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Did 3 sections last summer

Fun XC trail, very scenic. Hot springs located at the end of one of the segments (make sure you have a beer stash). No guides are needed, well signed, easy to navigate. But it helps if you have a 2nd car to shuttle the individual sections. I believe you can hire a shuttle from some of the fishing resorts.

Definitely something to do if you're in the broader area (central/southern OR), but I don't think I'd drive up just to do Umpqua on it's own. There's a lot of riding you can do between SoCal and Umpqua
 
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Saw this self-guided trip: North Umpqua and was wondering if anyone could give me some insight on this trail and riding area. Worth the drive from SoCal?

Thank you!
I rode it in...2004? Great trail, great camping and no people! I mean nobody. It definitely helps to have a second car. We only had one car and had to ride out and back. Get a map, some friends, another car, and some beer and go for it. You can always do the cog wild tour but, that costs a little more! While you're in Oregon don't forget to ride McKenzie River, Waldo Lake, Oakridge...
 

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Kevin, we did a week long trip up there 2 years ago, and I'd say its highly worthwhile. Coming from Socal the green up there will blow you away. The more time you can spend in the area, the better. We did North Umpqua over two days. Its a great trail but was too much for 2 days, and I'd probably skip some sections if we go up there again. On that trip we also did a few laps of Ashland SuperD (buff 5k descent in 12mi), a couple days in Oakridge (endless shuttle descents - buff, not tech) and Mackenzie River Trail. I would go do any of those rides again.

For NUT specifically here is a good trail brochure that you can print. The North Umpqua Trail - Welcome!. From the first day I liked the Lemolo, Dread & Terror and Hot Springs sections best. Dread & Terror is a never ending series of waterfalls and stream crossings. This would be the must-do section of the trail. We rode from Kelsay Valley TH to Horseshoe Bend campground, 40mi. The elevation profile looks mostly downhill but it doesn't show all the short steep saw-tooth ups and downs. You are constantly descending into creek crossings and granny ring climbing out. I don't normally use granny gear, but I did a lot that day. It was punishing.

On day 2 the first half was best - Calf, Panther, and Mott. Calf is listed as closed but aside from a few downed trees it was in nice shape. Panther was incredibly lush with ferns, moss and all kinds of greenery. There were not as many sawtooth climbs/descents and while the scenery wasn't as good as it was on Day 1 I think the riding is better. 30mi. There is a small breakfast cafe at Lemolo Lake, and a restaurant near the west end of NUT, otherwise there is little for food. Campground in the middle at Horseshoe Bend is very nice.

For the other rides: Ashland SuperD, get shuttled by Ashland Mountain Adventures. Oakridge OR, we did Alpine and a few other shuttles I can't recall the names of. There is a bike shop on main street that can hook you up with maps and they can shuttle you, too. I think its called the Mercantile or something. MRT is similar to NUT but without the sawtooth climbing. There are some climbs near the end but not bad. It has awesome scenery in the first half of the ride. Cog Wild does shuttles, possibly one of the resorts nearby as well. Tons of other riding out there if you have more time...Bend, Blackrock, Hood River, etc etc are all worthwhile.

Here are some pics of NUT.

You will fill your life's quota of waterfalls


Typical Dread & Terror scenery




You get away from the rivers on Deer Leap section


Steep climb and descent on Calf segment




Panther


Mott was nice too




The last section Tioga had its moments too but was not as nice as the earlier stuff
 

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We did it last year. It was fun, but I prefer Oakridge area riding way more. If you go, bring DEET. We encountered the gnarliest plague of mosquitos I've ever seen. It was an epic rain season though, so that may have been a factor. Like others have said though, the scenery is mindblowing!
 

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Good summary, evdog.

We did the whole NUT in 2 days... paid a guy at Umpqua's Last Resort to shuttle us to the top (he drove our vehicle back down to the resort) on the first day. 2nd day, we drove to the top of Jesse Wright, rode the lower half, then a guy hitch hiked back to the vehicle. Great trail, but I think I preferred the first half. Not sure I'd want to spend 4 days riding all of it. We did this after MBO, then Mckenzie River Tr.

Steep climb and descent on Calf segment
Not my video, but same spot! :D
 

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We did N. Umpqua - but just had one day. So we settled on the Lemolo lake, Dread & Terror, and Deer Leap sections and had a soak at the Hot Springs at the aptly named Hot Springs segement. Lemolo Lake has an RV and tent camping resort. The Dread & Terror section was pretty ledgy with some loose stuff up and down steep climbs/descents, but it has Lemolo falls which are gorgeous. Deer Leap was really fun and flowy and fast, as you get away from the river's edge. The Hot Springs were surprisingly crowded for being out in the middle of nowhere, but they are nice - lots of separate natural pools to choose from.

I thoroughly enjoyed it and am glad we went, but it was not my most favorite riding of our whole Oregon trip - which says more about how glorious the riding can be in OR, not a dig on N. Ump. But it depends on what type of riding you are looking to do. If you like epic adventure rides or bikepacking with lots of climbing, it is amazing. But if you are into flowy downhill, you are better off in Oakridge, Ashland or Hood River.
 

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N Umqua is well worth the trip especially if combined with nearby Oakridge or Bend. Just rode it last week for the 4th time. You got some great info here already. I would just add that there is a significant amount of steep climbing on this "downstream" trail. I enjoy that, others may not. We saw 1 other bike in 75 miles. If I were coming from socal I would definitely combine this with a trip over to Oakridge, Ashland, Bend. Depending on season there may be bugs and rain. There is also poison oak in the lower 2/3 of the trail.
 
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