

Elevation gain: 1,100 feet.

Features: Rolling, narrow singletrack around the buttes and a challenging road climb to the top of the highest butte; three downhill trails that are steep and technical, for advanced riders only; loop includes 1,250 feet of climbing and the same amount of descent.

Rating: Aerobically intermediate to advanced; technically advanced.

Season: Spring through fall.

Information: Other maps and ride descriptions on Cline Buttes can be found at www.mtbproject.com.

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Technically intermediate, Technically advanced, Spring, Winter, Fall, Aerobically easy, Aerobically intermediate

23. Redmond Radlands

Miles of rocky, high desert trails, right in town

Redmond Radlands

Directions: From Bend, take U.S. Highway 97 north to Redmond. Turn right on state Highway 126/Evergreen Avenue. Turn left on Ninth Street. Turn right on Negus Way. Stay straight to go onto Maple Avenue. The High Desert Sports Complex and the Radlands trailhead are on the left.

Length: About 12 to 15 miles of singletrack bike trails, with several loop options. Plans call for 30 miles of trails, eventually.

Elevation gain: As much as 600 feet.

Rating: Technically intermediate to advanced; aerobically easy to intermediate.

Trail features: Trails range from easy to advanced. Many of the trails include technical riding over lava rock. Views include the Cascade Range and Smith Rock State Park.

Season: Fall, winter, spring.

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Spring, Fall, Winter, Aerobically advanced, Technically intermediate

24. Smith Rock trails

Climbs and views at Smith Rock State Park

Smith Rock/Gray Butte

Directions: From Bend, travel 22 miles north to Terrebonne. Turn right on Smith Rock Road for 1 mile. Turn left on Lambert Road. Follow this for about 1 mile and look for signs to the park. Park in the day-use area, and expect to pay a $5 parking fee.

Length: Loop options of 9 to 12 miles. The Burma Road Loop, starting at the main park trailhead, is 11.4 miles; the Gray Butte Loop, starting from Grasslands Campground, is 9.2 miles.

Rating: Technically intermediate, aerobically strenuous.

Trail features: A grueling climb up Burma Road, followed by thrilling, unique side-hill singletrack; sprawling views of the Crooked River National Grassland and the Cascade Range.

Season: Fall, winter, spring.

Contact: Visit oregonstateparks.org and search for Smith Rock State Park.

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Technically intermediate, Spring, Summer, Fall, Aerobically easy

25. Opal Canyon loop

Otter Bench, Opal Canyon trails offer bikers a chance to experience dramatic area

Otter Bench and Opal Canyon trails

Directions: Turn west on Lower Bridge Road, off U.S. Highway 97 just north of Terrebonne. Follow signs to Crooked River Ranch. To find the Otter Bench Trailhead, continue past the golf course to the end of the road, about 11 miles from Highway 97. Look for a trailhead sign and map. Parking is free.

Features: Dramatic desert scenery and cliff-side riding on singletrack along the Crooked River Gorge.

Distance: About 7 miles total.

Rating: Aerobically easy and technically intermediate.

Season: Fall, winter, spring.

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Technically intermediate, Aerobically easy

26. Peterson Ridge Trail system

Lots of loop options and outstanding views make these trails near Sisters a rider favorite

Peterson Ridge

Directions: From Bend, take U.S. Highway 20 to Sisters. Turn left on Elm Street and park at the Village Green Park to the left. The trailhead is three blocks north off Elm Street.

Length: Loop options of 2 to 20 miles.

Elevation gain: Up to 1,000 feet.

Rating: Technically intermediate, aerobically easy.

Trail features: Nearly 30 miles of singletrack. East side offers unique trail with banked corners and small technical areas. West side is a bit more technical, with commanding views of Middle Sister and North Sister along the ridge.

Season: Spring through fall.

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Summer, Fall, Technically easy, Aerobically intermediate

27. Suttle Lake Tie and Loop

Loop ride near Sisters good for families

Suttle Lake Tie and Loop

Directions: From Sisters, drive 10 miles northwest on U.S. Highway 20. Turn left on George McAllister Road and park immediately.

Distance: About a 14-mile ride total, two to three hours.

Rating: Technically easy and aerobically moderate.

Trail features: Relatively flat and rolling singletrack through a ponderosa and lodgepole pine forest along the Suttle Tie Trail, which includes doubletrack and singletrack. Views of Lake Creek and Suttle Lake along the singletrack Suttle Lake Loop Trail. Avoid the loop on busy summer weekends.

Season: Summer through fall.

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Technically advanced, Summer, Fall, Aerobically advanced

28. Metolius-Windigo Trail from Lava Lake

Trails near Lava and Little Lava lakes offer scenic rides

Metolius-Windigo Trail from Lava Lake

Directions: From Bend, take Cascade Lakes Highway past Mount Bachelor. The turn in to Lava Lake on Road 500 is at milepost 38, about 16 miles south of Bachelor. The lake is 1 mile in on a paved road. The Metolius-Windigo Trail starts near the boat ramp.

Trail features: Nice views while riding along Lava Lake and through lava fields and alpine forest. Follow the trail about 6 miles north to Hosmer Lake.

Length: The out-and-back ride from Lava Lake to Hosmer Lake is about 12 miles.

Elevation gain: About 250 feet.

Rating: Aerobically moderate to strenuous, and technically moderate to advanced.

Season: Summer through fall.

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Technically advanced, Aerobically advanced, Spring, Summer, Fall

29. McKenzie River Trail

Renowned trail features stunning scenery in the thick, green Willamette National Forest

Directions: From Sisters, go about 30 miles west on U.S. Highway 20 to Highway 126, following signs to Eugene. Notice the upper trailhead on the left just past Fish Lake. Continue on Highway 126 another 20 miles just past the McKenzie Bridge Ranger Station to a large parking area at the bottom trailhead. Leave shuttle car there. Return to the upper trailhead, or trailheads in between for a shorter outing, to begin the ride. Another option is to ride part of the trail out and back from its south end.

Distance: 26.5 miles, four to eight hours, but many options for shorter out-and-back or shuttled rides.

Elevation gain: 1,600 feet.

Trail features: Incredible scenery along the McKenzie River, including waterfalls, old-growth trees and rugged lava flows.

Rating: Aerobically strenuous and technically advanced.

Season: Late spring through fall.

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Fall, Summer, Spring, Technically easy, Aerobically easy

30. La Pine State Park

14 miles of singletrack trails ideal for beginners and families

La Pine State Park

Directions: From Bend, take U.S. Highway 97 south. A few miles before reaching the town of La Pine, turn right onto State Recreation Road. Follow the road for about 3 miles to the park (about a half-hour from Bend).

Distance: The park includes about 14 miles of singletrack. Loops range from 1 to 5 miles but can be linked for longer rides.

Rating: Aerobically easy and technically easy.

Trail features: Rolling singletrack through a scenic section of the Deschutes National Forest along the Upper Deschutes and Fall River.

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31. Newberry Crater Rim Loop

The 20-mile loop around Newberry Crater is a challenging ride with volcanic views

If you go ...

Directions: From U.S. Highway 97, turn east onto Forest Road 21 just north of La Pine. Follow the road for 15 miles to Paulina Lake Campground. Cross the road on bike to Forest Road 500, which leads to the top of Paulina Peak and the start of the singletrack loop. (To avoid the climb up the peak, take two cars and park one at the campground, then drive up Paulina Peak with your bikes.) A $5 fee is required to enter the Newberry National Volcanic Monument. (One hour from Bend).

Distance: About 20 miles (17 miles without the climb up Paulina Peak); three to five hours.

Elevation gain: About 2,500 feet.

Trail features: A classic Central Oregon ride circling the rim of the Newberry caldera. Panoramic views of Paulina Lake, East Lake and Paulina Peak, as well as of the Cascade Range. Lots of climbing and loose singletrack through sections of pumice.

Rating: Aerobically advanced and technically intermediate.

Season: Midsummer through fall

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Technically easy, Technically intermediate, Technically advanced, Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter, Aerobically easy

32. Prineville Bike Park a boon for local mountain bikers

Variety of features offers something for all ages and abilities

Prineville Bike Park

Directions: The park is located on about 1 acre of land just north of Third Street on NE Juniper Street, across from the skatepark and adjacent to Ochoco Creek Park.

Rating: Technically beginner to expert; aerobically easy.

Trail features: An area for families and novice riders, jump lines from beginner to expert, a pump track, and obstacles for mountain bike training. Terrain is available for all ages and abilities.

Rules: Helmets are required; dogs are not allowed; children under 12 must be supervised by an adult; riding in wet or muddy conditions is not permitted; park is open from sunrise to sunset as weather allows; always ride within your limits and abilities.

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Technically advanced, Summer, Winter, Aerobically advanced

33. Round Mountain in the Ochocos

Rugged, lightly ridden paths near Prineville

Round Mountain Trail

Directions: From Prineville, take U.S. Highway 26 east to Forest Service Road 22 (follow signs to Walton Lake). Park at the Round Mountain North Trailhead, just across SR 22 from the Walton Lake entrance (about 1½ hours from Bend). This singletrack trail climbs to the top of Round Mountain and then descends toward Lookout Mountain. The guide TREADMAPS Central Oregon Part 2 includes trails in the Ochocos and is available at local bike shops.

Trail Features: Lots of strenuous climbing along rugged singletrack with, on clear days, incredible views from atop Round Mountain. The downhill back toward Walton Lake is fast and challenging, with switchbacks and a few rocky areas.

Distance: The climb from the Round Mountain North Trailhead to the summit is about 4 miles. The total distance of the trail is 9 miles.

Elevation gain: 2,400 feet.

Rating: Aerobically strenuous and technically difficult.

Season: Summer and fall.

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Technically intermediate, Summer, Fall, Aerobically easy

34. Cultus Lake trails

Mountain bikers can access trails from the Deer Lake Trailhead

Trails near Cultus Lake

Directions: From Bend, take U.S. Highway 97 south to the main turn into Sunriver (South Century Drive). After 22 miles on Forest Road 40 (Spring River Road), turn left onto Cascade Lakes Highway. Turn right onto Road 4635 at sign for Cultus Lake. Turn left on gravel road 4630 to Little Cultus Lake. Turn right at the fork in the road. The Deer Lake Trailhead is half a mile down on the left. The drive is about one hour from Bend.

Trail features: An intermediate out-and-back ride that skirts three lakes. The trail includes densely wooded sections as well as open vistas of Cultus Lake.

Length: The out-and-back from Little Cultus Lake to the east end of Cultus Lake is about 16 miles and is all singletrack.

Elevation gain: Nearly 500 feet.

Rating: Aerobically easy and technically intermediate.

Season: Summer and fall.

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Summer, Fall, Aerobically advanced, Technically advanced

35. Waldo Lake in the Willamette National Forest

The remote lake features a challenging 20-mile loop

Waldo Lake Loop

Directions: From Bend, drive south on U.S. Highway 97 about 45 miles to the Crescent Cutoff, on the right in the town of Crescent. Follow the cutoff road for 12 miles, then go west on state Highway 58 over Willamette Pass to the Waldo Lake access road on the right. Follow signs to Shadow Bay Campground and park near the boat ramp. (About 85 miles and 1.5 hours from Bend.)

Features: Singletrack trail around one of the world's purest, clearest lakes. The trail is mostly solid and smooth, with several technical sections of rocks and boulders on the lake's west side.

Distance: Entire loop around the lake is about 20 miles; four to six hours.

Elevation gain: About 500 feet.

Rating: Aerobically strenuous and technically intermediate to advanced.

Season: Summer and early fall.

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Technically intermediate, Aerobically advanced, Summer, Fall

36. Charlton Lake Loop

Rugged, remote ride offers a challenge to mountain bikers

Charlton Lake Loop

Directions: From Bend, take Highway 97 south and Road 40 west from Sunriver. Take a right on Cascade Lakes Highway. After 1 mile, take a left onto Cultus Lake access road. After 1 mile, take a left on gravel road 4630 to Little Cultus Lake. After 2½ miles, park at Little Cultus Campground.

Distance: 18 miles.

Elevation gain: 1,600 feet.

Trail features: A challenging, remote loop in the high country to pristine Charlton Lake.

Rating: Aerobically strenuous and technically intermediate.

Season: Mid-summer and fall.

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Technically intermediate, Summer, Fall, Aerobically intermediate, Spring

37. Middle Fork of the Willamette Trail

Trail near Oakridge cuts through the thick canopy of the Willamette National Forest

Middle Fork of the Willamette Trail

Directions: From Oakridge (about two hours from Bend), travel east on state Highway 58 for 2 miles to Kitson Springs County Road. Turn right and proceed half a mile to Forest Service Road 21. Turn right and follow for 11 miles to Sand Prairie Campground. Trail can be ridden as an out and back from the campground, or bikers can shuttle up to numerous other access points along the trail.

Trail features: Narrow singletrack cutting through lush, green forest of mixed conifer, cottonwood and big-leaf maple along the Middle Fork of the Willamette River. Several creek crossings add to the character of the trail. The trail is relatively flat, but the riding on the uppermost 4 miles is extremely steep and technical.

Length: Total length of the trail — from Timpanogas Lake to Sand Prairie Campground — is about 30 miles. The trail can be accessed from many points along Forest Service Road 21 for shorter rides.

Rating: Aerobically intermediate and technically intermediate, depending on length of ride.

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Technically intermediate, Spring, Fall, Winter, Aerobically easy

38. The Otter Bench trail system

Early spring is an optimal time to enjoy the rugged Crooked River Gorge along the Otter Bench trail system

Otter Bench trail system

Directions: Turn west on Lower Bridge Road, off U.S. Highway 97 just north of Terrebonne. Follow signs to Crooked River Ranch. To find the Otter Bench Trailhead, continue past the golf course to the end of the road, about 11 miles from Highway 97. Look for a trailhead sign and map. Parking is free.

Features: Dramatic desert scenery and cliff-side riding on singletrack along the Crooked River Gorge.

Distance: About 8 miles total (5.2 miles are open to mountain bikes, including the 1.7-mile Otter Bench Trail and the 3½-mile Opal Canyon Trail).

Rating: Aerobically easy and technically intermediate.

Season: Fall, winter, spring.

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