Bend Area Trails, filmed and reviewed by Preston Mason
Review Date: 8/16/2015
With the growing popularity of mountain biking over the last several years there seems to be an endless amount of locations and trails to ride throughout the country. And if you ride a lot you probably get the urge to go explore some new trails since you are most likely a little bored with your current trails. Taking a trip just for the sole purpose of mountain biking can be a great time and will allow you to check out some new areas and trails. It's also a great way to try out some different terrain compared to what you are used to riding on.
If you live in or around Oregon then you know that there are some world class riding areas in the state just waiting to be ridden. The Northwest is known for its mountain bike trails and there are many upon many to choose from. One place that stands out in Oregon for its quantity and quality of trails are those located near the city of Bend. There are hundreds of miles of well designed and well maintained trails of various skill levels all within one area. In fact you can pretty much ride from Bend all the way to Mt. Bachelor on various routes or better yet from Mt. Bachelor to Bend if you want more downhill than uphill.
One of the best things about the trails in Bend is that they are well marked and there are some great maps that can help you navigate around the area. And if you use Strava you can look up some rides and guide yourself that way. Most of the trails are located near Cascade Lakes Highway and Skyliners Rd. so they are easy to get to or even shuttle if you don't like to pedal. Just be sure to do your research or get yourself a map so you don't get lost. Also find out what trails you want to try out beforehand so you can make the most of your rides. YouTube will have videos on most of the popular trails so that's a good way to check them out.
Bend Trail Videos
Bend Trails Review
As for the types of trails you will find in Bend they are all very similar with varying degrees of difficulty. Some are more natural runs with your typical rocks and roots while others are more custom made with jumps and tabletops. There is nothing that is too extreme there so you won't be needing your downhill bike and pads unless you are really into safety. Speaking of downhill Bend is not really hilly or steep so to go fast on the "downhill" sections you will need to pedal but coasting will still get you where you need to be with a smile on your face. A full suspension bike with 5 inches of travel will be just fine for most of the trails in the area. You can even get away with a hardtail on many of the trails if that's all you have.
You will find a lot of nice singletrack in the area with natural features such as rock jumps, drops and ride overs. The more custom made trails will have sweeping berms and flowing jumps none of which are too big and for the most part you can ride over them or go around them. Since most of the area is in the trees you will get a lot of shade which makes it nice for summer riding.
There are some must do trails in the area that you should consider if you plan on riding in Bend at some point. Storm King is a fun and fast trail with a few manmade jumps as well as natural obstacles. Its maybe 4 miles and can be connected to from Funner or Tiddlywinks and done as a shuttle if you desire. Funner has multiple paths that you can take and some of the sections have some fun technical rocky riding. Tiddlywinks has a lot of manmade jumps and berms and is a must if you want to catch some air on your ride. Another trail with a lot of jumps is Tyler's Traverse which is about a 7 mile run with some climbing at the beginning. Then of course there is the upper and lower Whoops trail. The upper section is fast and curvy while the lower section is full of table tops and other small jumps which come one after the other. And if you find it's not steep or fast enough for you then you can always drive about 20 miles down the highway and hit the Mt. Bachelor bike park.
When you are done riding you can check out the variety of restaurants where you can get a great meal to put the calories back on. One good place is the Deschutes Brewery where you can get some homemade beer and great food. If you plan on getting a hotel for your stay you should plan ahead since they fill up quick when the weather is nice. If you plan to make a week out if it you can look into rental houses.