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pjpvi 01-11-2010 07:13 PM

Oregon suggestions - 4wheeling, camping & mountain biking
I'll be heading up to Oregon for a few nights with a couple buddies for some R&R probably in May. I've passed through Oregon several times, but never stopped to look around much. Any suggestions on a place that will allow good remote camping and has a concentration of good mountain bike trails?

I did a 10 day trip to Southern Utah last year with the same guys and we are making it an annual outing (until our wives say otherwise of course). I won't have as much time this year, so we figured Oregon would be a good destination from SF Bay Area.

Thanks in advance!


Aldercrest 01-11-2010 08:56 PM

Re: Oregon suggestions - 4wheeling, camping & mountain biking
Phil, Any thoughts on where you want to go? May is a little early for most of the higher elevation areas as you'll still be in the snow. But you can definitely find something. Here are some ideas:

* Bend - can't really go wrong in Bend.
* Hood River - good biking in May. Lots of camping. Anything borderline remote will have some snow. We usually head to HR for Memorial Day and "camp" in the county parks. With lots of options from sea level to 5,000', this would give you several alternatives if weather gets in the way of your first choice. You could still ski on Mt. Hood in May, too.
* North Coast/Tillamook State Forest - No snow, but potentially muddy and rainy. Some good options for remote camping.
* McKenzie River Trail east of Eugene on 126.
* Oakridge southeast of Eugene on 58.
* Umpqua River Trail east of Roseburg.

I can get you more info on the north coast options or Hood River. Mtn. View Cycles in Hood River and Hutch's in Bend might get you more local info there, and you could probably order some maps from them also.

Psomaki 01-11-2010 10:39 PM

Re: Oregon suggestions - 4wheeling, camping & mountain biking
Phil, listen to Aldercrest, but don't rule out the northernmost part of the north Oregon coast around Seaside and Cannon Beach. The coast is striking, the folks are nice, and in addition to parks, the Weyerhaeuser mountain properties offer unique hiking or biking possibilities. You can't get vehicle access or camp on Weyerhaeuser land, but there are miles and miles of logging roads in spectacular mountain areas that you can enjoy as long as you aren't motorized. Enjoy your trip! :i5:

pjpvi 01-12-2010 08:18 AM

Re: Oregon suggestions - 4wheeling, camping & mountain biking
Thanks for the input. Both McKenzie River and North Umpqua trails had popped up on our radar as did:

Paulina Lake
Waldo Lake
Phil's Trail
Mt. Bachelor
MacDonald Forest
Burma Peak
Post Canyon

The reviews I've read on the McKenzie River trail sounded appealing. maybe we could go up to Bend first, over to the McKenzie River trail, then head south and grab Alpine trail, then on to North Umpqua trail then home? If any remote camping can be suggested along this route would be appreciated.

Any other Mountain biking SMB'ers that want to join us, the more the merrier. It's always good riding with someone that knows the area as well.


Aldercrest 01-12-2010 09:29 AM

Re: Oregon suggestions - 4wheeling, camping & mountain biking
Phil, I'll get you some more info tonight. If you're looking for variety, you could put something pretty spectacular together. McKenzie River, Bend (Phil's Trail system is snow-free by May and not dusty yet), Post Canyon in Hood River, Tillamook State Forest (Browns Camp, Gales Creek, Wilson River Trail), and then McDonald State Forest in Corvallis. 2-3 hours of highway driving between each.

Psomaki is right about the coast scenery, and there are a lot better trails than just Weyerhauser logging roads. Check out ... _Guide.pdf for a start. Besides the designated campgrounds, you have lots of options for remote camping.

More to come...

pjpvi 01-12-2010 09:44 AM

Re: Oregon suggestions - 4wheeling, camping & mountain biking
Aldercrest -

Great stuff! Keep it coming.

I know the coast line is spectacular up there, I just have a limited amount of time for the trip this year.

Sounds like you bike as well. If you want to join us, please do. While we are all family men, this is our little chance to just bike, hike, hang out and drink a few beers (just to set the tone). We prefer remote camping.

Two of us are more serious about our mtn biking and the third is serious about photography and cooking (luckily or else we'd starve).


Aldercrest 01-12-2010 10:28 PM

Re: Oregon suggestions - 4wheeling, camping & mountain biking

I posted several images in my gallery that may help. I recommend ordering two maps from

Central Oregon Mountain Biking & Cross Country Skiing
Hood River, Oregon Mountain Biking Map

The C. Oregon map has everything in/around Bend and also the McKenzie. The Hood River has most everything there. I included a hand drawn sketch of the Syncline from one of the HR bike shops in my gallery.

Given your time limits, I would recommend hitting the McKenzie River Trail on the way up. The bottom from Trail Bridge Reservoir down is sure to be clear of snow. If the top is covered, start at Trail Bridge and ride up river past the Blue Pool. If you hit snow, turn around, pass the van, and have your photographer/cook pick you up at Paradise CG or the ranger station.

Then hit Bend. Phil's Trail system should be great. Make sure you take the Whoops Trail from junction 29 to 24 on the map. Epic.

You could stay in Bend the rest of the trip. If you continue north, camp off of USFS Rd 44 off OR 35 south of Hood River. I'd recommend Bonnie Meadows CG south of Gunsight Ridge, but snow and downed trees will probably prevent that, so try Knebel Springs CG (You'll need a NW Forest Pass). County campgrounds at Tollbridge and Tucker are not remote, but are lower and warmer. In Hood River, ride Surveyor's Ridge. You can shuttle it, or if there's too much snow at the top, start at the bottom and do an out and back. Don't miss Post Canyon (map excerpt in my Gallery), and the Syncline is fun.

If you have the time, check out the Tillamook State Forest trails off of Hwy 6 west of Portland. Maps in my gallery. We have ridden these trails every Thursday night from from May to November for over ten years, and we're still not tired of them. Beware that the climb up Storey Burn from Gales Creek is a lung buster. Also consider the Wilson River Trail.

IMHO, those are probably the best four groups of trails in the state, but at the risk of starting an argument I'll admit I haven't ridden Oakridge, Umpqua, or the new stuff at Black Rock around Dallas.

Best of luck.

pinsx3 01-12-2010 10:44 PM

Re: Oregon suggestions - 4wheeling, camping & mountain biking
my wife and I are from Seattle. We were just in Bend with our svx westy syncro (lurker here). We rode Phil's trail. Where else can you put in a 15-20 mph avg speed ride without going down hill? That place is FAST and SMOOOOOTH. You really don't need suspension . It would be a great beginner area. The challenge for experienced riders is to really hook it in the corners. We are talking never ever in the small chain ring. Outside of town there are some rockier rides and it sure looked like plenty of desert camping. It is very pretty. There is a great breakfast place in bend.

Aldercrest 01-12-2010 11:01 PM

Re: Oregon suggestions - 4wheeling, camping & mountain biking
I'll second that. Phil's rocks.

carringb 01-12-2010 11:27 PM

Re: Oregon suggestions - 4wheeling, camping & mountain biking
Umpqua River trail from Lemola Lake to the hot springs is one of my favorite trails. As is McKenzie.

Both Blackrocks (Fall City) and Post Canyon are must ride places, but at Blackrocks there isn't much for camping other than poaching a logging road. Both places have some scary huge features.

If you ever come back in the Fall, the Bachelor to Bend trails are must rides. But in May there will be about 10' of snow over the trails.

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