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.
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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
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.
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.
- Trailforks Interactive Trail Map Link:
- U.S. Forest Service Information:
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.
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