When my teammate Charlie asked if I wanted to join him on his first trip mountain bike trip to Oakridge I immediately said yes!
Oakridge is a small town on Highway 58 just 40 miles East of Eugene. Oakridge is home to over 300 miles of pristine singletrack and has been called the Mountain Biking Capitol of Oregon (sorry Bend).
I've been super fortunate this year and have already been to Oakridge four (I mean three) other times. You can read about one of my last trips here!
Charlie was on a mission to pedal but Trevor and I talked some sense into him and we decided to shuttle to the top of the ATCA. The ATCA stands for Upper Alpine, Tire Mountain, Clover Patch, and Lower Alpine. The ATCA is a 28ish mile world-class trail that takes you through gorgeous old growth, killer views, and epic death grip descents.
We definitely didn’t expect the trail to be this wet! Fall is in full swing and you have to be prepared for the worst. The trails weren’t so much muddy but filled with huge holes of water from brake bumps. Alpine gets slammed in the summer time and the brake bumps were out of control in spots.
The rain stopped enough for us to enjoy a snack among the Bunchgrass.
Charlie and Trevor really pushed the pace on the climbs and we finished the ATCA much faster than I thought.
After a long drive to pick up the truck we grabbed food and beers at the Brewer’s Union Local 180. Nothing beats an IPA and Burger after doing the ATCA in the rain.
Our second day in Oakridge we decided to ride Heckletooth Mountain. We followed an awesome river trail along Salmon Creek to road NF-2408. FYI there is a lot of camping along Salmon Creek and NF-2408 so if you’re trying to stay off the grid you will most likely find something over there.
We climbed for well over an hour on the gravel road, Charlie and Trevor again setting a blistering pace; I somehow managed to hold on. We eventually make it to the trail head and gear up for what we thought was going to be a descent. After a quick (but amazing) descent we found ourselves digging into our reserves and climbing towards the peak of Heckletooth. The stoke was high!
Two hours later we find ourself at the peak of Heckletooth. Lush golden forest gives way to rocky exposure and jagged mountains. Trevor raced this trail at Trans-Cascadia a few years ago and gave us some BETA on the first challenging rock bit. I opted for the French line and went high while Trevor showed us all how to ride it fast on the main line.
Heckletooth is a blast and I can’t believe after all this time I haven’t ridden it!
We wrapped our trip in Oakridge with a couple lap on Larison Rock. Our legs were dead, the stoke was high, and the sun finally came out.
What an amazing trip!
Winter is coming and if you want to go to Oakridge the time is now! Don’t know where to start? When in town head over to the Oakridge Bike Shop and Willamette Mountain Mercantile and they will get you squared away with all the trail info and goods you will need for a proper time in Oakridge!
Don’t forget to support the town by eating out and enjoying some good beers.
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