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Helipad Trail

Trail Snapshot:

2.2 miles
632' ↑

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Trail Description

 E-bikes NOT allowed on Helipad

Helipad is a steep and technical trail that brings you to the top of a ridge with an opening in the tree cover that looks somewhat like a helicopter pad. There is an H made of rocks that someone placed at the top that is a favorite photo backdrop for visitors.

The trail was designed by Paul Thomasberg, and is known for being one of the steepest climbs close to town. Originally the trail was called Paul’s Trail, but most people call it Helipad. It’s official name changed recently to Phil’s trail, so it’s officially Upper Phil’s. We chose to list it as a separate trail due to the trail being so much more difficult than the rest of Phil’s.

The trail has many technical obstacles including lava rock, loose rocky pitches, roots and brutal climbs.  There are at least 3 false summits on the trail. Just when you think you made it to the top you find yourself at another climb! The last steep pitch sends you straight up a bouldery “Crack” with a tough rock step-up start followed by some tight corners. Don’t sweat it if you have to walk this section (95% of riders do). Helipad has been more of a climbing trail in the past, but it’s one of the more exciting technical downhill trails near town. Just be mindful of climbers as you descend as sight lines are not very open in many spots.

This trail is maintained by Central Oregon Trail Alliance.

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    Recent Reports

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    1. Wesdes says:

      Hey guys, do you know how long the weekday trail closures are going to last? Thanks!

      1. BendTrails says:

        The USFS will not estimate how long the weekday closure will continue. It depends on how fast the contractor works in the area. Once they ‘finish’ they’ll move to a new area. The can only close one area at a time.

    2. BendTrails says:

      Trail is basically clear – but the normal flat road like section below the first long decent still has snow.

    3. Old Prospector says:

      Rode Nov. 9 conditions loose and sandy, surprising lack of tackiness on the trails this time of year. Still a classic and still an a$$ kicker!

    4. Jason Wells says:

      Rode downhill yesterday and it was in great shape. Dust is all gone. Curious what the trail is that crosses helipad about half mile before ext. Where it starts and where it goes.

      1. Joe Myers says:

        pretty sure it’s just an old road that looks like a trail now. Same road crosses whoops

    5. Ryan Pedersen says:

      Rode upper Phil’s Friday night (5/5) all the way to Whoops without any problems what so ever. Unless you count the last 2 rock climbs which are still kicking my ass just as I remembered.

    6. Eric Kutter says:

      I’d actually say this is riding well. Just one ridable snow patch below the helipad. Then 4 or 5 short hike-a-bikes from SK Jct to the bench. Another weather day like today and it’ll probably all be rideable.

    7. Eric Kutter says:

      Totally clear until the flat section before the last climb, 300′ below the Helipad

    8. Heidi H-P says:

      Riding mostly well, save for a few squishy spots.

    9. Ryan Crotty says:

      From rd 300 up to Storm King intersection is clear of snow and mud. Some blowdown (3 trees i think) and snow patches on the way over to Whoops benchs

      1. Mike Schmeiske says:

        Three trees on the west side still in play on the way to the top of Lower Whoops. Downhill was killer today.

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