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A Complete Guide To Mountain Biking in Bend, Oregon

Discover the best mountain biking in Bend, Oregon including the best trails, route recommendations, where to eat and camp, and more!

Mountain bike on trail in Bend, Oregon with snow capped volcano in far distance

There’s a good chance that affiliate links are scattered throughout this post. If you click on one I may receive a small commission at no extra charge to you and I’ll definitely be using it to buy bike gear.

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Oregon has no shortage of great mountain biking and the trail networks seem to be growing every year (hoorah!). I recently spent a few weeks exploring the mountain bike trails around Bend while housesitting for two adorable little Boston Terriers.

Bend, Oregon mountain biking has a lot going for it from pedaling cross-country trails to shuttled descents to jump lines and even a bike park up at Mt Bachelor (which was unfortunately still closed for the winter). Plus, the town of Bend itself is super cool with lots of great restaurants, outdoor spaces, and things to do.

If you’re looking for a great summer mountain bike getaway in the Pacific Northwest, definitely consider putting Bend on the list and use this guide to plan your adventure!

Why Plan a mountain bike trip to Bend?

I’ve had the pleasure of visiting Bend, Oregon several times to mountain bike (I did my Level 1 PMBIA Certification there) and I have to say, I’m quite impressed.

Not only does the town have a cool vibe, but the riding is also super rad. From big cross-country days to shuttle laps on rowdier terrain to scenic meanders along beautiful rivers, Bend has it all – including a lift-served bike park!

Plus, the riding doesn’t just stop in Bend. Oakridge is only two hours away as are Klamath Falls and Ashland – all worthy mountain bike destinations on their own.

Here are some reasons to put Bend on your bike-it list:

  • TONS of miles to cover. You could ride here for a week and not ride the same trails.
  • A good variety of terrain from cross-country to shuttled laps to downhill days at the bike park.
  • A great community with weekly group rides, friendly bike shops, and events.
  • Ample off-bike adventures that range from great restaurants to floating the Deschutes River.
  • Close to lots more great riding if you want to plan a multi-week (or month!) road trip.

Mountain biker on forested trail in Bend Oregon
Bend is home to dozens – if not hundreds – of miles of cross-country riding

Important Things to Know

Before we get into where to mountain bike in Bend, Oregon here are a few important things to know:

  • e-bikes are NOT allowed: Bend does not allow electric bikes on most trail networks near town. Please respect this.
  • Some trails are one-way: Please read the signs before heading up or down a trail. All trails are pretty well marked including one-way trails. There were a few times I was riding up a one-way climb trail and riders were coming down.
  • Beware the pinecones: Bend is famous for its pinecone-studded trails. For April Fools Day, Bend Trails had a pinecone counter on their website 😅. In all seriousness, though, these pinecones can be trail bombs if you’re not paying attention.
  • Do not ride when muddy: Please stay off the trails if the conditions are muddy. Riding trails when they are soggy can be very destructive.
  • Be prepared for all weather conditions: When I visited Bend in May, I got caught in a massive, chilly downpour as well as a squall with hail and wind. If you’re visiting in the shoulder seasons, be prepared with extra layers because the weather can turn fast!
  • Shuttling still means pedaling: It’s popular to shuttle many of the trails around Bend, but it’s important to know that even though you take a shuttle, you’ll still be pedaling. Depending on what route you take, it may feel like you didn’t take a shuttle at all.

9 Bend Mountain Bike Trails & Trail Networks

Most people who visit Bend for the trails are familiar with the Phil’s trail network, but there is SO much more to explore.

Here are the best place to mountain bike around Bend. If you want to dive deeper and get route recommendations, check out my blog posts on each individual trail network.

I’ve listed these trail networks in order of relative difficulty with LaPine State Forest being the easiest and Horse Ridge being the hardest.

  1. LaPine State Park
  2. Maston
  3. Peterson Ridge
  4. Deschutes River Trail
  5. Horse Butte
  6. Phil’s, Wanoga, Swampy Lakes/Dutchman Flat Area
  7. Newberry Crater
  8. Mount Bachelor Bike Park
  9. Horse Ridge

1. LaPine State Park

If you’re looking for a super scenic ride, head to La Pine State Park, which is about 35 minutes south of Bend. While the riding isn’t technical in the least and the elevation gain is very minimal, the views out over the Deschutes River and Fall River are beautiful. Stunning really!

I did this ride as a ‘rest day’ and really enjoyed it. There are about 12 miles of trail, so you can easily do it in a few hours. Or… take the day to relax post-ride and maybe enjoy a picnic by the river.

LaPine is a great place for newer riders or for families with young kids.

Get LaPine State Park route recommendations & more!

2. Maston

Maston is the XC winner of Bend. These trails are mostly flat, mostly buff, and very fast. There are about 18 miles of trail in all, which go by quickly if you enjoy spinning fast.

There are a few slightly technical rocky sections, but for the most part, this area is great for new riders, families, or cross-country enthusiasts.

It’s also beautiful with great views out over Three Sisters and Mount Bachelor.

Learn how to make the most of your day at Maston Trail System

3. Peterson Ridge

Peterson Ridge is the trail network out by Sisters, Oregon. The singletrack is mostly smooth and buff, but there is some tech on the Upper Peterson Trail West stretch.

Peterson Ridge is a stacked-loop network, which means that you can do a quick, easy pedal or do the full outer loop, which is just under 18 miles.

The higher you go, the better the views!

Heading to Sisters? Here’s what you need to know about mountain biking Peterson Ridge

4. Deschutes River Trail

The Deschutes River Trail is one of my favorite rides in Bend. It’s so beautiful! The trail follows the scenic Deschutes River and you can ride it all the way from downtown Bend to Lava Butte.

I like to ride the Deschutes River Trail as a one-way shuttle, but if you don’t have two cars (or don’t want to take an Uber), you can do an out-and-back. Not all sections are created equal, though, so be sure to read my post to find out which sections are the best.

Learn how to shuttle the Deschutes River Trail or which section to do as an out-and-back

Becky wearing mountain bike gear posing next a llama on the Deschutes River Trail in Bend, Oregon
You might even see some llamas on your ride along the Deschutes River Trail

5. Horse Butte

Horse Butte is located about 25 minutes south of Bend and it has some great riding. There is one smaller 10-mile loop and options to do much, much longer 20+ mile loops. There’s nothing really in between.

The riding is definitely cross-country, but you’ll find a bit more tech and definitely more climbing than at Maston.

The views are also great and Horse Butte is home to Boyd Cave if you feel like exploring underground (bring a headlamp and an extra layer).

Get Horse Butte route recommendations & more!

Mountain bike on singletrack trail with scenic views out over forest and mountains near Bend Oregon
A bigger loop at Horse Butte is worth it if you’re up for a big 27+ mile day

6. Phil’s, Wanoga, Swampy Lakes, & Dutchman Flat

Phil’s is the trail network right outside of Bend. Depending on where you’re staying, you may even be able to ride to it.

Phil’s has a good mix of mellow cross-country terrain as well as a little bit of tech including jump lines and lava rock rock gardens.

If you’re only in Bend for a few days, definitely spend most of your time at Phil’s. Some of the trails are one-way, so be sure to read the well-placed signs.

Wanoga is mostly accessed via shuttle, but you can also get there by pedaling up through Phil’s trails or parking at one of the trailheads south of the main parking area.

Wanoga has some of the best mountain bike trails in Bend (IMO) including Funner, Tiddlywinks, and Tyler’s Traverse.

If you don’t have a shuttle, these trails can easily be lapped since each has its own climbing trail. Keep in mind that Wanoga is often snowed-in until late spring.

The Swampy Lakes Area and Dutchman Flat are located above Wanoga on the slopes of Mount Bachelor and feature beautiful, forested backcountry riding.

The trails traverse through a completely different ecosystem than the networks closer to Bend and it’s absolutely beautiful. It reminds me of Southeast Alaska with lush vegetation, towering trees, loamy dirt, and raging rivers.

These trails do not melt out until June or later, so be sure to check conditions before heading that way.

Phil’s is a must! Learn the best trails, routes, and how to shuttle from Wanoga or Swampy

View above scenic waterfall on Tumalo Creek near Bend, Oregon
The farther you go up the slopes toward Dutchman Flat, the more “PNW” it feels

7. Newberry Crater

If you’re looking for an epic day on your bike, head out to Newberry Crater, which is about an hour south of Bend.

There is a trail that circumnavigates the two lakes inside the crater: Paulina Lake and East Lake – and the views are incredible!

This was one of my favorite mountain bike rides in the Bend area, but it is a pretty big day (22 miles, 3,000 ft of climbing, and max elevation of 8,000 ft).

If that sounds doable, definitely do it! You won’t be disappointed.

Learn everything you need to know about mountain biking the Newberry Crater Rim trail

8. Mount Bachelor Bike Park

If you need a break from all the pedaling, Bend does have a mountain bike park up on Mount Bachelor.

It’s about 40 minutes away and has everything you would expect from a bike park: a variety of trails for all levels of rider from flow trails to jump lines to rough and natural DH tracks.

Plus, the views are epic!

Mountain biker riding bike down singletrack trail at Mt. Bachelor Bike Park in Bend with snow band on righthand side
Believe it or not, this is Mt. Bachelor Bike Park in July! Granted, it was a heavy snow year…

9. Horse Ridge

Unfortunately, I haven’t gotten out to Horse Ridge for a ride, but I have heard that it’s definitely worth a visit, especially if you’re looking for more technical riding.

The climbing at Horse Ridge is steeper than other mountain bike networks around Bend, but that also means the descents are steeper and faster as well.

The trails Escape From Moscow and Sand Canyon are supposedly the two descents to do.

If you’ve ridden Horse Ridge leave a comment below and let us know how it is!

Looking for more fun things to do?

Check out these popular tours in Bend

Bend Mountain Bike Shuttles

During the height of summer, a lot of mountain bikers choose to shuttle the mountain bike trails in Bend, especially around the Wanoga, Swampy Lakes, and Dutchman Flat area.

Shuttlers that start from Wangoa can enjoy a 15-20 mile ‘mostly’ downhill descent and hit some of the most popular trails like Funner, Tiddlywinks, and Tyler’s Traverse.

If you have two cars, you can shuttle yourself or Cog Wild offers daily shuttles starting from LOGE Hotel. If you’re around for a few days, they offer a 6-punch shuttle pass.

In addition to Swampy Lakes and Wanoga, Cog Wild’s other shuttle destinations include the McKenzie River Trail, Dutchman Flats on the slopes of Mt. Bachelor, and Newberry Crater farther south as well as Oakridge, Oregon.

Cog Wild bus shuttle pulling trailer filled with mountain bikes
Image credit: Katie Sox

Best Time To plan a mountain bike trip to Bend

Bend, Oregon is a summer mountain biking destination. You can visit in the Spring or Fall, but the higher-up trails will most likely still be covered in snow.

June through September is typically the prime season for mountain biking, but you may be able to ride the lower stuff as early as May and as late as October.

The website Bend Trails does a great job updating trail status.

Photo out over front of mountain bike handlebars onto snowy and muddy mountain bike trail
This was mid-May – Bend trails can stay snowy and muddy until late May or early June

Bend Mountain Bike Shops, Rentals, Community, & more

Full-Service Bike Shops & Rentals

Bend has well over a dozen bike shops that offer full-service tune-ups and repairs as well as rentals and retail items. Here are just a few:

Mountain bike tours & lessons

If you’re looking to improve your skills or head out on a guided ride while in Bend, look no further than Cog Wild.

I did my Level 1 PMBIA certification with Lev – the owner of Cog Wild – and it was awesome. Their instructors know their stuff and they’re such a great (and fun!) group of people.

Cog Wild offers private 1:1 lessons as well as a progression series if you’ll be around Bend for a few weeks.

Also, check out the Ladies AllRide schedule and Grit Clinics, which has a number of coaches in Bend.

Group Rides

If you want to join a group ride, Pine Mountain Sports hosts group rides every other week throughout the summer. There are co-ed group rides and a women’s group ride.

I joined a co-ed ride during my most recent trip to Bend and had a blast!

Riders break up into smaller groups based on skill and fitness levels.

Where To Eat & Drink In Bend

Bend is home to some amazing restaurants as well as breweries, food trucks, and other establishments serving tasty things to eat and drink. Here are a few of my favorites:

  • Wild Rose Northern Thai Eats: Really good Thai food. This place is always crazy busy – reservations are a must
  • Sen: A new sister restaurant to Wild Rose that has a smaller (but no less delicious) menu
  • Bend Brewing: The burger is really good and I’ve been told the beer is great, too (I don’t like beer)
  • Dogwood: A cozy place to get creative cocktails
  • Sparrow Bakery: A really good French bakery. You can also get their stuff at Market Of Choice
  • AVID Cidery: Home of really good PNW cider (I do like cider)
  • Trattoria Sbandati: Upscale Italian restaurant
  • The Lot: A taproom with several food carts to choose from

You honestly can’t really go wrong with good food in Bend!

Where To Stay In Bend

Bend Camping

There is some free dispersed camping around Bend, including near Phil’s Trailhead parking area and in the Deschutes National Forest. There are no facilities here, so you need to pack everything out (including toilet paper!).

Surprisingly, there is no established camping close to town. LaPine State Forest, which is about 30 minutes south of Bend, has beautiful sites on the Deschutes River.

Tumalo State Park north of Bend also has paid camping.

If you’re riding the McKenzie River Trail, there’s lots of great camping over that way, but it is about a 1.5-hour drive from Bend.

Bend bike-friendly hotels

If you prefer a soft bed and hot shower, Bend is full of bike-friendly hotels. The LOGE Bend is conveniently located near the Phil’s network and Cog Wild is based there as well if you plan on shuttling.

LOGE also occasionally hosts movie nights, food trucks, and other events for a fun community atmosphere.

Additional resources for mountain biking in Bend

Here are a few resources to help you plan your trip:

  • Bend Trails: This is an awesome website that has up-to-date info on trail conditions, closures, route recommendations, and more.
  • Mountain Bike Bend: A guidebook by Bend local Katy Bryce with more route recommendations and trail beta.

What questions do you still have about Bend, Oregon mountain biking? What are your favorite trails, networks, and routes? Leave a comment below!

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