Waldo Lake Loop, Oregon

© 2019 Grey Otter Outventures, Inc.

Oregon’s Waldo Lake Loop is a fantastic backcountry mountain bike ride that offers a great taste of riding in the state’s Cascade range.

Chris & Mac of Grey Otter Outventures

Chris & Mac
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Note:  Currently closed due to the Cedar Creek Fire.  For current information about this fire, visit https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/8307/

Length:  21.7 miles
Trailhead(s):  Shadow Bay Day Use Area
Elevation Gain:  2,562’
Trail Type:  Loop
Dogs:  Allowed
Difficulty:  Beginner/Intermediate
Permit Required?  Pacific Northwest Pass – $5 for Day at Trailhead
Considerations:  Recommended Direction is Counterclockwise; North Waldo Campground is an excellent home base if you want to explore the area further.
Season:  Summer/Fall


Oregon’s Waldo Lake Loop is a fantastic backcountry ride around a beautiful alpine lake near Oakridge.  The loop sits at just over 5,000′ of elevation and provides a great taste of riding in Oregon’s Cascade range.

The loop is made up of two trails, the Waldo Lake East Trail and the Waldo Lake Trail, with a brief connector that brings you through a campground parking area at the North Waldo Campground.  Signage is good and easy to follow.  Aside from just a few technical features, the trail is flowy and the singletrack is smooth.  

The Waldo Lake Loop is well within the pay grade of most intermediate riders and manageable for more experienced beginners, although they may need to take some sections slowly.  That said, 22 miles and 2,562′ of elevation gain will be tough for those who are not conditioned.  The gain is driven by the ups and downs as the rider moves around the lake with moderate climbs and descents, as opposed to one long climb, but the effect is the same.  Expect to be tired, but completely fulfilled, when you complete this ride.

Now get out there and enjoy this gem!

Scroll down to learn about the GEAR WE USE and OTHER OUTVENTURES in this area.

Additional Information

  • Trailforks Interactive Trail Map Link:


  • U.S. Forest Service Information:


Trailforks Interactive Trail Map:

Waldo Lake on Trailforks.com

Waldo Lake Loop Slideshow

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Gear We Use for Mountain Biking

To see descriptions of the gear Chris & Mac use for mountain biking, as well as links to manufacturers and retailers offering the gear for sale, please CLICK HERE.

Articles About Other Regional Outventures

Click below to learn about other regional outventures in this area.

SAFETY DISCLAIMER:  The activities discussed in this website are outdoor activities and, as such, have inherent risks to which participants are exposed.  It is not the intent of this website, nor is it possible due to the variability of weather, terrain, equipment, and experience, to detail all of those risks.  The information contained in this site is informational, but not instructive nor exhaustive.  It is the sole responsibility of the user to ensure he/she is in good health, fully prepared, and fully informed as to dangers before undertaking any of the activities discussed in this website and the user does so at his/her own risk.  The user understands that by using this website he/she acknowledges and accepts all risks associated with use of information from this website and participation in any particular activity addressed herein.  Please see “Terms of Use” for additional information.

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