Old-growth forests, countless waterfalls, gorgeous alpine meadows and chundery downhills. Arguably the best 20-mile loop in Bend, OR.
Starting from Skyliner Snow Park, Climb Tumalo Creek Trail just under three miles to the iconic Tumalo Falls. Currently there is a bridge out near the Tumalo Lodge. Your best bet is to ride into the Lodge parking area toward the creek where you will find a small path and a bridge that you can walk your bike over. After that it’s smooth sailing, with some nice views along the ridge above Tumalo Creek all the way to the falls.
Pull out your camera and shoot some epic photos of the falls with you pals before starting your ascent to Happy Valley.
The four-mile trek up Northfork to Happy Valley is stunning. It’s a slow climb with a few roots and rocks here and there and more often than not filled with hikers. When you need a breather, stop at each water fall you encounter. Let the refreshing mist from the falls cool you off.
Follow Met Win up into some of the prettiest old-growth forests in the area. You will pop-out into several alpine meadows which are extremely picturesque, and you will cross a somewhat raging creek along the way.
Eventually you will come to a trail intersection with the Upper Flagline connector to NF 370. Stay left on Met Win for another short distance. Soon Metolious Windigo will continue on the right, but you will want to stay left on Upper Flagline. Again, after a short distance you will see Middle Flagline heading off to the left and the Flagline Access trail from Dutchman Snowpark heading to the right. Take Flagline up through the forest before cresting and descending a nice trail with some techy options here and there.
At the bottom of Middle Flagline, you will come to a trail heading right called Flagline Tie. Head straight on Lower Flagline. This is a short section of trail which will take you down to a meeting with the Swampy Lakes Loop. Again, head left for a short distance and you will come to the location where the Swampy Shelter used to reside. That’s since been burned down, but this is where you will again head left onto Southfork.
Southfork is known for being a fast and technical descent and has become a favorite downhill route for many locals (dropping over 1,100′ in three miles). It is a two-way trail, so be wary of the occasional climber.
Half-way down the trail you will cross a large log bridge, which is rideable, but take caution and don’t push the envelope. More than a few have fallen into the creek at this spot. If you decide to ride it, look ahead and don’t stop pedaling until you’re on the other side. Novice riders should walk it.
At the bottom of Southfork, take a hard right back onto Tumalo Creek trail back toward the snow park. This trail is wide open and fast, and care should be taken to control your speed as there are plenty of hikers, and several blind corners.
This loop can also start/end at Tumalo Falls for a slightly shorter ride – however parking at the Falls in the summer is not advised.
This loop is maintained by Central Oregon Trail Alliance.