15 Must-Ride Mountain Bike Trails in Oregon

If you visit Oregon, here are the 15 trails you have to ride.

Mountain Biking Difficult, Severe, Extreme

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North Ridge
North Ridge Photo: Greg Heil

Description

Oregon is home to one of the most diverse ecosystems on the planet. The westernmost Coast Range is inundated with precipitation, creating lush rainforests with Jurassic Park-like undergrowth. Just to the east, the Cascade Mountain Range creates the loftiest elevations in the state, with massive volcanoes dominating the landscape. Between the monolithic volcanos are endless steep-sided mountain ridges covered in towering trees. Across the mountains, the dramatic rain shadow leads to arid deserts and dry dirt, in sharp contrast to the dark loam of the wet, western areas. And in the south, these forces collide, creating a unique mash-up of rain, dry dirt, and tall trees.

You'll find all this and more in Oregon, and the mountain biking scene is equally as diverse.

Bend reigns as one of the most renowned mountain destinations in North America, and there's no shortage of top-tier trails to ride on the arid side of the Cascade Mountains. The Swampy to Mrazek Shuttle is one of the most rewarding rides in the region, and the Tiddlywinks Loop is one of the most feature-rich trails.

While Bend might be the most famous destination, Oakridge is arguably the home of the best riding in the state, and maybe even the best riding in the Pacific Northwest. While the Alpine Trail is one of the longest and most enjoyable trails in the area, thus making this list, Lawler is quickly becoming a local favorite.

In the McKenzie River region, the eponymous McKenzie River Trail is hands-down one of the most famous—and most beautiful—trails in the state. But if enduro riding is more your style, the nearby O'Leary Mountain route might suite you better.

Sandy Ridge near Portland is a masterpiece of trail construction, with the Intermediate Loop making this venerable top 15 list. Of course, you can opt for the Expert Loop if you want more challenge. Also prominent the ranks of expertly-crafted feature-filled bike trails is Black Rock in the Coast Range, home to some of the largest wooden features on any public mountain bike trail in the USA.

If shuttle rides to the top followed by downhill enduro ripping is your thang, then the Classic Mt. Ashland Shuttle and Timberline to Town will both suit you just fine. 

Located on the other side of Mt. Hood from Timberline, Hood River's Post Canyon trail system is one of the most popular riding spots in the state. And for an excellent backcountry loop ride in the area, check out the IMBA Epic Surveyor's Ridge.

Two trail systems standing off on their own with few neighbors are the Spence Mountain Trail System and the MERA Trail System, both of which provide multiple route options. Finally, also standing off on its own is the North Umpqua River Trail. Running 70 miles one-way, the North Umpqua River Trail easily the most epic single trail in Oregon.

Routes included

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