Top 5 Mountain Bike Trails in Northeast Oregon

Posted by: Brian Sather · Updated: 1 year 2 months ago · Posted: November 9, 2015 10:42 AM

by Brian Sather

With so many mountain bike rides elsewhere described as "must-do," we needed a list like this for Northeast Oregon. Since there are so many to choose from and not many others talking about what we have, I figured it was about time to compile my top 5. I've developed an advanced system of evaluating the hundreds of riding miles in the region to come up with my list. The criteria is our proprietary technology at La Grande Ride, Inc. so I can't go into too much detail on how these were selected. In a nutshell, the selection is based on what surfaced to the top of my brain after a decade of riding everything around here. Since no one has even come close to riding as much mountain bike trail in Northeast Oregon as me, I'd say the selection process is pretty bomber.

I can't say it has been easy deciding the very top rides since there are many I like. In compiling the list I found out was that all the best ones have wilderness issues, which is a reminder that our problem in this part of Oregon is that all the recreation trails lead into and out of what became governed by wilderness nazis a few decades ago. The unfortunate reality is that much of our recreation in this region is governed by wilderness restriction because our wilderness areas are so expansive. Most anything out of the wilderness is an ATV trail or road so there could be much more singletrack trails for mountain biking to vie for a list like this.

One major caveat to this list is that they will all drop out of the top 5 once mountain biking is legalized in the wilderness. The day is coming, mark my words.

Here you go, the top 5 legal mountain bike rides in Northeast Oregon:

#5 Elkhorn Crest Trail

The visuals are compelling from start to finish on this trail across the Elkhorn mountain range. But wait, a couple of the 24 miles barely breach wilderness due to ill-conceived wilderness line on top of the ridge instead of at the trail a short ways down the ridge. Despite the killjoy it is an unbelievably awesome trail that can be ridden legally using the Summit Lake exit route, which is a gnarly finish to a gnarly ride. The ride is guaranteed to slash a tire of at least one bike in your party. Some elements that make this compelling are that you undoubtedly have a close encounter with mountain goats and you'll also get a spooky ghost mine experience. I've already said too much.

See the rest of the top 5!

Keywords: Elkhorn Crest Trail    Elkhorns    Baker City