Mountain biking in Bend, Oregon

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Mountain biking in Bend, Oregon

Your destination for flow on the trails

Bend has hundreds of miles of well-maintained trails, year-round riding, magnificent scenery, and a passionate mountain biking community. It’s no wonder we’re consistently named one of the best places to mountain bike in the US.

What makes Bend a great mountain bike destination?

Let’s start with trails, all 600 miles of them. Yep, you read that right. Central Oregon boasts over 600 miles of maintained singletrack. Everyone from dirt newbies to technical shredders will find trails to explore. We may not have the most heart-stoppingly steep singletrack, but we make up for it in sheer variety. From fast to technical to smooth and flowy, it’s easy to find a ride to satisfy everyone in your crew.

Are you wondering who maintains all these magnificent miles? It’s thanks to the small but mighty staff and volunteer trail crews at Central Oregon Trail Alliance (COTA). And if you’d like to get involved, how about joining a trail work party? Or, pedal your generosity forward by making a donation. 

With so many miles and so much diverse terrain, Bend is a mountain bike destination with options to ride year-round. 

Mountain biking on an adaptive bike near Bend, OR

Summer is certainly the most popular time to hit the trails. Beautiful, sunny weather, ready-to-ride terrain, and dry conditions bring riders from near and far to the trails. Summer can also bring hot afternoons and potential smoke due to forest fires. Have a backup plan, just in case.

Spring and fall are seasons of change, with opportunities to test out your layering skills and generally fewer riders on the trails. Enjoy cheery wildflowers and grippy dirt in the spring. Come fall, golden hues and crisp temps are the norm. Shoulder season weather and trail access can be less predictable, so be sure to check conditions first. Winter in Bend brings out its own possibilities to ride on frozen east-side trails as well as groomed fat-biking trails at Wanoga Sno-Park. 

No matter what time of year you ride, the epic scenery will never disappoint. How about towering views of the rugged, snow-capped Cascade Mountains? Or weaving through shady ponderosa pine forests with peek-a-boo views of lakes, mountains, or the mighty Deschutes River? Heck, just about everywhere you ride, you’ll encounter the beauty of Central Oregon, from sweeping landscapes to sparkling alpine lakes. 

A family mountain biking outside Bend, OR

Where to mountain bike in Bend

Are you itching to ride yet? Excellent! Let’s talk about where to go. 

Are you new to mountain biking? Or have the kids in tow? Check out these beginner-friendly mountain bike trail systems around Bend:

  • Phil’s Trail is Bend’s iconic mountain bike trail system only minutes from town. Straightforward navigation, a diverse range of fun, flowy terrain, and minimal elevation changes make a first-time rider feel at home. 
  • The Maston trail system is ideal for the whole family, with fairly flat and moderately technical terrain. Located about 13 miles north of Bend, enjoy riding through beautiful high desert scenery with Cascade views.
  • Peterson Ridge is located in the charming town of Sisters, Oregon. It boasts 30 miles of picturesque loop options with a few easy-to-negotiate technical sections.
Mountain biking on the Royal Flush trail near Bend, OR

For intermediate to advanced riders, Bend is paradise! With too many trails to mention, we’ll narrow it down to some excellent areas to explore.  

  • The Wanoga Complex has it all. Everything from cross country, technical, flowy, and enduro-style trails pack the area, making it a shred-worthy location. Wanoga Sno Park gives access to trails like Funner, Tiddlywinks, Stormking, and Tyler’s Traverse. These trails are packed with berms, jumps, and technical rocky sections. Shuttle from town or enjoy loads of loop options right from Wanoga Sno Park.
  • Dutchman Flats and Swampy Lakes Sno-Parks provide access to punchy climbs and zippy descents through tight corners and flowy singletrack. Check out trails like Flagline, Swede Ridge, or Sector 16. Many of these trail systems can easily be ridden right into Bend, making it ideal for shuttling. 
  • The Mt. Bachelor bike park offers lift-served trails for those seeking epic views and big adrenaline. Thirteen miles of exciting downhill trails range from beginner-friendly to heart-stopping jumps and features designed for intermediate to advanced riders. 

If you want to learn how to mountain bike or ramp up your skills, Cog Wild offers mountain bike lessons tailored to every skill level and age. Their experienced instructors will help you conquer the trails with confidence. They also offer shuttles and tours for a fantastic, hassle-free way to experience riding Bend’s local trails. 

Mountain biking on the Metolius-Windigo trail near Bend, OR

When to mountain bike in Bend

Spring, summer, and fall certainly see the most riders on these popular trails. But wintertime also provides its own two-wheeled fun.

Winter mountain biking around Bend is becoming more and more popular thanks to some ready-to-ride fat biking destinations. Wanoga Sno Park offers two groomed fat bike trails. Choose from a three-mile inner, and a six-mile outer loop that are both great for all skill levels. Or take a snowy spin up to a tranquil frozen Tumalo Falls along the Tumalo Creek Trail. If you’re longing for dirt, check with our local bike shops to see what might be rideable.

All these year-round riding opportunities in Central Oregon make any time the perfect time to practice your trail etiquette. As mountain bikers, we have the power to be ambassadors on the trails. This means being friendly, sharing outdoor spaces with all other users, practicing Leave No Trace, and respecting and protecting our trails and lands. 

Another part of respecting our trails is knowing about our unique rules regarding e-bikes. The US Forest Service does not allow the use of e-bikes on any non-motorized USFS trails in Oregon. This means that all of Bend’s singletrack is off-limits and illegal for e-bikes. OHV trails, as well as gravel and dirt roads that allow motorized vehicles, are open to all, so pedal assist away! Read our article for more information on e-bike regulations and where to ride them.

For more information on trail etiquette, advocacy, conditions, or where to ride, check in with these local organizations and businesses.

  • Central Oregon Trail Alliance – A non-profit focusing on the development, protection, and maintenance of Central Oregon trails. 
  • Bend Trails – Up-to-date conditions and interactive trail maps.
  • Oregon Adaptive Sports –  Provides life-changing mountain bike experiences to individuals with disabilities.
  • Bend’s Mountain Bike Adventure Guide – A pocket handbook for mountain biking in Bend, Oregon.

And let’s not forget about the many fantastic local bike shops in Bend. If you need a bike rental, repair, new gear, or up-to-date trail conditions, they have everything you need to hit the dirt. If you’re looking for a mountain bike rental, make a reservation in advance. Especially during those busy summer months when rentals will run out.

Pro tips for an excellent ride

  • Plan a route that best fits your experience level and expectations.
  • Check weather, trail conditions and seasonal closures before heading out. 
  • Bring water, extra layers, first aid kit, spare tube and tools for quick repairs.
  • Abide by all trail closures for your safety and the protection of wildlife and fragile ecosystems.
  • Try to avoid sliding and skidding, and ride only on designated trails to protect our high desert ecosystem.
  • Ride when the trails are dry or frozen to avoid damaging them. 
  • Slow down, smile, say hello and be considerate when passing others on the trail. 
  • Horses and adaptive users always have right-of-way, followed by pedestrians and those moving uphill. Always yield without stepping too far off the trail.
  • If listening to music is part of your experience outside, listen with only one earbud.

Yes, indeed, mountain biking in Bend is nothing short of amazing. But in case you need another reason to come ride here, well, here it is: you’re in Bend! We’re not only a mountain bike destination, but we’re also fully loaded with other fantastic activities, sights, and bites. 

After a satisfying ride, why not indulge in something delicious at a local restaurant, cafe, or food cart? Search for the perfect keepsake in downtown Bend or the Old Mill District. Enjoy an A-list outdoor concert at the Hayden Homes Amphitheater. Or take a thirst-quenching journey along the Bend Ale Trail

From oodles of outdoor recreation to indoor activities, no matter what you, your friends, or your family enjoy (besides mountain biking), you’ll discover it right here in Bend. 

Happy trails, friends!