This trail is uphill only for bikes. Do NOT ride down Northfork. We recommend riding before 8am to avoid the prime hiking hours. E-BIKE use will lose bikers this trail. Just DON'T.
E-bikes NOT allowed on Northfork
Arguably the most scenic climb in the Bend area, Northfork is a great summer ride which takes you past at least 7 waterfalls before you get to Happy Valley at the intersection with Metolious-Windigo. The trail is a highly used hiking trail and bikes are only allowed in the uphill direction – so be very courteous and always yield.
A common intermediate ride is to head up Northfork, turn right onto Metolious-Windigo for a loop with Mrazek and Farewell (for a 15 mile loop). For a longer ride people will ride Northfork to Metolious-Windigo, stay left and ride up to the Flagline trail, descend flagline and Southfork and up on the Tumalo Creek trail for a 20 mile, 3000 ft elevation ride. Truly the best MTB rides Bend has to offer.
Northfork is maintained by the Central Oregon Running Klub.
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Packed solid (for fat bikes) up to the bridge. A big mess above that.
Caught next morning. ?. Such a treat.
Rode it yesterday – good until near the bridge, then icy/slushy/snowy up to Happy Valley. Expect some hike-a-bike unless you’re on a fat bike.
Please be wary as the USFS has started construction on the new bridge at Happy Valley. You may be required to walk over some holes to get across the new stringers – but preferably you will ford the creek which is rather low.
New, large, rotted tree down after walking log bridge but before the “Viewpoint” sign up higher. It’s “waist high” – so maybe 30″ DIA
Today the snow is better – there are still some significant patches in the last maybe half to 3/4 of a mile from Happy Valley, that needed to be walked. But, it’s not too bad. Also, note there are some mosquitos out now as well.
Rode today. We did the Northfork/Farewell loop today about 1.5 miles of pushing over snow. Snow started .25 miles above NF bridge.
There is still snow but it is clear of down trees. It could be a week or two for the snow to melt
Decent amount of trees down and started hitting snow patches about one mile up.
Northfork was cleared again yesterday. Touch of snow up high. Frozen soil and some frozen puddles and slippery roots made it a little more techy than typical.
Pretty much solid snow after .5 miles up from the Falls. Has a ways to go…. Some trees down as well.
Trail now clear of trees. Just a slight dusting of snow up high.
Just one snow patch to ride through. You can almost hop across it. Probably be gone in 2-3 days. Go get it!
Which route did you ride?
When is the best time to ride this? Would like to ride this for the scenery.
Heavy snow still present.
One small tree near the first waterfall above Tumalo Falls
A reminder this is a ONEWAY UP trail
Thanks to whoever brushed the first part of Northfork just above the falls overlook!
DOPE! that was getting bad!
There’s a small tree down at 2 miles in.
Just a couple of small snow patches remaining. So beautiful and the creek and falls are roaring. Lots of friendly hikers.However, I think new signage is needed showing North Fork as uphill only for bikes. As I climbed I encountered a solo rider coming down. I reminded him that NF is uphill only. He said he didn’t know. Then much higher up I encountered a group of 3 coming down with speed. I told them it was uphill only and that there was about 100 hikers between them and the bottom. They continued anyway. Then almost to Mrazek, I talked to a group of three who had shuttled to the top of Mrazek and were headed towards Happy Valley. I asked if they knew that NF was uphill only and they didn’t. I told them that they would want to turnaround and descend Farewell instead. Riding down NF on a Saturday morning in summer. Not a good way to make friends with hikers.
Hi David – thanks for posting this issue with downhill riders on this trail. Northfork is a trail that COTA is not officially responsible for but I have noticed that the sign in Happy Valley at the top of the trail saying that bikes are not allowed to ride downhill on Northfork has deteriorated and is not very prominent. I sent a photo of the sign and notified the USFS yesterday and got a response back from their trails program manager today that this would be addressed this summer. Thanks again for posting this.
At-large COTA Board member
Thanks Alex. I know that NF is officially maintained by CORK, but I figured posting here would get the word out to the proper people. I was just a bit shocked because that was more riders coming down N Fork in one day than I’ve seen coming down in the last 20 years of riding that trail combined.
Getting close. No snow below the upper falls. Only minimal after the watershed turn off. No visible deadfall (could still be a couple under the remaining snow).
Totally clear until the first log crossing. On and off snow until the last falls, but then deep snow much of the way from there.
Attempted to ride 5/29. Top is still totally buried in snow. Several trees down across trail in various spots.
Thanks for the report. How big were the down trees?
Big, but you can walk around or climb over them. Bottomline, a skilled chain saw is needed to clear the trail.
Hiked yesterday (11/16). Dirt was pretty damp and would be muddy if ground thawed more. Packed snow starts at junction to happy valley where it became a lot muddier where the sun hit.
A good size tree is down not too far past the foot bridge and then maybe the last 150 meters into Happy Valley is a frozen snow/ice mix (walkable, if not rideable). But otherwise it’s all good, especially considering it’s November 10.
Riding great. Just a few short freeze-thaw spots as you get up to Happy Valley.
New log crossing is complete. 12” tree above falls is now clear.
New log crossing being built on the approach to Happy Valley.
Only took 4 steps off my bike due to snow/ice on a steep right hand turn. No dead fall. Thanks for all the hard work folks!
Probably 5 patches of 10′ or less of snow. Maybe rideable by some but up hill would be tough. No trees. Just one 3′ patch of snow on MetWin, then clear sailing on Mrazek.
Still a fair amount of snow the last half mile to happy valley, but probably only 20% of what was there 10 days ago. It would definitely be a PITA uphill on the bike. Running down it wasn’t much of an issue. Another week of warm weather and it should almost all be gone.
Eric – still a dozen or so trees down or have they been cut out?
No trees anymore. Still a couple of snow patches in the last 1/2 mile but all are easily rideable!
Excellent. Thanks for the intel.
Has anyone tried riding this up to Mrazek transfer since May 17th? Curious if South Fork to Mrazek is doable now using Northfork rather than Farewell. Thanks for any updates.
Ran it last Saturday. Lots of snow (2-3ft with no dirt) on Northfork about a mile either side of Happy Valley. Probably a dozen trees down as well, someone had been through on a bike but they likely walked it for big sections. I think it will be another couple weeks before it’s clear of snow, but its supposed to be in 90s next week so maybe quicker.
Walked up Northfork today, deep snow starting about a mile up from the Falls Trailhead. A few blowdowns as wells. Should be well into June before this becomes ridable.
Trail is riding great, waterfalls look nice with some ice in them. Get out there while you can.
Last two days of rains really have this trail riding tight. All snow’s melted, although still some patches off on the sides. Don’t recommend stopping; skeeters are ravenous! One bridge is out as it has tilted sideways making riding it tough. Waterfalls are still going off!
The tilting log crossing has been leveled, but is still in rough shape. I’d like to see someone ride the MF crossing if the “tilting log” was the only one “out”.
Counted six patches of snow, all easily passable. The loop to Farewell is in good form.
Just a few small snow patches left. Great conditions with lots of waterfalls in the creeks.
All trees cleared. Thanks David Robinson!
Snow fields make for 1/2 mile +/- of hike-a-bike. Clear of deadfall except one 22” diameter tree and whatever lies under the snow. The Metolius Windigo tie to Mrazek/Farewell has 20+ trees down.
Deadfall and snow. Cleared some of the deadfall but didn’t get very far.
Patchy packed snow starting at about a mile and getting rapidly deeper and less rideable as you continue up.
Snow is perfect for fat-biking, but encountered deadfall just 2/3 of a mile into it. Two trees have fallen, not too big; I turned around so who knows what is ahead.
Trees cleared by jade/John today. Bit of snow at happy valley but rideable around loop.
There is a single tree, albeit easy to straddle over, down about a mile into ride. Otherwise, riding well around and down Farewell.
Snow-free to the top.
Don Leet finished off the last tree yesterday. Someone just needs to move off trail. Other than that NF is clear of trees.
Beautiful ride. Still snow/deadfall on the upper parts of the trail and transfer to Farewell. TONS of Mosquitos!
cut of some small deadfall yesterday, but left a 12″ tree which was too large for the hand saw (mosquiotos are insane). Snow patches are very few and very short near happy valley. Happy valley is almost dusty.
What’s the etiquette in this situation where you can’t get to Farewell to return. OK to ride back down the way you came up? Seems like we’ve got a few weeks to go.
death march through the snow! :P
Haha. looks lots of few people have ridden around the whole loop last few days. Couple trees down on NF and half a dozen on MW from what I’ve heard. And snow in sections.
Was on foot running this trail today. Hit snow on the trail at about the 3 mile mark, where I turned around. That’s after the log bridge and the 3 smaller bridges. I bet it’ll be gone by next weekend.
It gets deeper once you go past those bridges–like 5 ft drift deep.
I doubt it’ll be rideable for a few weeks.
I hiked the whole thing two weeks ago.
Same as James mentioned. Made it to happy valley today but had to hike through many patches of snow in the last 1/2 mile or so. Still a couple feet deep in spots
Verified. Deep snow past the last major waterfall. Had to do the walk of shame back down. Clear of deadfall to that point.
It’s now June 20th and warm weather, has anyone been up Northfork? Thanks!
A friend ran up there yesterday. Made it across the log bridge but was hitting plenty of snow before reaching the last major waterfall.
Thanks for the update!
Lots of snow about 1/2 way to Happy Valley
has anyone been up north fork this week? how far up can you get?
5 days ago: Twitter
Rode up to Happy valley today and did the standard NF/Farewell loop. Was amazing. 1-2″ at the start and up to 10″ at happy valley. Much easier going when below tree cover. thankful for whoever rode it before me maybe a week ago? they left a slight impression in the snow which helped me follow and made pedaling easier.
trail up to met win is perfect.
Snow to the left (99), puddles to the right (99/Mrazek). Dead ender right now.
Just as dry as other Bend trails, but not as dusty, probably due to downhill traffic being discouraged. There were recent motorcycle tracks from Happy Valley to the Middle Fork bridge. Seems like two new logs across the trail in the last month. Both easy push overs.
Riding perfect as of 7/19/16. Nice and tacky after a bit of rain, such a great climb!
Still two trees down at top of Mrazek… one you can ride around, the other you can’t. Trail was tacky and fun…
This may be the only trail in Bend that’s not dusty right now – so good!
Longshot, I know, but my wife lost her white Specialized SpeedZone bike computer this AM (7/7) somewhere on the upper North Fork Trail or M-W/Mrazek before the Farewell junction. Let me know if you found it. Thanks.
I rode north fork this afternoon and unfortunately did not notice a computer. Maybe someone picked it up already?
How’s Northfork to Farewell looking? All clear?
as of a few days ago there were still 2 trees down on upper Mrazek. Otherwise clear.
Confirmed, as of today two trees down on upper mrazek – one rideable.
Farewell is a bit sandier than I’d like but I’m hopeful that the rain in the coming days will do the trick.
Snow is clearing up and easily passable. Happy Valley to Farewell is a hike a bike the whole way
Were there trees down on North Fork proper or just snow? We cleared a lot from the 1.1 mile stretch between the N Fork bridge and the end of Mrazek. Probably finish that and clear the last section of Mrazek past Farewell tomorrow.
Matthew told me maybe 1 tree down on NF proper
North Fork has approximately half a dozen snow patches, the largest of which is about 30′ long, and there is also one 6″ diameter blow-down as you approach Happy Valley. It is navigable though.
Met/Win between Happy Valley and Farewell is littered with a LOT of blow-down. I dismounted maybe three dozen times, cursed about four dozen times, sat down dejected once, and wondered what made me think I could ride there already.
Farewell was alright!
Trail has been cleared of deadfall as far as the Spring Creek trail junction, but that’s also where you hit fairly continuous snow patches. The junction is 0.3 miles from Happy Valley.
Trail is great to exactly 2.5 miles past the falls, just over the big middle fork bridge. Then you hit the deadfall like a brick wall. Didnt even attempt to get through. The creek and waterfalls are beautiful right now, so much water!
Holy mosquitos…think bug spray! Unfortunately, I am in violent agreement with Kerry; riding well for 2.5 miles and then “wipeout.” Contacted C.O.R.K. who maintains the trail to groom another mile plus to intersection. Would be nice to ride down Mrazek, if Northfork can be cleared.