No summer vacation in the mountains would be complete without the sheer joy of rolling up and down an uneven, rocky trail while trying not to fall, pop a tire, or eat the bugs hovering in front of your face.
That’s why we at Cascara Vacation Rentals have compiled this list of the best mountain biking trails to try on your next visit to Sunriver, Oregon. Mountain biking is one of the many adventures you and your family or friends could enjoy while staying at one of our properties. Simply click here to learn more about what we have available and reserve one today.
Best Mountain Biking Trails in Sunriver
Picked by John Warren, co-owner of Sunriver Sports, this list represents a mixture of old and almost brand-new single-track mountain biking trails in the area. Each of these trails starts inside the Sunriver Resort’s main boundary so you could bike to the trailhead from wherever you stay. None of these trails are too technical or requires a great amount of skill, Warren said, which means they would be a great fit for novice mountain bikers and people who want to bring their family along for the ride.
“They’re also beautiful,” Warren said, adding these trails take riders through dense pine forests, up a hill where they can catch a view, and in some cases, down to the Deschutes River where they can wash their faces with cold, crystal-clear water flowing straight downhill from The Cascades’ melting snowpack.
- The Deschutes River Trail (View map) – Starting just past Roundabout #12 in Sunriver, the Deschutes River Trail cuts an 11-mile path through a national forest as it follows the banks of the Deschutes River. It takes you past deep pools, pristine waterfalls, and a rock shelter used by hunters who lived in the area more than 6,000 years ago. If you’re bringing a second vehicle on this trip, it might be a good idea to park one car at the other end of the trail near Seventh Mountain Resort on the West Side of Bend so you can do its full 11-mile stretch without having to double back. You might also think about scheduling a post-ride visit to the Deschutes Historical Museum in downtown Bend so you can learn more about the river and how it shaped the region’s history.
- The Roundabout Trail (View map) – The Roundabout Trail cuts a 3.3-mile loop through the Deschutes National Forest just west of Sunriver’s Cardinal Landing Bridge. It has some rocky areas that could be a challenge for inexperienced mountain bikers. But its connections to the Elko Point Trail, which gives you a view of the Deschutes River, and Afternoon Delight, which takes you to the Tyler’s Traverse and Catch and Release Trails, will make it worth your while. This is also one of the newest mountain biking trails in Sunriver, which makes it a new adventure for anyone who hasn’t visited the area in the past two to three years.
- The Swan Song Trail (View map) – Warren’s final recommendation, the Swan Song Trail, is a two-mile-long gravel path that runs from Besson Park to the Cardinal Landing Bridge. Named after the swans that are as much a part of Sunriver’s culture as its World War II past, this is one of the easiest and shortest bike rides in the entire resort. But its views of the Sunriver Marina and Mary McCollum Park make it well worth the visit.
And don’t forget, Warren’s picks are just three of the 45 mountain biking trails within a 15- to 20-minute drive of Sunriver. Since each of these trails links up with one or two others – just like the Roundabout Trail connects you to the Elko Point and Afternoon Delight trails – it’s possible to spend hours riding through the woods without crossing over the same patch of dirt twice. The adventure truly is yours to plan and carry out.
Planning Your Mountain Biking Trip
There are a few universal things you’ll want to keep in mind wherever your desire to go mountain biking in Sunriver takes you. Just for you, we’ve summarized those bits of advice into three easy steps that you’ll want to think about when planning your trip.
- Bring or Rent the right bike – While any standard bike will carry you across the paved trails that weave their way through Sunriver, you’ll want a good mountain bike that fits your body size and skill level if you plan on riding one of the best mountain biking trails in Sunriver. Warren’s business, Sunriver Sports, features a well-stocked rental center that can find you the right mountain bike if you don’t have one or don’t feel like bringing it on vacation. Just be sure to make your reservation early so you don’t get caught without a bike for your mountain biking adventure.
- Bring the right gear – No matter how long a trip you plan to take, it’s important to bring the right clothing and safety equipment if you want to avoid any discomfort or injuries on your adventure. This means wearing a pair of mountain biking shorts or pants to cushion your butt against the mountain bike’s seat and a lightweight jersey to keep you from getting too hot while you’re pushing yourself up a steep hill. Don’t forget to bring a set of gloves, knee pads and a helmet on your trip too because chances are you will fall and all three of these items can keep an inconvenience from becoming an emergency.
- Bring the right map – Knowing where you are and where you’re going is just as important as having the right mountain bike and the right clothing and safety gear. Pulling up a GPS map on your cell phone is one way to satisfy this need but carrying a paper map with you is a good option in case your battery dies, you enter a dead zone and can’t find a signal, or, God forbid, you fall into the river and can’t find a bowl of rice in time to dry your phone out.
Finally, don’t forget that having the right place to rest before and after your adventure is just as important as the equipment and clothing you bring. Click here to learn more about the properties we have available at Cascara Vacation Rentals and book one for your next adventure today.