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September 15, 2008

Bend: Deschutes River Trail

Filed under: MTB Travel, OR WA 2007, OR/WA 2007 — anotherheader @ 12:50 am

View from the Deschutes River Trail in Bend

View from the Deschutes River Trail in Bend

Stats: 14 miles, 1.9 hrs ride time

Brian and I were somewhat trashed from the forays into the wilds the previous two days so we decided to head out for an easier, hour long spin. With this in mind, we chose to ride the Deschutes River Trail (DRT).

Rafters on the Descutes River

We started at the Meadow Trailhead, just outside of downtown Bend. DRT winds along the river, starting amongst a luxury home type of area and continuing through wilderness. The trail, perhaps not surprisingly to some, follows the Deschutes River. The river was transformed 6200 years ago by a lava flow that ran right down the river valley. The river is scenic and pristine and the lava flows have created a series of waterfalls and rapids that make this area popular for rafters. This is a very beautiful and relaxing day.

The route itself is an out and back. Be aware that multiple braids are available in many locations. The vast majority of the braids rejoin the main tread later though we definitely established that some braids do not. For trail finding, the safe bet is to follow as closely as possible to the river. The multiple braids do allow a trail user to take a largely different route on the way out and the way back.

Deschutes River

Brian on the DRT

Brian on the DRT

The trail itself has only a modest amount of climbing. The technical features, usually rocks, are infrequently, widely spaced, and generally rideable. As such, this is an ideal trail for tandems, novice riders, singlespeeders, and dogs. It is very popular and weekends were not advised. The biggest risk on the trail comes from the mosquitoes that were intense and viscous, particularly near the marshy areas. Dave estimates that he lost 2.3 lbs on the ride, just from the mosquito bites!

Overall, I give the Deschutes River Trail One Star (a definite must ride if you are in the area).

Tomorrow we leave Bend for Cougar, WA. We got to see a good bit of Bend and can see why it was rated as one of the top five mountain biking towns in the US. Hundreds of miles of trails are available within a short distance of downtown. Within a two-hour drive, there is an unbelievable amount of epic riding. The town has plenty to offer with a nice historic downtown, good restaurants, clean streets, and lots of interesting neighborhoods.



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