Guidebook

Total Immersion: Going Rogue in Southern Oregon

Southern Oregon's Rogue Valley is a hidden gem filled with mountain adventure!

Greg Heil

Description

Few people will have "Southern Oregon" written on their bucket list of must-visit mountain destinations, but if you've ever driven through Southern Oregon's 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, providing omnipresent navigational landmarks. 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 the Rogue Valley wasn't originally high on my hit list, I had been vaguely familiar with the town of Ashland for some time. 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. When the opportunity arose to immerse myself in the landscape of Southern Oregon, I jumped at the chance!

A four-month stay gave me plenty of time to work with. I not only pedaled and hiked as many trails as I could find in the Rogue Valley, but I ventured further afield to explore the Mount McLoughlin area, Klamath Falls, Grants Pass. Mount Shasta and Redding in Northern California. I also ventured to Oregon's Coast Range on a long weekend and spent a week exploring Oakridge, but you can find out more about those two stops in separate guidebooks.

Thanks to my extended stay in true vagabonding style, this guidebook is chock full of adventures, both large and small. But if you're looking for a greatest hits list of the best mountain bike trails in Southern Oregon, be sure to read this dedicated guidebook.

While naturally I focused on shredding singletrack, my stint in the Rogue Valley spanned the changing of the seasons from late summer to mid-winter. After soaking in as much of the beautiful fall colors as possible, I had to embrace the cold and the rain, powering through less-than-optimal trail and weather conditions. But finally, finally, it began to snow! While I didn't get to spend a full season snowboarding at Mt. Ashland, I was fortunate enough to thoroughly explore the small ski area before departing the region in January. In uncharacteristic style, you'll find both summer and winter adventures in this guidebook.

Even after four months spent exploring the region, there are still stones that I didn't get the chance to turn over, still trails that I didn't get to ride or hike. But the ones I did explore thoroughly impressed me! Most notably, the shuttle runs on Mount Ashland can rank among the best shuttles in the Western USA. The backcountry rides near McLoughlin are wild and immersive. And the purpose-built trails on the Mountain of the Rogue are the stuff mountain bike dreams are made of.

The next time you're heading up or down the West Coast, consider a lengthy stop in Southern Oregon!

Classic Mt. Ashland Jabberwocky Shuttle
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Classic Mt. Ashland Jabberwocky Shuttle

27.6 km
314 m
1,705 m
The classic Mt. Ashland shuttle run still delivers the goods!
Difficult
Private
Time Warp -> Marty's -> BTI Shuttle
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Time Warp -> Marty's -> BTI Shuttle

32.1 km
341 m
1,732 m
One of the best—and most technical—shuttle runs on the mountain.
Severe
Private
Spence Mountain: North Ridge Loop
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Spence Mountain: North Ridge Loop

24.6 km
795 m
795 m
Head to Spence Mountain for a curated mountain bike-specific trail experience.
Extreme
Private
Rye Spur Figure-8 Loop
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Rye Spur Figure-8 Loop

26.5 km
487 m
487 m
Mine some loam on a trail that time forgot.
Difficult
Private
Time Warp -> West Side Shuttle
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Time Warp -> West Side Shuttle

39.4 km
640 m
2,030 m
Drop Time Warp then head to the little-ridden West Side.
Severe
Private
Jabberwocky Loop
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Jabberwocky Loop

10.4 km
421 m
421 m
A flowy romp on Ashland's classic trail!
Moderate
Private
Garfield Peak
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Garfield Peak

1 - 2 hrs
5.5 km
337 m
337 m
Climb to a stunning overlook of Crater Lake.
Difficult
Private
Forest Park: Norling Trail

Forest Park: Norling Trail

0 - 1 hrs
3.5 km
115 m
115 m
Mellow hike through a lush valley
Easy
Private
Forest Park: Granite Trail Loop
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Forest Park: Granite Trail Loop

8.5 km
346 m
346 m
Easily the best trail in Forest Park
Difficult
Private
Forest Park: Deadman Trail Loop
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Forest Park: Deadman Trail Loop

10.0 km
418 m
418 m
A fun variant of the Granite Loop
Severe
Private
Forest Park: Jackson Ridge and Atsahu Loop
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Forest Park: Jackson Ridge and Atsahu Loop

14.2 km
604 m
603 m
A steep sufferfest of a mountain bike ride.
Moderate
Private
Collings Mountain Loop
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Collings Mountain Loop

16.0 km
695 m
695 m
Mountain bike past the "only bigfoot trap in the world!"
Difficult
Private
Pilot Rock
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Pilot Rock

1 - 2 hrs
4.4 km
247 m
247 m
Reach stunning views of Mount Shasta and Northern California with this short hike.
Difficult
Private
Panorama Point Loop
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Panorama Point Loop

0 - 1 hrs
2.8 km
80 m
80 m
Easy in-town hike to a scenic overlook.
Easy
Private
Beekman Woods Loop

Beekman Woods Loop

0 - 1 hrs
1.5 km
70 m
70 m
Short loop to a beautiful view over Jacksonville.
Easy
Private
East Applegate Ridge Trail
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

East Applegate Ridge Trail

0 - 1 hrs
3.7 km
71 m
71 m
Enjoy an incredible effort-to-view ratio on Applegate Ridge!
Easy
Private
Lithia Park Loop
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Lithia Park Loop

0 - 1 hrs
3.2 km
58 m
58 m
An easy loop walk with gorgeous fall colors!
Easy
Private
Lithia Reservoir
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Lithia Reservoir

1 - 2 hrs
3.9 km
97 m
97 m
An easy out-and-back hike to a beautiful reservoir.
Easy
Private
Mill Creek Falls

Mill Creek Falls

0 - 1 hrs
1.3 km
37 m
37 m
View two stunning waterfalls on this short hike.
Easy
Private
Brown Mountain Loop
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Brown Mountain Loop

31.3 km
609 m
609 m
A delightful backcountry mountain biking experience!
Moderate
Private
Stout Redwood Grove
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Stout Redwood Grove

0 - 1 hrs
1.3 km
40 m
40 m
"The world's most scenic stand of redwoods."
Easy
Private
Buncom Mixed-Surface Ride
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Buncom Mixed-Surface Ride

28.6 km
431 m
431 m
A mellow mixed-surface ride in the valley east of Buncom.
Easy
Private
Bear Creek Greenway

Bear Creek Greenway

64.2 km
377 m
377 m
A traffic-free pedal through the Rogue Valley.
Easy
Private
Mountain of the Rogue: Big Loop
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Mountain of the Rogue: Big Loop

10.7 km
420 m
420 m
Beautifully-designed mountain bike-specific singletrack.
Difficult
Private
Mountain of the Rogue: Pay Dirt Loop
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Mountain of the Rogue: Pay Dirt Loop

4.8 km
170 m
170 m
Beautifully-designed mountain bike-specific singletrack.
Moderate
Private
Fairy Falls and Ney Springs
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Fairy Falls and Ney Springs

0 - 1 hrs
2.2 km
87 m
87 m
Hike past historic springs to a beautiful waterfall.
Moderate
Private
Mule Mountain Loop
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Mule Mountain Loop

17.9 km
471 m
469 m
The highest-regarded mountain bike ride in Redding, California.
Moderate
Private
Chamise Peak
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Chamise Peak

2 - 3 hrs
7.6 km
223 m
223 m
Gain stunning 360-degree views from the top of Chamise Peak.
Moderate
Private
Princess Ditch Trail
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Princess Ditch Trail

24.1 km
467 m
467 m
The best beginner ride in Redding.
Easy
Private
Enticer Jump Trail
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Enticer Jump Trail

5.1 km
133 m
133 m
An expertly-built jump line in the popular Swasey Trail System.
Severe
Private
Gateway Trails: Pig Farm Loop
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Gateway Trails: Pig Farm Loop

9.3 km
240 m
240 m
Pedal a delightful lollipop to reach a feature-filled descent.
Difficult
Private
Moore Mountain
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Moore Mountain

12.1 km
321 m
321 m
Make the most of Klamath Falls' in-town trail system.
Difficult
Private
Upper Table Rock
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Upper Table Rock

1 - 2 hrs
5.3 km
235 m
235 m
A popular hike to a beautiful view over the Rogue Valley.
Moderate
Private
Lower Table Rock
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Lower Table Rock

2 - 3 hrs
8.7 km
286 m
286 m
A popular hike to a beautiful view over the Rogue Valley.
Moderate
Private
Cathedral Hills
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Cathedral Hills

11.4 km
336 m
336 m
Twisty singletrack with a few hidden gems.
Moderate
Private
Roxy Ann Peak
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Roxy Ann Peak

4.6 km
224 m
223 m
Stunning views from Oregon's second-largest municipal park.
Moderate
Private
Rogue River Greenway
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Rogue River Greenway

24.8 km
151 m
151 m
Beautiful paved greenway path running along the Rogue River.
Easy
Private
White Rabbit Descent
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

White Rabbit Descent

2.9 km
49 m
305 m
Beautiful singletrack up high leads to a ho-hum trail down low.
Moderate
Private
Snark Loop
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Snark Loop

4.8 km
172 m
172 m
A short old school singletrack loop.
Moderate
Private
Rogue River -> Ti'lomikh Falls
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Rogue River -> Ti'lomikh Falls

34.4 km
192 m
192 m
A delightful mostly-greenway route.
Easy
Private
Applegate Lake Loop
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Applegate Lake Loop

28.0 km
666 m
667 m
A beautiful cross country mountain bike ride way off the beaten path.
Moderate
Private
Sinns Bar Lollipop
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Sinns Bar Lollipop

6.8 km
255 m
255 m
Short but steep ride on Sinns Bar.
Moderate
Private
Zigler Trail
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Zigler Trail

0 - 1 hrs
2.2 km
32 m
32 m
An easy but scenic hike along an old water flume.
Easy
Private
Bandersnatch Figure-8
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Bandersnatch Figure-8

1 - 2 hrs
5.9 km
260 m
260 m
A beautiful figure-8 hiking route.
Moderate
Private
Sterling Creek -> Griffin Lane Mixed Surface Loop
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Sterling Creek -> Griffin Lane Mixed Surface Loop

31.0 km
762 m
762 m
Ride from Jacksonville deep into the rolling hills of Southern Oregon.
Moderate
Private
Caliban

Caliban

1.0 km
243 m
22 °
Blue (Intermediate)
Private
Dream

Dream

0.5 km
173 m
25 °
Blue (Intermediate)
Private
Upper Dream

Upper Dream

0.4 km
103 m
24 °
Blue (Intermediate)
Private
Pistol

Pistol

0.6 km
217 m
27 °
Black Diamond (Difficult)
Private
Upper Tempest

Upper Tempest

0.4 km
167 m
31 °
Black Diamond (Difficult)
Private
Tempest

Tempest

0.4 km
151 m
25 °
Blue (Intermediate)
Private
Bottom

Bottom

0.4 km
163 m
31 °
Black Diamond (Difficult)
Private
Upper Juliet

Upper Juliet

0.3 km
103 m
27 °
Black Diamond (Difficult)
Private
Brutus
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Brutus

218 m
32 °
0 m
0.6 km
Arguably one of the two best glades on Mt. Ashland.
Difficult
Private
Windsor Chairline
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Windsor Chairline

228 m
31 °
0 m
0.6 km
An obvious Hollywood line.
Moderate
Private
Ariel Chairline
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Ariel Chairline

297 m
30 °
0 m
0.8 km
Home to some of the best hits on the mountain.
Difficult
Private
Birnam Wood
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Birnam Wood

221 m
27 °
0 m
0.6 km
One of the two best glades on Mt. Ashland.
Moderate
Private
Coolwater
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Coolwater

167 m
28 °
0 m
0.5 km
A sunny glade off of Dream.
Moderate
Private
Titus
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Titus

145 m
28 °
0 m
0.3 km
An often-overlooked glade.
Moderate
Private
Bowl

Bowl

0.2 km
79 m
39 °
Black Diamond (Difficult)
Private
Upper Winter
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Upper Winter

130 m
28 °
0 m
0.3 km
A wide but short glade.
Moderate
Private