Bend, Oregon is a dream destination for cyclists of all kinds. With its stunning natural scenery, diverse terrain, and bike-friendly culture.In this article, we will discuss about endless opportunities for riding, exploring, and having fun on two wheels along the captivating bike trails in Bend, Oregon.
Mountain Bike Trails in Bend:
If you love riding on dirt, you will be spoiled for choice in Bend. Bend has over 500 miles of mountain bike trails, ranging from easy and family-friendly to technical and challenging. You can ride through lush forests, volcanic landscapes, alpine meadows, and desert plains, enjoying the views, the wildlife, and the thrill of the ride. Bend is also home to the Phil’s Trail Complex, one of the most popular and accessible trail systems in the country, with over 100 miles of interconnected trails for all levels of riders. Here are some of the best mountain bike trails in Bend:
Rim Rock Trail:
This is a moderate trail that loops around the rim of an ancient volcano, offering spectacular views of the Cascade Mountains and the High Desert. The trail is about 10 miles long and has a total elevation gain of 1,000 feet. The trail is mostly smooth and flowy, with some rocky and sandy sections. You can access the trail from the Horse Butte Trailhead or the Arnold Ice Cave
This is an intermediate trail that descends from the Tumalo Falls area to the Shevlin Park area, passing through dense forests, open meadows, and creeks. The trail is about 14 miles long and has a total elevation loss of 2,000 feet. The trail is fast and fun, with some tight switchbacks, jumps, and berms. You can access the trail from the Skyliner Sno-Park or the Shevlin Park.
Tyler’s Traverse Trail:
This is an advanced trail that climbs and descends the slopes of Mt. Bachelor, offering a variety of terrain and features. The trail is about 9 miles long and has a total elevation gain of 1,500 feet. The trail is technical and challenging, with some steep climbs, drops, rock gardens, and log rides.
Phil’l Trail Complex:
If you crave adrenaline-pumping mountain biking, the Phil’s Trail Complex is your ultimate playground. Located on the western outskirts of Bend, this expansive network of trails weaves through the Deschutes National Forest. With varying difficulty levels, Phil’s Trail accommodates everyone from beginners to seasoned riders. Traverse through the iconic “Whoops” and “Ben’s” trails, showcasing stunning pine forests and challenging terrain.
Road Bike Trails in Bend:
If you prefer riding on pavement, you will not be disappointed in Bend. Bend has over 300 miles of road bike trails, covering some of the most scenic and diverse areas in Central Oregon. You can ride along rivers and lakes, through valleys and canyons, and over mountains and passes, experiencing the beauty and variety of the region. Bend is also part of the Three Sisters Scenic Bikeway, a collection of road cycling routes that showcase the best of Central Oregon. Here are some of the best road bike trails in Bend:
Twin Bridges Loop:
This is a classic loop ride that starts and ends in Bend, passing through rolling hills, farms, and ranches, and along the Deschutes River. The ride is about 36 miles long and has a total elevation gain of 1,600 feet. The ride is mostly easy and scenic, with some moderate climbs and descents. You can access the ride from the Drake Park or the Old Mill.
Smith Rock Loop:
This is a spectacular loop ride that starts and ends in Redmond, a neighboring town of Bend, and circles around the Smith Rock State Park, a rock climbing mecca and a natural wonder.
The ride is about 40 miles long and has a total elevation gain of 2,000 feet. The ride is moderate and varied, with some flat and rolling sections, and some short and steep climbs and descents.
Gravel Bike Trails in Bend
If you are looking for something different, you might want to try gravel biking in Bend. Gravel biking is a form of cycling that combines the best of both mountain biking and road biking, allowing you to explore off-the-beaten-path roads and trails that are not accessible by regular bikes. Gravel biking is a great way to experience the adventure and diversity of Central Oregon, as you can ride through forests, deserts, mountains, and plains, on a variety of surfaces and conditions. Bend is also home to the Oregon Outback Scenic Bikeway, the first gravel scenic bikeway in the state, which traverses 171 miles of remote and rugged terrain from Prineville to Lakeview. Here are some of the best gravel bike trails in Bend:
China Hat Road Loop:
This is an easy loop ride that follows China Hat Road, a gravel road that runs south of Bend, through the High Desert and the Newberry.
Tumalo Reservoir Loop:
This is a moderate loop ride that circles around the Tumalo Reservoir, a man-made lake that provides irrigation water for the farms and ranches in the area. The ride is about 20 miles long and has a total elevation gain of 1,200 feet. The ride is rough and varied, with some paved and gravel sections, and some steep and rocky sections.
Walton Lake Loop:
This is a challenging loop ride that climbs up to the Walton Lake, a scenic and secluded lake in the Ochoco National Forest. The ride is about 35 miles long and has a total elevation gain of 3,000 feet. The ride is tough and adventurous, with some dirt and gravel sections, and some long and steep climbs and descents.
Here are some other biking places in Bend, Oregon that will blow your mind:
Deschutes River Trail:
For a more relaxed ride with breathtaking river views, the Deschutes River Trail is a must. This scenic path follows the Deschutes River, offering a gentle and family-friendly biking experience.
As you pedal, enjoy the sights of towering Ponderosa pines, the soothing sound of the river, and occasional glimpses of local wildlife.
Tumalo Falls Loop:
Tumalo Falls Loop is a picturesque ride that showcases the breathtaking Tumalo Falls and the surrounding lush scenery.The trailhead is just a short drive from Bend and takes cyclists on a captivating journey through dense forests, open meadows, and, of course, the awe-inspiring Tumalo Falls.
Lava Butte Trail:
Unleash your inner explorer on the Lava Butte Trail, providing a unique biking experience through ancient volcanic landscapes. This trail encircles Lava Butte, an extinct cinder cone, offering riders a chance to witness the area’s geological wonders. The smooth, well-maintained path makes it accessible for riders of all levels.
Tips and Resources for Cycling in Bend
Cycling in Bend is a rewarding and enjoyable activity, but it also requires some preparation and planning. Here are some tips and resources to help you have a safe and fun cycling experience in Bend:
Check the weather and trail conditions before you go. Bend has four distinct seasons, and the weather and trail conditions can change quickly and drastically. You should always check the weather forecast and the trail conditions before you head out, and dress and equip accordingly. You can use websites like BendTrails or Bend Weather to get the latest information and updates.
Follow the rules and etiquette of the trail. Bend has a strong and friendly cycling community, and you should respect the rules and etiquette of the trail to ensure a positive and harmonious experience for everyone. You should always ride on designated trails, yield to other users, stay on the right side, signal your intentions, and be courteous and respectful. You can read more about the trail etiquette and safety tips on the COTA website.
Bend, Oregon is a cycling paradise, with hundreds of miles of trails for all types of riders, from mountain bikers to road cyclists to gravel grinders. Whether you are looking for fast and flowy singletrack, scenic and challenging road routes, or open and adventurous gravel roads, you will find them in Bend. In this guide, we introduced you to some of the best bike trails in Bend, Oregon, and gave you some tips and resources to plan your cycling adventure. We hope you enjoyed this guide and found it useful. Now grab your bike and head to Bend, Oregon for a cycling adventure that you will never forget