Cultus Lake Loop - Trail, Bend/SunRiver, Oregon

Cultus Lake Loop - Trail, Bend/SunRiver, Oregon

DESCRIPTION

This is a excellent trail which mostly consists of rolling singletrack after the first couple miles of gravel/volcanic rock roads. There is not much total change of elevation but many steep climbs and fast downhills. Not extremely technical other than fast sharp turns and lots of water bars which are great for jumping. Very nice scenery and beautifully maintained trails, when I was there anyway.

USER REVIEWS

Showing 1-6 of 6  
[May 04, 1999]
Dave Hallock

Well I'm not sure if Eben Saling, the guy who wrote the intro to this trail is really talking about the Cultus Lp or we just have way different ways of remembering it, but here's my story: The loop goes around both the lake and Cultus Mtn. It rolls, but there's not much elevation gain or loss to speak of because you're never very far from the shoreline and lakes tend to be kinda flat. The Cultus Lk resort is at the east end of the lake. At the west end is a neat campground that you can only get to by boat or by trail. In the summer lots of boaters camp there; there's a nice floating dock. If you're going counterclockwise, a little before the west campground the trail actually dips into the Three Sisters Wilderness for a few hundred yards -- OH MY, ILLEGAL SINGLETRACK! Nobody seems to mind. After the west campground you do some climbing up the flanks of Cultus Mtn to Deer Lk or is it Fawn Lk anyway it's not much but makes an OK place to fix a flat and have a bite. This is where the gravel road starts and you'll continue (end) the loop on gravel after you pass Little Cultus Lk. In fact, the final 1/4 of the ride could be considered a little boring if you were hoping for a 100% singletrack experience. Cuz it ain't. That's why maybe it'd better to do it clockwise. Thataway you'd get the gravel done with first and end on singletrack. Anyway, this loop is definitely worth the doing. It's pretty, the singletrack is really fine, and the swimming in Cultus is relaxing if not a little cool. I think the whole ride is probably around 12 miles. Get a Deschutes Nat'l Forest map. It's easy to track.

Customer Service

We've always started at the Cultus Lake Resort and ridden around Cultus lake/Cultus Mtn counter-clockwise, but it'd be just as good, maybe better to go clockwise.

Similar Products Used:

Our club, The Disciples of Dirt does a (sometimes) annual ride around Mt. Bachelor that's great. There are trails heading east (Edison Ice Cave Tr.) or North (Mud Lake Tr) from Lava Lake which is only a few miles north of Cultus. Or find Todd Lk on the map and check out the double track that heads north 18 miles to Three Cr. Lk. The scenery along there is super. Back toward the town of Bend is a good riding area called Swampy Lakes. You kinda can't go wrong in a place like Cascade Lakes (of which Cultus is one. Others are Lava Lk, Elk Lk, Sparks Lk, Hosmer Lk, you get the idea.) The whole area is right in the shadows of The Three Sisters, Broken Top and Mt. Bachelor. Whew!

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
[Sep 26, 2001]
Astro

This trail is mostly level and fairly short. It'd be a good trail for someone who is just getting into mountainbiking. The trail follows the lake through fairly small timber. The tread is fairly smooth with some spots of exposed roots and rock. It can be very windy on Cultus Lk so if the weather is poor, be prepared for the temperature to be cooler than you expect.

There is a lodge at Cultus Lk with a resturaunt and small store.

Customer Service

I'd recomend parking at the day use area at Cultus lake off of Century Drive and heading due north though the campground to the trail-head. (This will make it very easy to find the head of the trail.) You could do an out and back on the trail, or if you would rather do a loop, continue on past Deer lake to Little Cultus and follow the dirt roads back to the paved road into Cultus. Just keep turning to the left and you'll hit it. Heading the reverse route will allow you to finish with the single track, but you'll just have to make sure you turn right just before Little Cultus to hit the trail at Deer Lake.

Similar Products Used:

This trail can be part of a much longer loop by turning right at Little Cultus and heading up to Waldo Lk. with both a dirt road or a trail option.

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
[Jul 22, 2002]
D

To offer some advice, do not go on a weekend. This area is potentially beautiful, but with hundreds of boats, jet skis, cars flying down dusty dirt roads, and screaming campground kids, it's like Oregon's own Wally World. If you are looking for a pristine area to enjoy some solitude, stay away. The trail is about 5 miles of road (gravel, paved and logging) then about 6 miles of nice single track. It really is a nice area, but heavily used. I even got chased by a trailer dog that looked just like Snots from National Lampoon's Xmas Vacation! Good luck.

Customer Service

Route is accurate.

OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
[Aug 01, 2002]
jack rawlins

I love Bend trails, and this trail especially. After the gravel road it loafs through pretty woods past two pristine lakes ripe for picnicking, then wanders over to Cultus lake for a classic Bend-area roller coaster. Nothing technical--you can roll the entire trail--but very fun--fast, smooth, interesting, constantly changing. No climbing worth mentioning. Concerning the reviewer who slammed the crowds: I've ridden the trail twice, both times on weekdays in late June, and saw between three and ten humans on the entire loop. Most of the trail users are walkers coming from the campground, which is the last three miles of the ST if you're doing it my way. The people at Cultus Lake Resort are friendly, and the burgers and shakes are great--drop in wearing your bike jersey so they know that mountain biking brings them money.

Two serpents in this paradise: 1) the mosquitos can be hell--I had planned to do lunch at one of the lakes, and instead I never put a foot down the entire way. I asked the locals if the skeeters were particularly bad (in June) and they told me they got worse later in the year. 2) The forests are being killed off by some beetle infestation, so the scenery isn't what it used to be--smell of death, anyone?

Customer Service

Park near the Cultus Lake Resort, along the road, and ride the loop clockwise, for two reasons: 1) clockwise puts the dull and boring gravel road at the start, when you're warming up, and 2) if you go the other way the one significant downhill becomes the one significant uphill.

Similar Products Used:

Sisters Long Loop, Deschutes Trail, Phil's, Swede Ridge

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
[Sep 14, 2002]
Schralper

Avoid on weekends. Ride Lemish or Charlton lake loops instead. As with all the trails on the eastside, they are best during or right after a nice rain. Traction and no dust.
Cultus and little cultus lakes are real nice for a post ride dip.

Customer Service

Park off end of rd. 4635, just past lodge, near t.h. Ride the as an out and back, from Cultus lake. It's only 8.5 miles one way. This way you avoid the gravel road. Why would you wanna ride gravel when you can ride singletrack?

Similar Products Used:

Lemish/ Charlton loop

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
[Apr 28, 2003]
neil

FWIW, the section of this trail that encroached into the Three Sisters Wilderness was relocated before 1999. BTW, has anyone ever ridin to the summit of Cultus Mtn?

Customer Service

paper

Similar Products Used:

Gray Butte

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
Showing 1-6 of 6  

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