Cape Mountain Loop
A unique singletrack experience in sight of the Oregon Coast.
Mountain Biking Moderate
- 13 km
- 551 m
- 551 m
- 1-2 hrs
- Low Point
- 162 m
- High Point
- 447 m
On any given day that you pedal around the loop, you're likely to note sections of the trail that have recently been pruned back, creating a tunnel-like effect as you whip down the mountain, the green walls of vegetation blurring past you. Then suddenly, you'll reach a section of trail that the local advocates haven't visited with their tools recently, and the massive ferns will hang over the singletrack, forcing you to bash your way through to make forward progress. Now imagine if the locals didn't do any maintenance whatsoever—the trails would completely disappear, consumed by the verdant rainforest.
With such incredible mountains rising straight from the coastline for some 340 miles or so, it wouldn't be a stretch of the imagination to envision singletrack rolling through the prehistoric ferns and under the dense vegetation. But no—that actually is not the case in most places. In fact, this hidden loop at Cape Mountain located just north of Florence is one of shockingly few mountain bike trails along the Oregon Coast that offers actual glimpses of the ocean.
The singletrack at Cape Mountain consists of old school trail that is more frequently used by horses than by mountain bikers, although it is fully bike-legal. The hills are steep, and some sections of the trail tread are rugged and rocky from erosion. Yet other portions of trail offer fantastically flowy black dirt, with the steep descents begging you to go as fast as possible in between the sharp switchbacked corners.
The route, as shown here, begins from one of the most popular trailheads, although you can also begin from the Horse Creek Campground high on the mountainside. Either way, you'll be forced to descend into the bottom of a basin and then climb your way back out. While it seems like there should be an option for shuttling in this zone, there really isn't—which is probably one of the reasons that the bike traffic isn't very heavy.
Enjoy this trail system for the isolated backwoods style of riding that it provides—a rare treat along the Oregon Coast!
Mostly stable trail tread with some variability, with unavoidable obstacles 8in/20cm tall or less. Other obstacles such as rock gullies and steep sections may exist. Ideal for lower intermediate riders.
Best time to visit
- In the forest
- Rock Gardens