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Bend, Oregon has no shortage of great mountain bike trails, but perhaps the most well-known stretch of singletrack is Phil’s Trail. While most argue it’s not the best trail in the area (which I would agree), it does have a cool history.
Phil’s – the trail and the network – is named after Phil Meglasson, a surveyor and mapmaker who worked in the Bend area in the late ’70s and early ’80s. He rode his mountain bike as a way to make his job faster and more efficient.
Slowly, Phil’s work riding morphed into fun riding on logging roads, which evolved into seeking out deer paths and tracks – Bend’s OG singletrack.
Today, Phil’s and the connecting singletrack networks of Wanoga, Swampy Sno Park, and Dutchman Flats are home to some of the best mountain biking in Oregon and the west coast.
I’ve spent several months exploring these trails and they have a special place in my mountain bike-loving heart: they’re beautiful, fun, flowy, and diverse with a great community in Bend to boot.
Want to check them out? In this post, I share everything you need to know about mountain biking at Phil’s, Wanoga, and Swampy/Dutchman Flats in Bend, Oregon.
What to Expect
Typically, I write about mountain bike networks individually, but since Phil’s, Wanoga, and Swampy Sno Park are so close to each other and all the trails interconnect, I’m grouping them together in one blog post.
Here’s how they compare individually:
Phil’s is the mountain bike network closest to Bend, which also includes – of course – the iconic Phil’s Trail.
The singletrack in Phil’s is very much cross-country with miles and miles of pedally terrain and only a few trails and sections that feature lava rock tech.
Here are some things to expect at Phil’s:
What about Phil’s Trail?
Phil’s Trail is just one trail within the Phil’s network. It’s rated a green (easy) on TrailForks, but I’d actually make it a blue because there is some chunk and chunder.
Phil’s Trail is long – almost 8 miles – but the best section of the trail winds through a narrow canyon with rock walls on either side. It’s beautiful! This stretch parallels Voodoo Trail.
Important: Phil’s is a downhill trail. Please do not pedal up it.
Wanoga is the trail system above Phil’s. You can pedal up there from the Phil’s Trailhead, but that will easily be a 15-20+ mile day.
Most people ride Wanoga as a shuttle. You can book shuttles with Cog Wild or set up your own shuttle with two cars. Park one at Phil’s Trailhead at the bottom and the other at the Wanoga Sno Park Trailhead where you can access the Wanoga trails.
Wanoga is known for:
Swampy Sno Park/Dutchman Flat
Swampy Sno Park and Dutchman Flat are the trail systems above Wanoga and below Mt. Bachelor Bike Park.
These trails are definitely more backcountry and have a remote feel. Some trails, like North Fork, even feel like you’re in the Pacific Northwest with lush forests and raging rivers.
Like Wanoga, most people shuttle up to Swampy (lower) or Dutchman Flat (higher) and ride back “down” (there is still plenty of pedaling), but you can do loops up here without a shuttle. Just be prepared for a big and lots of leg work!
Head to the Swampy/Dutchman Flat trails for:
Important Things to Know
Best Trails & Route recommendations
There are so many great trails and route options in the Phil’s, Wanoga, and Swampy areas.
I’ve listed my favorite trails below as well as 3 route recommendations to help you get started.
Note that these routes are JUST pedal-accessed routes. If you want shuttled route recommendations, head over to my Bend Mountain Bike Shuttles blog post.
Phil’s, Wanoga, & Swampy/Dutchman Flat Trail Map
My 11 Favorite Trails
You honestly can’t really go wrong with the trails in Phil’s, Wanoga, and Swampy/Dutchman, but these are the ones I found particularly fun:
1. Phil’s Smorgasbord
This is one of my favorite rides in the Phil’s network. There’s a little bit of everything, hence the name Smorgasbord.
The pedal up Ben’s is long and a bit of a grind, but it’s never too steep and you’ll probably feel the final push up Pine Drops. But then it’s (mostly) all downhill fun! Lower Whoops is a blast with lots of berms, small kickers, and tabletops (the bigger features have go-arounds).
Then you get into some tech on Voodoo and Grand Slam. There is a bit more climbing on KGB but then it’s fast and flowy down Marvins Garden.
All-in-all this is a great ride and definitely one to do if you only have a day at Phil’s.
Route directions: Phil’s Trailhead Parking > Ben’s > Pine Drops > Lower Whoops > EXT > Phil’s Trail > Voodoo > Grand Slam > KGB > Marvin’s Garden
Route notes: Trails on this route may be closed due to logging from 12 am Monday to 3 pm Friday. Check TrailForks for current status.
Make it shorter & easier: Another classic loop in Phil’s is to climb up Ben’s and then cross over to Phil’s Trail and descend straight back to the parking area. This loop is about 9.5 miles with 630 feet of climbing.
I do recommend doing Phil’s Trail at least once.
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2. Storm King to Tyler’s Traverse
Tyler’s Traverse is a local’s favorite because of its fast flow and fun features like berms and kickers. The climb up Storm King is long and steep in some places, but not too bad considering the fun descent back down.
This route only features half of Tyler’s Traverse. If you want to do the full trail, see ‘make it longer’ below.
Make it longer option 1: To do the full Tyler’s Traverse descent, instead of cutting over on Steve Larsen’s, continue climbing up via Tiddlywinks Climbing Trail and Lower Tiddlywinks.
At the top, take Kiwi Butte over to the start of Tyler’s Traverse. This will add about 4 miles and 800 feet of climbing. The upper part of Tyler’s Traverse is super fun, though!
Make it longer option 2: Nearby Royal Flush is also a great flow/jump trail. Add it onto this route by turning right onto Afternoon Delight at the end of Tyler’s Traverse then take the Royal Flush Uphill (dirt road) to Royal Flush.
Return to the route by backtracking on Afternoon Delight.
Make it harder: If you do the full Tyler’s Traverse descent, take the detour onto Lone Wolf, which is a jump line. There are some mandatory gap jumps, but all the big features have go-arounds.
3. Tour of Tumalo Falls
This is a beautiful ride with a backcountry feel. North Fork follows the rushing Tumalo Creek and while it’s a long climb and steep in places, the views are amazing and the surrounding forest is peaceful and magical.
It’s best to do this ride on a weekday because North Fork trail (which is one-way for bikers) is popular with hikers.
Route directions: Tumalo Falls Trailhead > North Fork (Tumalo Falls) > Metolius-Windigo > Mrazek > Farewell
Route notes: This is a pretty big ride and once you start up North Fork you can’t turn back around since it’s a one-way trail so you’re pretty much committed to doing the loop (unless you walk your bike back down). It’s also best to do it on a weekday to avoid hiker traffic.
Make it longer: You can add on a few miles by parking at the lower Skyliner Sno-Park and pedaling up Tumalo Creek. This will add about 6 miles and 350 feet of climbing. It’s a beautiful strech of trail.
Best time to Ride Phils, Wanoga, & Swampy/Dutchman Flats
Bend does get snow in the winter, so these trails are typically only rideable in Spring, Summer, and Fall.
Also note that the higher up you go (Dutchman Flats = the highest), the later in the season the snow will melt.
When I visited in July, the snow was just beginning to melt up at Dutchman Flat (granted that was a high snowfall year) and it wasn’t fully rideable until August.
Phil’s, which is at the lowest elevation, will typically start to melt out in May.
I’ve spent a lot of time exploring the trails around Phil’s, Wanoga, Swampy, and Dutchman Flats, and while I don’t think I would want them as my ‘home’ trails (I like a bit more tech!) they are super fun, beautiful, and definitely worth a few days, or even weeks.
All of these trails can be accessed by pedal-power, but I do recommend spending at least a day or two on the shuttle bus so you can cover more ground. Keep in mind, though, that you’ll still be pedaling plenty even with the lifts!
Want to make the most out of your time mountain biking in Bend, Oregon? Check out these the other networks around town:
- Bend Mountain Bike Shuttles: Route Recommendations & More
- Mountain Biking the Deschutes River Trail in Bend
- Mountain Biking the Newberry Crater Rim Trail in Oregon
- High Desert Mountain Biking at Horse Butte Near Bend, Oregon
- Mountain Biking the Maston Trail System near Bend, Oregon
- Experience The Best of Peterson Ridge Mountain Bike Trails in Sisters, Oregon
- Explore the Peaceful & scenic Trails at LaPine State Park in Oregon
- A Complete Guide to Mountain Biking in Bend, Oregon
Have you explored the mountain biking around Phil’s, Wanoga, and Swampy/Dutchman Flats? What are your favorite trails or route link-ups? What do you think of Phil’s Trail? Is it worth the ‘hype’? Leave a comment below!