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May 17, 2018 Slideshows » Scout

10 Mountain Bike Rides near Bend 

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Katy Bryce

The Maston

Nestled between Bend and Redmond, this is a fun cruiser ride with lots of loop options, including mostly fast and flowy single track that winds through old growth junipers and sagebrush, with the occasional peek at the Cascades or Smith Rock. The southeastern area of the outer loop skirts the river canyon with a wee bit of exposure, so keep your wits about you!

Distance: Up to 19 miles
Ride time: 1 – 3 hours
Technical Difficulty: Beginner to Intermediate
Fitness Intensity: Easy to Moderate

Katy Bryce

Suttle Tie to Suttle Lake

A true mid-summer ride should include a dip in a lake at some point, right? The Suttle Tie Trail connects the Black Butte Ranch area to Suttle Lake with a series of old single track and double track – perfect for a fun family outing. On the Suttle Lake trail, ride around the whole lake or just stop and soak in some sunshine (and perhaps a cold drink) at Suttle Lake Lodge.

Distance: 13 miles
Ride time: 1 – 2 hours
Technical Difficulty: Beginner
Fitness Intensity: Easy to Moderate

Katy Bryce

Black Rock Trail

Geology buffs revel at the sights on the Black Rock Trail, as the trail winds right next to the lava flow that erupted from Lava Butte about 7,000 years ago. The trail starts at Lava Lands Visitor Center, and then gently rolls down to the Deschutes River, upstream from Benham Falls. From there, ride the Deschutes River Trail to get a little more pedaling in.

Distance: 8 miles
Ride time: 1 – 2 hours
Technical Difficulty: Beginner to Intermediate
Fitness Intensity: Easy

Katy Bryce

Phil's Trail Network

The ol' standby, Phil's Trail, is what put Bend on the mountain biking mecca map. There are roughly 60 miles of trails in this area, from super fast and fun Phil's Canyon to slow and picky C.O.D. Spend an hour or all day goofing off on these trails, and if you're extra ambitious, connect to higher elevation rides at Swampy Lakes and more when the snow has melted out.

Distance: Up to 60 miles!
Ride time: 1 – 8 hours
Technical Difficulty: Beginner to Advanced
Fitness Intensity: Easy to Moderate

Katy Bryce

Mrazek

Ridden out and back in entirety, the Mrazek Trail is just over 32 miles, skirting the ridges to the north of Tumalo Creek. It starts in Shevlin Park and winds up at a gradual grade. Mrazek is known as "tight and twisty," so keep your handlebars and pedals in check. Once you get up high, connect to Farewell Trail and Metolius-Windigo Trail.

Distance: Up to 32 miles
Ride time: 1 – 5 hours
Technical Difficulty: Intermediate
Fitness Intensity: Easy to Moderate

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Katy Bryce

Swamp Wells

A lesser-known route from Horse Butte southeast of Bend up the northern flank of Newberry Crater. I call it the "east side Phil's Loop" as the tread is mostly mellow, with some lava rock outcroppings along the way. Watch for horseback riders.

Distance: 26 miles
Ride time: 3 – 4 hours
Technical Difficulty: Intermediate
Fitness Intensity: Moderate to Strenuous

Katy Bryce

North Fork – Flagline – South Fork Loop

In late summer, head for the hills. This classic loop opens up after Aug. 15 because the section of the route on Flagline Trail is closed for critical elk calving habitat before then. It's a grinder with some real climbing—and real descending. It also gets you to some of the prettiest places, including Tumalo Falls and Happy Valley.

Distance: 24 miles
Ride time: 4 – 5 hours
Technical Difficulty: Advanced
Fitness Intensity: Strenuous to Very Strenuous

Katy Bryce

McKenzie River Trail

Cold creek crossings, hanging gardens of moss, waterfalls and giant granddaddy trees are the signatures of the McKenzie River Trail. Only two hours from Bend, the "MRT" is usually ridden as a shuttle from top to bottom, descending 1,700 feet. Do not mistake this for a "downhill" cruise, though, as there is a lot of elevation gain and some very technical sections with razor sharp, tire-eating lava rock.

Distance: 25 miles (one-way shuttle)
Ride time: 4 – 6 hours
Technical Difficulty: Advanced to Expert
Fitness Intensity: Strenuous

Katy Bryce

Waldo Lake Loop

Waldo Lake is known to be one of the purest (and seems like the coldest) lakes in the world. Don't be fooled by the "lake loop" name. This is a beautiful, rugged and remote ride, and for only 20 miles of tread, you get your money's worth. Hit this ride in September or October when the mosquitos have subsided. They can be ferocious during summer months.

Distance:20 miles (one-way shuttle)
Ride time: 3 – 5 hours
Technical Difficulty: Advanced
Fitness Intensity: Strenuous

Katy Bryce

Olallie – O'Leary Epic

If you're hankering for an epic day, grab a few strong riding buddies and embark on this loop that climbs high above the McKenzie River valley. It's rugged, remote, long, technical, steep and amazing, with some stellar views of the Western Cascades. The ride also starts and ends at a mini mart, which allows for some exceptional post-ride snacking.

Distance: 27 miles
Ride Time: 6 – 8 hours
Technical Difficulty: Expert
Fitness Intensity: Very Strenuous

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Katy Bryce

The Maston

Nestled between Bend and Redmond, this is a fun cruiser ride with lots of loop options, including mostly fast and flowy single track that winds through old growth junipers and sagebrush, with the occasional peek at the Cascades or Smith Rock. The southeastern area of the outer loop skirts the river canyon with a wee bit of exposure, so keep your wits about you!

Distance: Up to 19 miles
Ride time: 1 – 3 hours
Technical Difficulty: Beginner to Intermediate
Fitness Intensity: Easy to Moderate

For more inspiration, check out Mountain Bike Bend: 46 Singletrack Routes, Bend's most recent and most comprehensive guide to mountain biking trails in Central Oregon. Available locally at: Pine Mountain Sports, Sunnyside Sports, Roundabout Books, Dudley's Bookshop Cafe and REI or online at amazon.com.

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