Must do Mountain Bike Ride of the Month - Rotorua, New Zealand - Billy T to Roller
Oakridge refers to itself as the Mountain Biking Capital of the Northwest, and with good reason. Nestled in the midst of three protected National Forests (Willamette, Deschutes and Umpqua), Oakridge offers infinitely more than one would imagine at first glance. The town is small and unassuming with a population of around 3500, but the mountain biking experience and terrain deliver in a huge way. Loamy singletrack undulates through stunning old growth forests and alongside sparkling rivers for miles and miles. The town welcomes mountain bikers with open arms and the natural beauty in every direction will blow your mind.
“We ultimately came to think of it as a place that has everything you need and nothing you don’t”
This is a unique spot that we struggled to define, but we ultimately came to think of it as a place that has everything you need and nothing you don’t. Of course, this is assuming that what you need is a huge network of incredible trails, countless swimming holes, a local brewery with excellent burgers and beer, and super friendly, knowledgeable locals and guides that feel like good friends by the time you leave. It’s also assuming you don’t need strip malls, an excess of chain hotels and restaurants or lots of opportunities to show off your new kit. If you’re a scenester, it might not be for you, but if you truly love mountain biking and all things that mountain biking is and should be, then Oakridge is most definitely for you. Oakridge is unique in that many of the trails are fairly tame compared to places like Moab or Whistler. This means that intermediate riders will love it here, but advanced riders will also relish the natural flow and the unique challenge of riding at potentially very high speeds through beautiful forests.
Many of Oakridge’s trails date back to the 1930s when Roosevelt commissioned the building of trails as a means of creating jobs during the Depression. Other trails date back even further, having originally been built by Native Americans, prospectors and trappers. Today there is a resurgence of incredible building going on as the town truly understands and celebrates the importance of mountain biking to the community.
In keeping with this, Oakridge has been designated an IMBA gold level trail center. This is a very special designation shared with only six other centres worldwide. The best time for your mountain biking trip to Oakridge is May through October, with the high alpine opening up in late July through early October. September is an especially good time to visit as all regions are open and there are fewer bugs than in the height of summer. You might also consider coming for the Mountain Bike Oregon Festival, the Oakridge Keg and Cask Festival, the epic Cascadia Cream Puff race, or to race the 4 day, 17 stage Trans Cascadia enduro.
We recommend that you download the Trailforks app to access this map on your smartphone and utilize your phones GPS to position you on the map while you are out mountain biking on the Oakridge trails. This app can be used offline if you pre-load the maps ahead of time, making it an ideal option when traveling.
We also recommend a paper map in case you run out of batteries in your device. Willamette Mountain Mercantile sells maps.
Oakridge on Trailforks.com
Must Do Rides
Click on the rides below for more details and to sync the route to your Trailfoks app.
- Larison Creek – Oakridge, Oregon – out and back mountain bike ride.
- North Fork Willamette River Trail – Oakridge, Oregon – quick mountain bike ride.
- Alpine Trail Shuttle – Oakridge, Oregon – mountain bike shuttle.
- Dead Mountain Shuttle – Oakridge, Oregon – mountain bike ride shuttle.
- Larison Rock – Oakridge, Oregon – mountain bike ride shuttle (or pedal).
- Hardesty Trail Shuttle – Oakridge, Oregon – mountain bike shuttle.
- Alpine Trail – Oakridge, Oregon – epic mountain bike ride.
- Waldo Lake Trail Oakridge, Oregon – epic mountain bike ride.
- Lawler Trail Shuttle – Oakridge, Oregon – mountain bike shuttle.
- McKenzie River Trail – Oregon – epic mountain bike ride.
Willamette Mountain Mercantile
The Oakridge Bike Shop (also known as Willamette Mountain Mercantile) is a must visit spot! The people who work here are incredibly passionate and knowledgeable and they will absolutely make your trip to Oakridge. Whether you are just buying a trail map, getting your bike fixed, renting a bike, catching a shuttle or heading out the door with a guide, these people will take care of you. They’ve also got camping gear and related items if you’re roughing it in the bush or planning a lengthy excursion. Chances are you will end up having a beer with the folks from the bike shop at the local brewery in the evening and feeling more at home than you do wherever you come from.
The people at Oregon Adventures are some of the best we have met. It seems this is a trend in Oakridge! The owner, Randy, is also the founder of Mountain Bike Oregon which is an incredible festival that runs in Oakridge every year. You should attend if you can. More details here.
Oregon Adventures can set you up for shuttles, guiding or any other mountain bike adventure you can dream up!
If you have the skills and endurance they offer an adventure called the 17k in a day, which is 70 kilometers of guided riding with 4000 feet of climbing and 18,000 feet of descending! It was one of the best days we have had on mountain bikes. You need to be an advanced rider for this as the group you end up with will likely be very skilled and fit. To put this day into in perspective, an average day in the Whistler Bike park is typically 6000 -10,000 feet of descending, a World Cup downhill race is often 1500 feet of descending, a helidrop is often 2000-4000 feet of descending… 18,000 feet of descending in a day… this is awesome.
Cog Wild Shuttles
Cog Wild offers mountain bike shuttles and operates out of Willamette Mountain Mercantile (a.k.a. – the Oakridge Bike Shop). Shuttles are offered throughout the day, click the link below for full details and pricing. We like the Dead Mountain/Larison Combo plus the 2pm Wild Card which makes for an unreal day of riding! Highly recommended.
Oakridge Oregon – Alpine Trail – Jedi Section – Video by Chad Sageser
Oakridge Oregon – Cream Puff – Video by Chad Sageser
Double Trouble Espresso
Coffee, espresso drinks and snacks served from a drive-thru food cart off the main drag. Friendly service and great coffee make this the perfect stop when you need a last minute hit of caffeine before your ride. Located kitty-corner to the bike shop and across from the grocery store.
The Coffee Counter at Stewart’s 58
Among other things, these guys serve espresso drinks, smoothies and massive breakfast burritos full of eggs, cheese, sausage and other breakfast deliciousness. Service is fast and friendly and the picnic tables out front are the perfect place to plan your ride and connect with other riders.
Stewart’s 58 Drive-In
In addition to the coffee counter and breakfast options mentioned above, Stewart’s 58 Drive -In offers an awesome lunch and dinner menu. Definitely try one of their massive milkshakes. Service is fast and friendly and the picnic tables out front are the perfect place to relax and connect with other riders.
Smoken Oak BBQ
Authentic BBQ serving delicious food. A great place to fuel up before, during or after a massive mountain bike ride.
This place is a gem. The owner was at one time Jackie Chan’s personal chef. The secret is to ask “what’s good today” and you will likely get a special meal that might not even be on the menu. This is not your typical small town Chinese food restaurant and it is absolutely worth eating here. If you chat them up Lee and his wife might sit down and have a drink with you!
Oakridge Brewers Union – Brew Pub
This is the social hub of Oakridge and a must visit destination while in town. You will meet colorful locals and also fellow mountain bikers all while enjoying incredible brews and outstanding food!
Big Mountain Pizza
This is the only place in town to get liquor and watch sports on TV… it is a proper little sports bar.
Best Western Oakridge Inn
The Best Western Inn Oakridge gets it… They have secure bike storage or they allow you to bring your bike into your room if you prefer. They also serve a free breakfast every morning which is perfect to get your day started. There is also a pool and hot tub to relax in after your day of riding. You can easily cruise to the bike shop, shuttle companies or Brewers Union pub from the hotel. The location is on the west side of town directly across from Stewart’s 58 Diner which serves up some of the best food in town.
A very cool location just down the road from the Brewers Union pub. There are both private rooms and hostel style rooms that you can share with your friends. An onsite restaurant serves excellent food and has a lovely outdoor patio. There is bike storage as well, but we recommend you bring a lock as added security.
Bed and breakfast serving delicious food to get you fueled up for your day’s mountain bike adventures!
The Westfir Lodge is a historic building located just outside of Oakridge in a village called Westfir. It also happens to be situated right at the trailhead for the Alpine trail, making it the ideal staging point for your Oakridge vacation. The shuttle companies even pick up from the parking area across from the Lodge. The rooms are quaint and have a historic feeling; the included morning breakfast is delicious and generous and will keep you fueled for your day’s ride. Bike storage is basic, so you may want to bring your own locks just to be on the safe side.
The Tired Dog Ranch
This is a place that the locals recommend! There are cottages, cabins and yurts as well as camping.
Salmon Creek Falls Campground
This is the closest forest service campground to town…and to the Brewers Union pub. Picnic tables, toilets, and drinking water.
Black Canyon Campground
Campers Flats Campground
Blue Pool Campground
This campground is located just 9 miles east of Oakridge right off of Hwy 58. It is situated along the river and right next to some undeveloped hot springs. This campground is also just a mile or so down the road from the McCredie Hotsprings.
Looking for last minute deals? Here is a link to all of our available properties in and around Oakridge. This is always worth a click as you can find great deals here. Try to make sure you stay in Oakridge as its a really cool place that takes a day or two to get to know… the food, the people and surrounding nature are amazing and its worth staying here to discover the gems that are not immediately apparent.
Located about 1 minute out of town and right at the exit of the Larison Rock Trail. This is an underrated swimming area with awesome evening light and easy access.
Salmon Falls Creek
McCredie Hot Springs is located about 10 minutes up Hwy 58. The springs are right beside the river so you can easily jump back and forth between the hot and cold waters! There is nothing like one of the best mountain bike rides of your life followed by an afternoon in the hotsprings.
Oakridge is a small town and does not have attractions in the traditional sense… That said, there’s the golf course, the pub, the beautiful rivers (fishing on a rain day?) and various hot springs. You could also consider booking a massage or checking out Oregon’s Longest Covered Bridge in neighboring Westfir.
Oregon’s Longest Covered Bridge
The Office Bridge