FATMAP difficulty grade
Whoops is one of the best-known trails in the Phil’s Trail Network.
Lower Whoops specifically is a relatively large jump line with substantial tabletop jumps that beckons riders to do laps so they can get the trail speed dialed in juuuust right. To get there, climb the uphill-only Ben’s Trail to Pinedrops.
Ben’s is a mellow climbing trail that conveniently removes the trouble of watching for high-speed downhill traffic.
With such mellow grades as you ascend the mesa, the miles and vertical feet tick by much faster than you may realize. After Pinedrops, you have the option to continue climbing a steeper forest service road to reach Upper Whoops, if you want to check off both of the Whoops trails.
Upper Whoops is nothing like Lower.
It’s fast and flowy, but instead of a bike-specific jump trail, it’s a classic singletrack descent that’s actually a fair bit chunkier than most of the trails at Phil’s.
Roots and the occasional rock will keep you on your toes, but this ride still only receives a Moderate FATMAP rating. Once into Lower Whoops, get ready to send! The hits on Lower Whoops quickly reach a substantial size, and carrying enough speed to clear them could prove to be a challenge for many riders.
The berms are quite low for the amount of speed needed to clear the hits. Lower Whoops does have a tendency to get pretty blown out.
The substantial two-wheeled traffic that the trail receives coupled with the sandy soil causes braking bumps to form quickly, berms to get blown out, and lips to get rounded off.
At the time of this writing, Lower Whoops could use a little TLC, but no doubt it’s on the radar of local advocacy group COTA.
With the hundreds of miles of singletrack spread all across Central Oregon, simply keeping up with trail maintenance is a mammoth undertaking! After Lower Whoops, work your way south and descend the eponymous Phil’s Trail.
The OG singletrack trail in this network still delivers! The classic Phil’s trail has been designated a one-way downhill-only trail, and even without any substantial berms or bike-specific features, this sinuous singletrack offers the perfect kinesthetic bike experience that riders travel the world in search of.
The trail rolls along a mellow bench on the side of small hills, dipping and bobbing as it loses elevation gradually but consistently.
At the major junction with KGB and Expressway, Phil’s gets even mellower, with the grade lessening substantially and the singletrack twisting and turning on the almost level mesa beneath the towering ponderosa pines.
While the corners are flat, adept mountain bikers can still rail down the trail, but even beginner riders will be able to enjoy the delightful flowy experience of riding the iconic Phil’s Trail!