Best Mountain Bike Trails in Southern Oregon’s Eastern Cascades

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No matter your level of riding, there are plenty of mountain biking terrain to suit you in Southern Oregon, from beginner pump and jump trails for kids to steep, fast, and technical routes for advanced riders.

The region, which sits just across the border from Northern California, offers a two-wheeled version of a wine getaway where you can sip, taste, or indulge in something amazing. And just like fine wine, the trails flow on and on, providing days of discovery and recreation.

You can ride Mount Ashland, shuttle to the towering mountain, then take track after track back to Ashland. You can explore the terrain around Medford and Grant’s Pass. Or you can head 90 minutes east, where the town of Klamath Falls has an awesome array of trails on Spence Mountain, Brown Mountain, Moore Mountain, and other hotspots.

Klamath Waterfall Trails

Klamath Falls, which sits on the dry side of the Cascade Range on Klamath Lake, offers half a dozen trail systems for mountain and gravel biking. The most developed of these is Spence Mountain, a 28-mile network of professionally constructed public-use trails on
7,400 acres of private land. The volunteer-run Klamath Trails Alliance is the steward of this cycling paradise.

Spence Mountain in southern Oregon offers a network of 28 miles of professionally built public trails on 7,400 acres of private land. (Klamath Trails Alliance)

Two trailheads access Spence Mountain—the closest to Klamath Falls is about 15 miles west of town on the Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway (Highway 140). To access the second trailhead, follow the signs for Eagle Ridge Park off of Hwy 140. Parking and restrooms are available at both trailheads.

After renting a Trek Top Fuel bike from friendly and well stocked Zach’s bikes In downtown Klamath Falls, I met up with local cyclist Drew Honzel of the Klamath Trails Alliance for a single-track ride to Spence on the relatively easy and scenic Shoalwater and Old Eagle trails. This is one of the easiest and shortest (4.5 miles) rides in Spence; there are many other options for long, technically challenging hikes with rock gardens, hairpin bends,
steep climbs and berms that add a fun, smooth feel to the ride.

Our route followed a gentle stretch of single track, rising moderately through a young forest of fir, cedar and pine and offering stunning views of Upper Klamath Lake, the marshes of Shoalwater Bay and the snow-capped stratovolcano of Mount McLoughlin at the far.

As we rode along the shore of the lake, Honzel, a retired factory manager, remarked, “What’s not to love about mountain biking in Klamath? Even though I’m almost 66, I feel like a kid again while riding.

You’ll find a number of other notable trail systems in the Klamath Falls area, such as Moore Mountain and Brown Mountain, both detailed on the handy mapping app, Trailforks.com. (Tip: Download these trail maps to your fully-charged phone before you ride.) Moore Mountain is right downtown and has over 15 miles of multi-use trails, many of which are great for first-time riders and kids on the trail. their skills in Moore’s bike. Park. The Brown Mountain and High Lakes trails near the top of Highway 140 offer 18 to 23 miles of mountain biking and gravel trails through old-growth forest and lava flows.

The Klamath Falls area in southern Oregon offers all kinds of trails, including the Moore Mountain system which has over 15 miles of multi-use trails.  (Courtesy of Kamrin Nielsen/Discover Klamath)
The Klamath Falls area in southern Oregon offers all kinds of trails, including the Moore Mountain system which has over 15 miles of multi-use trails. (Courtesy of Kamrin Nielsen/Discover Klamath)

Then refuel at The tap of the falls, a beer garden with a huge selection of craft beers and two food trucks. Or head to Rodeosthe locals choice for drinks and food after the ride – great salads and top quality pizza plus a wall of craft beers in coolers.

Adventures in Medford

The town of Medford provides a convenient launch pad into southern Oregon, with a variety of affordable hotels and a regional airport with regular flights from SFO – and ATV options.

Head to Prescott Mountain and RoxyAnn Peak: with 14 miles of trails, this is the best single-track biking destination in Medford. The versatile and e-bike-friendly routes are located on city land and were built by the Rogue Valley Mountain Bike Association.

Between Grants Pass and Medford, the Bureau of Land Management’s Mountain of the Rogue offers seven miles of trails, including a flow trail and a pump trail. This multi-use trail system was built for mountain biking and is a good alternative to Ashland Mountain, especially for younger riders and beginners.

After the ride? Common Block Brewing is spacious and modern with tent seating inside and outside. The Rogue Runner IPA is particularly tasty. Order beers and food—don’t miss the fried cheese curds—at a bar that looks like a converted shipping container.


If you are going to

Klamath Trail Alliance: Find a wealth of information and detailed maps of off-road biking trails in and around Klamath Falls at klamathtrails.org.

Zach’s bikes: This full-service bike shop, which rents mountain bikes and electric mountain bikes, opens at 11 a.m. Monday through Saturday at 831 Main St. in Klamath Falls; zachsbikes.com.

The tap of the falls: Opens daily at noon at 12215 Shallock Ave. in Klamath Falls, Oregon;
facebook.com/thefallstaphouse.

Rodeos: Opens at 11 a.m. Tuesday through Sunday at 1215 Main St. in Klamath Falls: www.rodeos-pizza.com.

Execution of Ranch Y: This all-weather resort located approximately eight miles from downtown Klamath Falls offers a beautiful Arnold Palmer-designed golf course, kayaking, biking, and horseback riding. Rooms start at $279. 5500 Running Y Road in Klamath Falls
Klamath Falls; runningy.com

Thief Mountain: Find the details of this network of trails on www.blm.gov/programs/recreation/mountainbike.

Common block brewing: Opens daily at 11 a.m. at 315 E. Fifth St. in Medford; www.commonblockbrewing.com.


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