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Crater Rim Trail

Trail Snapshot:

19.5 miles
2874' ↑

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Trail Description

 E-bikes NOT allowed on Crater Rim

Not far from Bend, just East of La Pine you’ll find the Crater Rim trail. The trail starts at the Paulina Lake Trailhead (a Northwest Forest Pass is required, or you can pay at the kiosk). Circling the caldera counter clockwise, you’ll first climb NF-500 Road towards Paulina Peak.

Near the summit, the trail dives off to the right and is a combination of single track and winter snow-mobile routes. For a bonus view, ride past the trail junction to the summit where you’ll have an amazing view of East Lake, Paulina Lake, and the Cascade Range.

After a fun bit of downhill, you’ll start to climb again to the upper rim of East Lake. The reward is more great views — and a long downhill section back to your car.

Because of the elevation (over 6,300 feet) the Crater Rim stays covered in snow until late into summer. So early Fall is prime time at Paulina. There is an optional ride from the rim down Swamp Wells, but it’s most likely going to be full of deadfall.

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    Recent Reports

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    1. Don Leet says:

      We finished clearing Crater Rim trail. We also cleared Swamp Well down to the Horse Camp

    2. Jason Caron says:

      Only two trees down now. One soon after the singletrack start off Paulina peak road, and the other in the begining of the final descent. The whole trail is prettyloose and sandy but the views are still worth it.

    3. Jessica Mennenga says:

      We rode the whole loop CCW this morning from the Paulina Lake Trailhead. 3 down trees and one snow patch on the south side. At least 8 down trees on the north side (a couple have ride arounds) and 5 snow patches that are mostly rideable. The rest of the trail is riding great.

    4. Jason Caron says:

      Conditions up there are as good as it gets. No sand and no mud. Even the pumice marble section has traction. The rain and snow from a few days ago set it up real nice.

      1. Jason Caron says:

        24 in tree down just over .75 from the summit gravel road. Two 12in trees down at the beginning of the final long descent down to Paulina lake. These two are sort of in a blind turn- careful.

    5. Tim Henke says:

      riding great. Beware of horse poop cakes on the fun dh section.

    6. loudsun1997 says:

      Most parts are ridable. A mile close to the end has some deep snow and I had to push. A lot of deadfalls.

    7. Penn Meringolo says:

      Hey I ran this today and found a small bike tool kit. If it’s yours let me know and I will try to get it back to you!

    8. Dustin Balderach says:

      A couple blow downs as of July 4th. First one a couple miles from the start (can ride around) and the second a couple miles from the finish (easy to step over). Clear of snow except for one 2-foot patch on the north side that is probably gone now. Cold up top at 10am even in July!

    9. Eric Colton says:

      For the most part riding really well. About half a mile of patchy soft snow, east of Swamp Wells junction. Pretty loose on the east side pumice fields and a fair amount of debris in the nortwest forested area.

    10. Jake Williams says:

      Quite a bit of snow still on the north side, not as much on the south side.

    11. Natalie Herse says:

      I rode up Swamp Wells trail to the Rim today. The Rim trail had patchy 1-6″ mostly rideable snow between perfect dirt tread. I only rode about 1/2 mile of the north side of it though before turning back, so not sure if the whole rim would be doable yet. Did see another bike track heading down towards Paulina Lodge though so…maybe? or wait another week? Not sure about deadfall…

    12. Brian Thomas Coop says:

      Mostly rideable, but expect some sections with tricky snow and ice. I cleared five downed trees, but there are still two tree blockages on the final downhill – one single tree about three feet off the ground about 2 miles from the bottom and another big mess (multiple smaller trees, with one large one that will require a chainsaw) a mile from the bottom. Worth going if you’re up for an adventure.

    13. LeeAnn O'Neill says:

      It is pretty dusty but 90% of it is still riding fairly well. No deadfall and wildflowers are still going bonkers right now. Just one exposed section that is dangerously loose with deep gravel on a steep downhill if you are riding counterclockwise.

    14. Bruce Bradshaw says:

      Lose and dusty in stretches, but still a good ride.

      1. Bruce Bradshaw says:

        Meant loose.

    15. Joel Blatt says:

      No snow to speak of. Gravel is better than usual, as of now. No obstacles, just flows and undulates.

    16. Dan Bileddo says:

      The Peter Skene Ogden trail is open until Pipeline Falls, about elevation 5535ft.

      1. Matthew Simeti says:

        Can anyone confirm that this is clear and riding well? I was surprised to see this updated a couple days ago. Thanks.

        1. Joe Myers says:

          Should be good to go. I was up clearing trails along Paulina and East Lake today. Rim Trail probably has quite a bit of snow on it still

          1. Joe Myers says:

            Sorry the comment above mentioned to PETER whatever trail and that’s what I was commenting on. Rim Trail is still under Snow as far as I know and has not been logged out yet. The gate is not open to drive up to the rim as of yet either

            1. Matthew Simeti says:

              Thanks Joe. Sorry, I posted my question in the wrong spot.

    17. Joe Myers says:

      Note closures in the newberry area. Mainly campgrounds? Check here: https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/deschutes/home/?cid=FSEPRD591483. I don’t think the trail is closed.

    18. Ryan Pedersen says:

      All clear. Single track is riding awesome. Gravel road climb is a bumpy son of a gun.

    19. Kyle Hughes says:

      Riding awesome! Couple small down trees and one larger one. No snow or mud!

      1. Ryan Pedersen says:

        Would you estimate the larger tree to be + or – 12″ diameter?

    20. Adam Rowh says:

      A lot of patchy snow, but otherwise the dirt is great.

    21. Dave Black says:

      Pretty darn good – Sunday 10/8. A few very light snow patches that accumulated the night before & where the sun doesn’t filter through. Trail was as good as we’ve ridden it. Hero dirt abounded. Even the notoriously dusty parts – weren’t.

    22. Natalie Herse says:

      No snow left. Tacky. Perfect. :)

      1. Rich Feely says:

        Still riding well. Tinnie, tiny snow patches in the trees on the north side but no problem.

    23. Joe Myers says:

      Paulina Rim is clear to the Swamp Wells junction. Thanks Jade and John!

    24. Natalie Herse says:

      Pretty dusty out there. Beautiful views just the same. 5 trees down on the north side.

    25. David Caplan says:

      Rode the full loop yesterday. There a few trees down here and there, but nothing that will detract from having a great ride. Classic old-school XC with great scenery.

    26. Andrew Murray says:

      Rode about 6 miles of Crater Rim Trail counter clockwise from the junction of Newberry Crater Rd to the Junction of Swamp Wells Trail as part of a longer ride back to Bend via Swamp Wells Trail and Horse Butte. The section of Crater Rim that we rode is riding great except about 6 or more downed trees that we had to carry over. There’s only a couple of very small snow patches. The view from Crater Rim Trail about 2.5 miles from Swamp Wells junction is amazing. I’m planning a custom shuttle trip with Cog Wild on Saturday July 22nd. We’ll be dropped at East Lake Resort and ride back to SE Bend. Stats: about 35 miles/2000′ climbing/4000′ descending. No guide so must be self sufficient. Cost will be aprox $35/rider or less. Still need a few more riders to fill the van….message me if interested.

    27. Dustin Balderach says:

      Rode the loop today. Trail is still a little loose but overall pretty good. Pretty cold and cloudy day. One small, down tree at about mile 19.

    28. Erik Santner says:

      We rode the loop on Labor Day. It was pretty loose and on the south side, the north side was fine until the downhill…had to drop back 400 yards from anyone in front because of dusty conditions and visibility.
      BE SAFE!!

    29. Erik Santner says:

      Trail is in amazing condition! Usually ride it once a year….but as good as it’s riding right now it may be 3 or 4!

    30. Joe Myers says:

      Trail is completely clear as of today. thanks COTA (Woody K) and USFS.

    31. Karen Meronek says:

      Has anyone rode down to swampy wells horse camp? Ever?

      Rode the Rim Trail a few deadfalls but not bad at all.

      1. Joe Myers says:

        I have seen this section of swamp wells cleared and cog doing a shuttle or 2 in recent years. You never know!

    32. David Caplan says:

      Rode Newberry Crater Rim trail starting at Cinder Hill CG in the NE corner of east lake, and heading counter-clockwise. After the junction of the Cinder Hill trail and Rim trails, there were 15-20 trees down on the north rim, on the way to Paulina lodge. None were too big and it wouldn’t be enough to stop me from riding this loop. A couple were on the downhill, so keep an eye open. Most could be cut out easily enough with a hand saw, though one will need a chainsaw. After climbing up the gravel road to Paulina Peak, the trail is clear all the way on the south and east sides. Ran in to a FS Volunteer who was headed up to the north side to mark on GPS where the downed trees are, so hopefully the FS will take care of those in the coming week or so.

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