Discover the best mountain bike rides scattered all across Southern Oregon, using this guidebook.
Few people will have "Southern Oregon" written on their bucket list of must-visit mountain destinations, but if you've ever driven through the Rogue Valley while heading up or down Interstate 5, you might wonder why you've never heard of it before. Rolling mountain ridges surround the valley, with the tallest mountains soaring over a vertical mile above the valley floor. In the distance, snowcapped volcanic peaks tower over the landscape, visible for hundreds of miles around. This mountainous landscape is home to hundreds of miles of trails and a lifetime of adventure, if you're willing to dig a little.
While Southern Oregon wasn't originally high on my hit list, I had been vaguely familiar with the town of Ashland. Mt. Ashland has long been a paradise for enduro riders looking to rip endless shuttle runs. In fact, mountain bikers have been skidding down the flanks of Mt. Ashland since before the word "enduro" was associated with the sport. These days, Ashland is a popular stop for the California Enduro Series, as it sits just across the California border.
Ashland is arguably the fourth-best mountain bike town in Oregon, after Oakridge, Hood River, and Bend. While being fourth-best doesn't sound like an accolade to be proud of, any destination should be pleased to keep the company of places like Bend, Hood River, and Oakridge. But the riding in Southern Oregon is so great not just because of Ashland, but because of the immense spread of singletrack across the entire region.
Head further afield from Ashland, and you'll find Mount McLoughlin. In the shadow of this volcano hide stunning backcountry wides that are wild and immersive. Continue on to Klamath Falls, and you'll find the gem of Spence Mountain just off the highway.
In the opposite direction, backcountry rides near Applegate Lake and short but steep pedals in Jacksonville's Forest Park add great diversity to the local riding scene. And then, on the far western edge of this guidebook, you'll find the Mountain of the Rogue. The purpose-built trails in this dense but highly-entertaining trail system are the stuff that mountain bike dreams are made of!
Taken collectively, the region of Southern Oregon is an incredibly diverse place to mountain bike. From in-town singletrack to backcountry epics, and from old school forest service trails to purpose-built flow trails, you can find a bit of everything here in Southern Oregon.