: Leslie Kehmeier

Guided Mountain Bike Experiences in Oregon

Let these outdoors outfitters plan the trip, so you can just enjoy the ride.
June 16, 2023

Mountain biking usually requires careful planning, especially in unfamiliar areas, but Oregon’s outfitters make it easy for you to roll up to the trailhead and ride. Guiding trips from spring through fall — generally the months of May through September, depending on weather — they provide exemplary service from door to outdoors. 

Booking a trip through one of these small businesses means they’ll take care of logistics, which may include providing food, arranging shuttles and trail permits, and help with bike-rental options if you don’t bring your own. Each guide service hires area experts to share local knowledge, safety tips and secret spots. Here are a few to help you get shredding.

Mountain biking tour through the McKenzie River Trail

Hit the Trails in Oakridge and Beyond

Based out of Westfir Lodge in Oakridge — about an hour southeast of Eugene — the Cascades Outdoor Center has access to hundreds of miles of nearby mountain bike trails. To match riders with the perfect itinerary, guides assess the skill levels and needs of guests. Bike rentals are available. One of the most popular rides is the Alpine Trail, which some cyclists call the crown jewel of Oakridge routes. Alpine has fast swoopy sections and fun natural features, and goes through the otherworldly beauty found deep in the Willamette National Forest. 

Cog Wild, a long-established guide outfitter based in Bend, also offers full- and half-day tours in Oakridge and Bend. For more epic expeditions, the outfitter leads multiday trips throughout the state. Take on the wild sections of the North Umpqua Trail in Southern Oregon, the river canyons and forests of Mt. Hood and the iconic single-track of the McKenzie River Trail east of Eugene. If you don’t have your own bike, they have suggestions for where to rent a bike and gear.

Oregon Adaptive Sports' Crank Camp

Adaptive Mountain Biking in Bend

Equipped with a fleet of off-road hand cycles and a recumbent fat-tire tricycle, Oregon Adaptive Sports transforms adaptive athletes into knobby-tire aficionados. From June through August, guides offer two-hour private sessions where they teach essential skills and introduce Bend’s top-tier trails. Arranged according to conditions, skill level and crowds, these sessions are ideal for beginners. Trained staff work intimately with each rider to make sure all needs are met for a great experience. Sign up at least a week before you plan to attend a session. Three times per summer, they also host Crank Camp, a two-day mountain bike skills-progression camp for more advanced adaptive athletes who want to ride the buff, sage-scented trails around Bend. Note that registration opens each spring and fills quickly.

Hood River Mountain Bike Adventures

Scenic Singletrack Near Mt. Hood and the Oregon Outback

Greg Galliano — former art director of Bicycling and Mountain Bike magazines — and his wife, Mel, created Hood River Mountain Bike Adventures in 2014. Its half-day tours bring riders into the Post Canyon area with its rollicking purpose-built features like berms, jumps, see-saws and rollers. Full-day tours head to the 44 Trails system on the eastern slopes of Mt. Hood, where exposed trails reveal mountain panoramas. The routes can include smooth and less technical sections, flowy descents, and loose rocky single-track, depending on the rider’s skills and preference. Bike rentals are available. 

In Southern Oregon, the Fremont Tier of the legendary Oregon Timber Trail — a 669-mile mountain biking trail across Oregon — is one of the most remote and challenging, spanning from Chemult to the Oregon-California border east of Goose Lake. Part of the trail traces the edge of Winter Rim, a 3,000-foot escarpment with views across Lake County. The route also passes Summer Lake Hot Springs, where riders can take a break for a relaxing soak. Paisley Adventure provides guides, shuttles and slackpacking services (hauling gear from one site to the next). Need to rent a fat-tire bike and bikepacking equipment? No problem. They also offer day trips on Morgan Butte, featuring a 10-mile descent on desolate forested single-track to the Chewaucan River Canyon. 

Fremont Tier of the Oregon Timber Trail (Photo by Leslie Kehmeier)

Bike and Kayak Combo on the Southern Coast

Can’t choose between kayaking and mountain biking? South Coast Tours — based on the Southern Coast in Port Orford — says you don’t have to pick. On its Pedal & Paddle Combo Tour, you can combine downhill mountain biking through the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest east of Gold Beach with paddling on the Wild and Scenic Rogue River. This 6-hour adventure begins with a 6.5-mile descent over rooty sections, steep shoots, fun drops and flowy trail. At the bottom, a shuttle will meet you and whisk you away for a 5-mile kayak. For an extra fee, South Coast Tours can arrange mountain bike rentals. 

About The

Ellee Thalheimer
Ellee Thalheimer is a Portland-based author and freelance writer. Her books include Lonely Planet's Cycling Italy, Hop in the Saddle and the Cycling Sojourner series – multi-day bike travel guidebooks for Oregon and Washington. She has contributed to a number of Lonely Planet guidebooks and various other publications, including Alaska Airlines Magazine, OnTrak Magazine, the BBC and Adventure Cyclist Magazine.

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