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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My wife and I are planning our annual MTB road trip, and this year's main destination is Oregon.

We'll be leaving Los Angeles on Friday, September 1st. We're planning to break up the drive by stopping in the Soda Springs / Truckee area and spending a couple days riding there. We'll probably hit Hole in the Ground and some variation of the Tahoe Rim Trail and/or Flume.

On Monday, September 4th, we'll head up to Oregon. Initial plans are as follows:

Tuesday - Umpqua River Trail ride.
Wednesday - Another Umpqua River Trail ride.
Thursday - Drive day, heading northeast.* (see question below)
Friday - Ride the McKenzie River Trail.
Saturday - Drive day, heading farther northeast.** (see question below)
Sunday - Ape Canyon, Plains of Abraham ride.
Monday - Lewis River Trail ride.
Tuesday - Marathon drive day, probably head to Napa Valley.
Wednesday - Spend the day wine tasting.
Thursday - Drive back to Los Angeles.

Before continuing, I should mention this:
Being that this is our big trip for the year and also our anniversary celebration, we're shooting for nice accommodations with close by options for good food and drink. In other words, we're willing to splurge. This kinda rules out staying in some cabin in the woods that is miles from the nearest services.

* After looking at the map, I'm wondering if we should plan to make Eugene our initial base of operations in Oregon and do our Umpqua and McKenzie rides from there? This would eliminate one drive day and allow for another ride, so if this sounds like a good idea, do you have any suggestions?

** It looks like there isn't much in the way of accommodations near the Ape Canyon & Lewis River rides, so I'm wondering if we should make Portland our base of operations for that portion of the trip?

With all that said, here are some other random questions:

Is early September generally a good time of year with regard to weather and trail conditions?

Does this sound like a good mix of rides, or are Umpqua, McKenzie and Lewis too much alike?

If we are to do two Umpqua rides, then which sections would you recommend?

Any insider tips for the best way to do the other rides? How 'bout spots for post-ride food and drink?

If Eugene and Portland make sense, can you recommend any particular hotels? Prefer mid-range to upscale in an interesting part of town where we can experience the local flavor. Speaking of which, any recommendations for cool restaurants, bars, brewpubs, or any other places of interest?

Lastly, geared hardtail with squishy fork or fully-rigid 29er singlespeed?

Any information will be greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance!
 

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I think your itinerary covers too much area in too short a time for a single "base of operations." You would spend more time driving back and forth than anything else. You will find few, if any, "upscale" accommodations within 1-2 hr's drive of the trails.

Umpqua, Mckenzie and Lewis River Trails are different but similar in that they are all river trails. Each has its own character but there is a much greater variety of worthy trails in the NW. (I would replace at least one of them with Waldo Lake.)

September is a great time for westside trails. Good weather, few bugs, good trail conditions.

Oregon - all over the state - has more brewpubs than you could name.

Also the Willamette Valley is filled with many good wineries.

Bring the bike you are most comfortable riding. Either will be fine.
 

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I'll start off with some thoughts...

MRT and Umpqua are similar but different, but both are river trails. That time of year though they are usually past their prime condition but both still really good trails.

Umpqua from Eugene is a solid 1 1/2hr drive if you know the backroads, so I would say stay in the Umpua area for lodging, there is a nice place in Glide, just below the start of the Umpqua trail. Sorry I don't know the name of the hotel, there is defiantly other places along that hwy but I haven't explored them, someone else have an option?

For MRT stay at the Belknap Lodge and Hot Spring resort, nice rooms or cabins, and right on the trail. It's a really nice place and you can get meals about 4 miles away at a couple local restraunts, Takoda's is nice but pricey for the area, Rustic skillet is good old fashioned diner food but cheap, a short drive towards Eugene and there is several more river front places, just keep note on the way up from Eugene.

I've yet to make it to the St Helen's area, but plan on it this year, still I can't comment on lodging, trails, etc...

If you are looking for suggestion and aren't apposed to changing some plans, Umpqua and MRT are both really nice trails but you are coming to Oregon during our prime high elevation riding season. i.e. Waldo Lake, Twins, Maiden Peak, etc... do some searches on the Oregon board for trail reviews. These are awesome trails, and there is enough you could spend 2 weeks riding them all, in-fact that is what I am doing the week before you come to the area. Lodging can be had in Oakridge about 30-45 minutes off the mountain or several lodges up in the area, I think Crescent Junction, Lake Odell, etc... all have nice places to stay. You could save a bunch of driving and get a lot of super fun Oregon High Cascade Singletrack in by making this a spot to head.

As to weather, it can very but usually we have good weather, just some afternoon thunderstorms here and there, there nice because they settle the dust.

Bike, only one way to go IMHO, Rigid 29er SS :)

If you end up doing Umpqua, make sure to hit the Dread and Terror section and the section of trail downriver from it. I know there is peopel that do shuttle services in the area but I have yet to work that out.

MRT, mostly done as an shuttle at 26 miles, it can be done as an out and back in sections or the entire trail but that is usually above most people's ability, plus you can check things out and have fun doing it one direction. There is lot's of people on this board that might hook up with you and want to ride and work out a shuttle with you. Technically shuttle services are not allowed by commercial people.

Post here as you get closer, I am sure some DOD peeps (the local MTB club in Eugene) would be more than willing to get out and show off some of the local goods.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
shiggy said:
I think your itinerary covers too much area in too short a time for a single "base of operations." You would spend more time driving back and forth than anything else. You will find few, if any, "upscale" accommodations within 1-2 hr's drive of the trails.

Umpqua, Mckenzie and Lewis River Trails are different but similar in that they are all river trails. Each has its own character but there is a much greater variety of worthy trails in the NW. (I would replace at least one of them with Waldo Lake.)

September is a great time for westside trails. Good weather, few bugs, good trail conditions.

Oregon - all over the state - has more brewpubs than you could name.

Also the Willamette Valley is filled with many good wineries.

Bring the bike you are most comfortable riding. Either will be fine.
Thanks, Shiggy! I appreciate the info. We'll probably plan to ride Waldo Lake instead of Lewis River.

I used Mapquest to get an idea of the driving distances. It looked like Eugene and Portland would work out well as our two places to stay.

Eugene to Roseburg: 1 hour
Eugene to McKenzie Bridge: 1 hour 15 minutes
Portland to Cougar, WA: 1 hour 20 minutes

Doesn't sound too bad to someone who is used to driving in Los Angeles. I guess there are significant differences between driving to the center of the nearest town and driving to the actual trailhead?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
General Coonskins said:
I'll start off with some thoughts...
Wow, great load of info! Thanks a lot!

You've got me leaning toward the high-country stuff, especially since we'll be there at the right time. Big views and no poison oak!

Time to start reading some trail reviews...
 

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JimN said:
Thanks, Shiggy! I appreciate the info. We'll probably plan to ride Waldo Lake instead of Lewis River.

I used Mapquest to get an idea of the driving distances. It looked like Eugene and Portland would work out well as our two places to stay.

Eugene to Roseburg: 1 hour
Eugene to McKenzie Bridge: 1 hour 15 minutes
Portland to Cougar, WA: 1 hour 20 minutes

Doesn't sound too bad to someone who is used to driving in Los Angeles. I guess there are significant differences between driving to the center of the nearest town and driving to the actual trailhead?
Yup, then add the distances to the actual trailhead. The recommended sections of the Umpqua can be an hour or more from Roseburg. The upper end of MRT is 30-45 min, minimum, from McKenzie Bridge. The St Helens trails are at least that far from Cougar.
 

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JimN said:
Wow, great load of info! Thanks a lot!

You've got me leaning toward the high-country stuff, especially since we'll be there at the right time. Big views and no poison oak!

Time to start reading some trail reviews...
Look at the ride report/picture posts on this board and the http://www.disciplesofdirt.org site, too.
 
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