The Old Cascade Crest is one of Oregon’s most remote and raw places to Mountain Bike, located in the Willamette National Forest. Nestled in next to the Middle Santiam Wilderness, the OCC in total is a 42 mile backcountry lollipop just an hour from Bend Oregon. Kind of unbelievable knowing you’ll likely not see a single person your entire ride. This area was site of the 2017 Trans-Cascadia MTB race and this ride encompasses our combination of the best day of single riding of the event. Below, we provide a more detailed description of the history of the OCC and how we came to ride here. Know this area offers big 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. On the day, expect two big shuttles to the optimal points on the loop, and two key extractions. We’ll be riding deep in the Cascades, and this time of the year we’ll have incredible dirt to go along with some big descents and big climbs. This is one of the finest examples of the Cascade bio region, with green moss, deep loam, and blue pools 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
Day Trip Includes:
- Professionally guided tour of remote single track
Suttle Lake, WAMonday 70°FTuesday 79°FWednesday 66°FThursday 68°FFriday 76°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.