An ideal out-and-back ride on the Umatilla Rim


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FATMAP difficulty grade



Serpentine strips of dark, black dirt run through the deep woods of the Umatilla National Forest, breaking out into wildflower-filled mountain top meadows that afford stunning views of the deep gorge formed by the Umatilla River.

With singletrack this sublime and views this stunning, the Umatilla Rim Trail is an instant classic! If it was located in another part of the nation or even in a different part of Oregon, undoubtedly Umatilla Rim would be an ultra-popular cross country ride with nationwide acclaim.

But since it’s hidden in an obscure corner of the state of Oregon, far from any population centers or even any top-tier mountain bike destinations, the Umatilla Rim flies delightfully below the radar.

In fact, some sections of the trail are downright overgrown! Be forewarned: if you’re looking for a gnarly enduro ride with ripping descents, this isn’t the trail for you.

Instead, the Umatilla Rim is surprisingly smooth and buff, with almost no technical challenges to speak of.

This ride is all about stunning views and mellow flow.

In fact, if you choose the correct route combination, there aren’t even any substantial climbs or descents (although you’ll still gain and descend a couple thousand feet one way or another).

The out-and-back route mapped here is the most popular way to ride the Umatilla Rim Trail.

This section of the trail maximizes the views and the best-quality singletrack, skipping over a section of more difficult (and generally overgrown) singletrack found on the Loop version of this ride.

It also skips a long descent and/or climb on that portion of the trail, providing a delightful out-and-back ride experience. However you construct your ride on the Umatilla Rim, you’re guaranteed a fantastic mountaintop experience!