The North Willamette Backcountry trip is comprised of riding in the Old Cascades Crest Crest, both North and South as well as the McKenzie River area. This zone of riding is one of Oregon’s most remote and raw places to ride your Mountain Bike. Nestled next to the Middle Santiam Wilderness, the Old Cascades Crest is a 42 Mile Backcountry Lollipop just an hour west of Bend Oregon, 2 hours from Oakridge and just north of McKenzie River. Because of the close proximity of the OCC to the McKenzie River riding complex, we pair the two together to create an incredible adventure and a great sample of PNW riding.
You’ll experience unique views of Mt Jefferson, 3 Finger Jack and the Three Sisters from the west side, a side you rarely see while mountain biking the Willamette. We’ve navigated this area extensively and have put together an incredible tour in an area few ride. Expect daily shuttles so we can maximize our day. Don’t worry though, there will be plenty of pedaling as this area demands an effort to reach the many peaks we’ll be ascending. Buried Deep in the cascades, expect good dirt, big descents and big climbs. This maybe the finest example of the Cascade bio region, with Green Moss, deep loam, and high alpine lakes to cool down post ride. The window to ride here is short, so take advantage while you can!
Distance (per day)
Estimated Mileage: 20 + Miles
3 Day Trip Includes:
- Professionally guided tour of remote single track
- Shuttles and Transportation
- Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner prepared by a personal chef
- Tent and Sleeping Pad
- CLIF Bar Trail Snacks
- Beer, Cocktails and an assortment of non-alcoholic beverages
- Daily Hot Shower
MSR Tent with Sleeping Pad
We supply you with a two person MSR tent and Thermarest camping pad. Campground fees included. Van/RV Glamping welcomed. You’ll still need to bring a sleeping bag rated for below freezing and your pillow.
Canvas Tent with Full Size Bed
For those who want hotel amenities in the backcountry. Your tent comes fully furnished with a full size bed with a memory foam mattress, a nightstand, personal lighting and your own little room to get away. We require a minimum of 6 to make this work and the upgrade is $1000 per person.
Food and Drinks
We partner with a number of Oregon’s Top Chefs to provide you with an incredible culinary experience throughout your trip. Carnivorous , Vegetarian and Vegan menus are available. Each morning you’ll wake up to a hot or cold breakfast of your choice. Lunch and Snacks are prepared for you to take on your ride each day. After a good day of riding the bike, we’ll sit down by the table to eat a well prepared meal with each other. The menu also includes beer, cocktails and non-alcoholic beverages to quench your thirst. We want to get this right, so please let us know what you’d like to see so we can make it happen.
Driving from Portland or Seattle:
Meeting Spot: Near Bend or Eugene, Oregon
Bend / Sisters Shuttle
Departure Time/Day ; TBD
Lava Lake Snow Park, ORWednesday 39°FThursday 40°FFriday 49°FSaturday 31°FSunday 25°F
History of the
This was a huge project during the summer of 2017 to uncover some of Oregons Hidden Trail Gold. To read more about our collaboration with our community and how this ride came to be, check out this write up from Allan Cooke at Santa Cruz Bicycles.
The Old Cascade Crest was the crest of the Old Cascades around 300k years ago. The new Cascade Crest is made up of all of the volcanos we see in today’s backdrop, like Mt. Jefferson, Mt. Bacheor and Mt. Hood. Kinda cool to think this was the high point of the Cascades at one time, and now we’re riding it.
The trail system was constructed between 1930 and 1950, and was first built by the CCC and later completed by the USFS. These trails were originally created as a transportation network between fire towers; fire towers were on most peaks in the Old Cascade Crest Network. These trails were also used for animal grazing and gold mining at one point. What’s now super remote and feels really deep, once had thousands of people living there mining for gold. It’s still one of the most active hobby mining areas in the Willamette.
The network was finished as recent as the mid 90’s where the USFS connected all of these trails. The Three Pyramids, North Crescent and South Pyramid Creek Trail were all built or re-discovered in the mid 90’s, and those 3 trails make the network connected. The South Pyramid Creek Trail was an old Native American Pathway that was discovered in the process of the trails development…. you can just imagine the history in this area and how many different people have used it throughout history. It’s been dormant for the past 20 years, with very little use… and now it’s your turn to see what it’s all about.