Looking for an epic adventure? Or several mini-epic adventures? The new Oregon Timber Trail is the fruit of 18 months of planning, labor and mapping, and it’s ready for you to roll.
The route is mapped, which you can download here, and features a diverse range of backcountry singletrack, alpine lakes, remote campsites, old growth groves, prairies, trout streams, antelope herds, rowdy flow trails, ghost towns and backwoods diners. They claim it’s 91% unpaved, and 51% singletrack.
While most of us won’t be able to take off for weeks at a time to ride it all at once, there’s four unique tiers and landscapes that let you and your buddies tackle it in segments. Click through for more photos, links and the press release…
From OTT: The Oregon Timber Trail is an iconic 668-mile backcountry mountain bike route spanning Oregon’s diverse landscapes from the California border to the Columbia River Gorge. Work developing the trail and route resources has been underway for eighteen months and this week the world gets to see the fruits of that labor. Today we have launched the official route and you can download it all here, http://oregontimbertrail.org/ride-the-ott/.
The OTT, (Oregon Timber Trail), is a world-class bikepacking destination and North America’s premiere long-distance mountain bike route. It runs south to north through a variety of mountain bike trails divided into four unique tiers segmenting the state like a layered cake. The Oregon Timber Trail can be sliced into as large a piece of that cake as desired; the route and terrain is suitable for a wide range of intermediate to advanced cyclists. The Oregon Timber Trail is inspired by the Pacific Crest Trail and other hiking trails in the National Scenic Trail system, but what sets the OTT apart is that it’s designed with mountain biking in mind and consists of more than 50 percent singletrack.
Riders depart from the California border, just outside of Lakeview, the highest town in Oregon. Within the first ten miles, riders will crest 8,000 and view the ride north. Ahead, the Fremont Tier is 190+ miles long, followed by the Willamette Tier at 140+ miles, then the 110+ mile Deschutes Tier, and finally the Hood Tier at 200+ miles. Dip your tires in the Columbia River, lay in the grass, and raise a toast to yourself — you just rode a mountain bike across the state of Oregon.
Ride the route in its entirety for an adventure of a lifetime, or spread it out over a few years riding one tier at a time. The Tier program is an important aspect of the Oregon Timber Trail. While we want the entire 670 miles to be an aspirational goal for riders, the reality for most riders is shorter tiered options without the need for a long vehicle shuttle or extended time away from work and family.
The Oregon Timber Trail aptly starts in the middle of nowhere on the California border. You’ll leave Oregon’s highest town and traverse the 150 mile Fremont National Recreation Trail. You’ll be rewarded with stunning views from Winter Rim, a feast at the legendary Cowboy Dinner Tree, and have the opportunity to stay at a number of primitive fire lookouts.
The Willamette Tier is markedly different from the Fremont Tier. The dry deserts, sparse ponderosa forests and wide open rangeland give way to dark, verdant, and loamy forests as soon as you crest the Cascade Range. You’ll follow feeder streams and springs of the Willamette River’s Middle Fork for much of this tier, putting your water scarcity worries at ease—at least for now.
The Deschutes Tier takes you back over to the dry, volcanic eastern flank of the Cascade Range. Bend is famous for its large network of world-class mountain bike trails and the Oregon Timber Trail takes advantage of them as it leaves Waldo Lake and winds its way through the Cascade Lakes region and around Mt. Bachelor.
As you head into the Hood Tier you may think you’re on the final stretch—that is if you haven’t looked at the elevation profile. The Hood Tier takes you up and down, across countless backcountry ridges and streams, first teasing you with imposing views of Mount Jefferson and eventually Mount Hood itself. The Old Cascade Crest is steep and rewarding, eventually dropping you near Detroit Lake and up to Olallie Lakes through the Breitenbush Hot Springs valley.
OREGON TIMBER TRAIL ASSOCIATION (OTTA)
Dedicated to stewardship, education, community, and quality trail experiences throughout the Oregon Timber Trail corridor. The OTTA represents the interests of the past, present, and future users of the Oregon Timber Trail. The OTTA Board of Directors is comprised of mountain bikers, environmental stewards, and bicycle industry leaders drawn from across the state of Oregon with the objectives and purposes of:
- Developing, promoting, and maintaining a singletrack bicycle route and associated network through the Cascade Mountain Range from the California border to the Columbia River;
- Encouraging sustainable cycling-related economic development in the rural communities along the Oregon Timber Trail;
- Supporting the land management agencies and private landowners who manage/own lands through which the Oregon Timber Trail passes.
What has the OTTA done in 2017?
- Engaged and solicited feedback from four National Forest offices and over 100 route stakeholders
- Coordinated 13 days of trail maintenance across the state in 2017, logging almost 1,000 volunteer hours in June alone
- Worked with 40 eighth-grade students at Springwater Environmental Sciences School to develop a guide to cultural and natural history along the Oregon Timber Trail
- Partnered with the Willamette National Forest to certify 20 new chainsaw sawyers for trail maintenance
- Scheduled an intensive 3-day bike-specific Wilderness First Aid and CPR course
- Hosted a beginner bikepacking class and overnight that educated users on responsible trail ethics like Leave No Trace
- Developed a thorough 12,000 word route guide tailored to responsible use of the route’s resources
- Reached out to scout troops and Latino community organizations in order to introduce diverse communities to bikepacking recreation
- Worked with the US Forest Service to identify specific ecologically sensitive areas and monitor for impact
- July 20th – Base Camp Brewing releases their latest Location Series beer, OTT Juniper Cherry Wheat. 20% of all profits from the sale of this Location Series beer will go toward supporting OTT’s work in community building and stewardship along the trail corridor.
- August 11-13 – Trail Stewardship Campout at La Pine, OR (Deschutes Tier)
- August 25-27 – Trail Stewardship Campout at Idanha, OR (Hood Tier)