The varied trails of Bend make the city and its surrounding locale an excellent place for mountain bikers of all ability levels and ages. Whether you are just starting out, looking for exciting new trails or want to find some mountain biking friends to share in the adventure, Bend is the place to be – and it’s full of excellent resources for upgrading your bike or getting the right accessories. When you’re ready, here are five top places to try:
Phil’s Trails: Funner-Tiddlywinks
Phil’s Trail is the name for the massive collection of biking trails focused on the west of Bend among the rising Cascade Mountains. There are hundreds of miles of trails to explore, some mapped by the legendary “Phil” back when mountain biking first became so popular in Bend, and others discovered by bikers in the following years. These trails are close enough that you can arrange reasonable shuttle access if necessary, but far enough away to give you the wilderness mountain expedition that you are looking for.
With so many trail options there is something for everyone, but we particularly recommend “Funner-Tiddlywinks,” a remarkable combination of trails that include incredible hills, an amazingly beautiful descent and smooth riding all around (with impressive rocks features for those who really want to practice their skills). It’s one of the most recommended trails in Central Oregon, so it can get a little crowded at times, but it’s certainly worth your time!
Mt. Bachelor Trails
Particularly in the summer, as the snow melts across Mt. Bachelor’s famous slopes, a wide variety of mountain biking options open up, ranging from beginner trails to expert adventures. Mt. Bachelor, as you would expect, is particularly excellent for descent trails, from straightforward lines down to truly rocky experiences in the lava rock fields. Two of Mt. Bachelor’s lifts provide access to most of the trails.
The McKenzie Trails follow one of the most beautiful parts of the Cascade Mountains, a stunning old growth forest of massive trees, dotted by tranquil lakes and the McKenzie River itself (a favorite spot for various whitewater sports). Ride the trail from north to south for the better descent and expect a fair workout here. The trails split apart into a few different choices depending on how much work you’d prefer to put in – but our favorite option is to just take it slow and enjoy the incredible views: Photo ops are many on this trail.
Deschutes River Trail
For an easier trail exploration, the Deschutes River Trail is one of the best choices in Central Oregon. This lengthy trail oversees a broad, wild swath of the Deschutes River as it passes forests, meadows, lava fields, and much more. The trail is an easy ride for more experienced bikers and a great place to take a beginner or family – the more technical sections can be skipped relatively quickly, if necessary. However, it’s a particularly popular trail and you are likely to run into plenty of hikers and even horseback riders on your trek. Oh, and don’t forget the mosquito spray!
Perhaps you’d prefer more desert views in your cycling excursions? The nine-mile Coyote Loop explores Horse Butte and the surrounding area with great (and peaceful) desert views and a mostly flat trail experience. This is also one trail that’s easier to run during the winter as long as there’s not too much snow, so you know you’ll still have options during the colder months.
And after your ride, stop by one of Bend’s many breweries or pubs for an ice cold one. With the highest brewery-per-capita ratio in the country, you’re bound to find a new craft favorite!