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Written by Bend Magazine Staff
Photos by
Bob Wick

Mountain Biking Trails to Ride This Spring

Biking Central Oregon Spring

Five of the best mountain biking trails to ride in Central Oregon this spring. The snow has (mostly) melted off the lower elevations and some of the region’s best mountain biking trails are opening up for spring rides. Check out these easy to intermediate mountain biking trails across Central Oregon.

Cline Butte

Inside the Cline Buttes Recreation Area, the Cline Butte Trail is a perfect spring mountain biking trail. While the rest of the area is low in elevation, this trail climbs up Cline Butte. There are some steep grades that will get your heart pumping, as well as a fast downhill on the way back. The downhill is technical, with some steep rocks, but there are three routes down that all lead back to the trailhead, so you can pick the best option for you. The views at the top overlooking Redmond and the Cascades are well worth the ride.

Location: Redmond
Type: Loop
Level: Intermediate
Length: 8 miles
Open: Year-round; Best riding in late fall to late spring.

Lower 66

The Ochocos are well known for stellar trails, but most are ranked intermediate to advanced. Lower 66 trail system is close by in Prineville and offers some easier trails for beginners. There are five trails to choose from that all connect, but Rocky Racoon is the easiest loop in the trail 66-acre trail system. The trail has a few rocks to navigate as well as as a rock bridge over a creek.

Location: Prineville
Type: Series of loops
Level: Beginner to intermediate
Length: 4.2 miles total, but can be broken up into shorter loops
Open: Year-round

Black Rock Trail

This is one of the oldest mountain biking trails in Central Oregon. It begins at the Lava Lands Visitor Center near the Newberry National Volcanic Monument and ends at a connection on the Deschutes River Trail between Bend and Sunriver. The ride doesn’t have much elevation gain and isn’t considered technical, so it’s a good trail to try if you’re new to mountain biking. The name comes from the lava flow that the trail parallels. Take the turnoff about halfway down the trail. You’ll ride on a quarter-mile trail to an overlook that’s worth the detour.

Location: Between Bend and Sunriver
Type: Out and back
Level: Beginner
Length: 8.2 miles total
Open: May-October

Lake Creek

You won’t find many people on this trail, which is one of the newer hiking and mountain biking trails near Sisters. The 4.5-mile trail begins near Camp Sherman at the community hall. The double-track trail winds through the old-growth forest, a section of the Metolius Preserve before finally reaching Suttle Lake. While there are a few hills, the trail is considered easy and a great ride for beginners who want to work on their skills riding over roots and rocks without the crowds sharing trails.

Location: Camp Sherman
Type: Out and back
Level: Beginner
Length: 9 miles total
Open: Year-round, condition dependent

Catch and Release

Catch and Release is in the Wanoga Trail System, which doesn’t open until June. It’s a connector trail from the Forest Service Welcome Station on Cascade Lakes Highway to the more difficult trails in that area, but it’s a great trail for beginners to try. You also extend your ride and catch the loops of Lower Stormking or Tyler’s Traverse.

Location: Bend
Type: Out and back
Level: Beginner
Length: 9 miles
Open: Year-round

Read more about more trails to ride and our local Mountain Biking scene here.

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