Middle Flagline is closed each summer for Elk Calving until August 15th. DO NOT ride Middle Flagline during this time.
E-bikes NOT allowed on Middle Flagline
Middle Flagline is one of the more technical, long and fast downhills in the Bend area. The simple fact that this segment is closed for most of the summer makes it a highly anticipated route when August 15th rolls around — it’s pretty much guaranteed that the parking lot at Dutchman Sno Park will be loaded with cars on that morning!
If you are thinking about riding this trail before it officially opens on August 15th, think again. The trail will be riddled with deadfall, and there is a full time Forest Service employee roaming the Bend Watershed in the summer.
While you can climb Middle Flagline from Swampy Lakes to reach the Metolius-Windego trail, 90% of riders will start at Dutchman and head downhill towards Bend. The popular “Bachelor to Bend” shuttle usually includes the Middle Flagline trail.
Another popular way to access Middle Flagline is to start at the Skyliner Sno Park, climb Northfork to Met-Win and loop back to your car — that route combines lots of XC climbing with ripping fast DH.
This trail is maintained by Central Oregon Trail Alliance.
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Wasp nest down in middle of trail today. Just below one of last rock drops above flagline tie maybe 1/4 -1/2 mile. Don’t see it til you’re on top of it off the drop. Don’t know if it’s occupied I recognized it when I was basically on top of it and hauled out of there asap!
Dusty, sandy, clear of deadfall.
Perfect conditions yesterday
Trail was extremely wet after the storm yesterday. Lots of standing water, some mud, some snow.
Did the flagline loop from Tumalo Falls parking area, getting a little sloppy up there but overall still riding well. Should be prime this weekend with the good weather. One minor windfall detour on middle flagline not far from the flagline access junction.
Two trees down below the rock garden above flagline tie, both on blind corners where a rider could be carrying some speed. Otherwise prime conditions. Thanks for all the work clearing so much deadfall!
Sand in places, but not bad.
Rode from swampy up ridge trail to Dutchman via vista and onto flagline, all riding very nicely!!! Few corners starting to see a little bit of break bumping but nothing horrible yet
Flagline is fun on a bun right now! Go get some!
Ride from swampy up ridge trail to Dutchman via vista and onto flagline, all riding very nicely!!!
Trail was cleared today under special permission from the USFS. Thanks Rob, Lev, Greg and Ryan! Officially open tomorrow
Thanks for tidying it up!
Rode Sunday 11-19 and it had a lot of ice & snow. The downhill sections that had ice was not fun.
There’s a healthy layer of snow that doesn’t let up in the sunny spots. It’s still riding pretty well, with a bit of sliding but enough traction to keep it fun. I think things are only getting deeper from here out.
There is one good sized tree down across the trail, otherwise clear.
Brake bumps are deep, but that’s to be expected.
There’s a COTA Work Event on Sunday, October 21st at 9:00 AM to give Flagline an end-of-season tune up. Details on their FB page and website.
Note the flagline 50k is on the 15th. Runners should be off the trails by around 9:30 am or so.
That tree wasn’t very tall, but ended up being a 36″ wide MOFO. Ryan P and I cleared with the COTA 12″ e saw and a Silky Katana boy. All clear! Thanks random riders who stopped to help push the massive round out of it’s hold.
Trail is open and riding well on 8/15. Be very careful on the downhill… the large hemlock that Bill describes is in a spot where you will be going fast and not see it easily until you are close. About 1/2 way down.
For those that know the trail well, the tree is down after the fast bench cut straight-away to fast armored right hand turn and rock garden and before the split where the ladder feature used to be until last year. You can see it if you look far enough ahead of your line.
How large is this tree?
Probably ~24″-28″ in diameter if I recall correctly.
Lev and I went with two Bend Endurance riders today with permission from usfs to clear blow down. We got everything except for one big hemlock on a descent into a rock berm by a mini lake. It’s a big one that needs a chainsaw once restriction is lifted.
Still some decent stretches of snow, but almost all were ridable. Two or three short dismounts, otherwise it’s good to go.
More snow than trail for the first mile so I had to turn back. Probably a couple of more days still.
Rode a loop from Dutchman to Mid-Flag, back on Flag Tie and Swampy/Dutchman around 11 AM today. Dutchman and above relatively smoke free at the time. Mid-Flag is dusty and sandy with brake bumps in places but in good shape and super fun nonetheless. All the better for being out of the smoke.
All clear and riding beautifully, especially up high. Thanks to Paul, Erika, Lev, Steve, Bill and Joe for working to make everything sweet and tidy, and cutting out the one big downed pondo with a crosscut saw.
Middle Flagline is now open! COTA and FS crew is clearing deadfall today.
Riding great today! The snow and rain sure helped.
The USFS gives contractors time windows to perform work, and then they choose a time based on equipment availability, etc.
The world does not revolve around mountain biking. :)
How thoughtful of the Forest Service to close Swampy Loop and Ridge Loop right when Flagline opens for the season. Pretty poor planning if you ask me.
Do you know why Swampy/Ridge loops are closed? Or ETA when they will reopen? Usually shuttle Bachelor-Bend in September.
They are removing dead standing trees along the trail Its supposed to reopen September 5th.
Such considerate planning. Can you at least still get to Southfork, or is that short section of Swampy Loop off limits too?
Pretty sure only the lower part of the Swampy Lakes loop is closed. We rode Flagline to Swede Ridge and didn’t run into any closures — Southfork is definitely open to ride.
The lower section from the Flagline Tie to the Swampy Shelter is outside the summer closure.