NWTA Group Ride: Lookout Mountain (Prineville)
September 23 - 24, 2016
In Oregon, a bicycle is legally considered a vehicle, and the same Oregon road laws apply. Please “be seen” and practice safe riding. Vehicle traffic, farm equipment and narrow shoulders exist on many Oregon roads, and you may find that construction projects, traffic or other events may cause road conditions or signage to differ from the map results, ride descriptions and directions. For travel options plus weather and road conditions, visit tripcheck.com, call 511 (in Oregon only), 800.977.6368 or 503.588.2941. Routes listed on this website are for informational purposes and intended as a reference guide only.
Get directions on Google Maps
From Prineville follow U.S. Hwy 26 / NE Ochoco Hwy approximately 16 miles to Ochoco Creek Rd / Ochoco Ranger Rd, which veers off to the right. Follow Ochoco Creek Rd / Ochoco Ranger Rd for another 8 miles, after which you should see a National Forest Day Use Area with pit toilets on your left. At this point follow the NWTA signs approximately another 3 miles up Canyon Creek Rd to NF-100 on your right. Our campsite should be a short distance down NF-100.
***Expect the drive time from Portland to the campsite to take approximately three and a half to four and a half hours, depending on traffic and route taken. From Bend about one and a half hours.***Deep in the heart of the Ochoco Mountain range within central Oregon, lies a trail system too epic to ride alone. With its technical rocky descent and exposure, this rugged trail makes it way from the top of the highest peak in the range down to one of its many babbling creeks far below though some of the last true wilderness left in Oregon. Join us for an overnight and epic day of riding, September 23rd and 24th, and experience more of what Oregon has to offer. You don’t want to miss it!
Please RSVP at: https://goo.gl/forms/tTZWBx5aIinS6auA3
MEETING TIME / LOCATION:
For those who want to campout with the group we will meet Friday, September 23rd just 3 miles up the road from the Ochoco Creek Day Use Area (Ochoco Ranger Road, Prineville, OR 97754) off of NF-100 (National Forest Development Road 100, Prineville, OR 97754). Here we will be dispersed camping, there will be NWTA signs directing you from the Day Use Area to the campsite. Feel free to roll into camp anytime after 11 am, I should be there and set-up by 11 am.
For those who wish to arrive Saturday, September 24th and only join in on the group ride, we will be leaving from the Lookout Mountain Lower Trailhead and begin the ride at 11 am. Try to make it to the trailhead with enough time to get ready to head out at 11 am or shortly thereafter.
We will be utilizing the US National Forest Service Dispersed Camping Policy and will be camping approximately 3 miles up the road from the Ochoco Creek Day Use area off of NF-100. This means that it will be free to camp and park on location. Please familiarize yourself with the US National Forest Service Dispersed Camping Policy and Procedures before attending.
Free at the day use parking lot and Lookout Mountain trail head (for those who arrive the day of the ride), otherwise we will have free parking at our dispersed campsite just 3 miles or so down the road from the day use area and trailhead.
Carpool availability and pick location TBA (See RSVP below)
THE RIDE / ROUTE:
This loop initially follows about 6.8 miles of paved road and then another mile or so up a gravel road before hitting single track. We will then take the 4 mile Independent Mine Trail #808 to reach the summit and Lower Lookout Mountain Trail #804. Once we reach the summit we will break for lunch, if the weather is nasty we will head to the snow shelter and eat there before making our decent. After lunch all the fun begins as we bomb the 8 miles or so back down to our camp and trail head down below. Right off the summit we ride the knife ridge down, this section is the most technical and is considered a double black diamond due to the high amount of exposure, steep drop offs, and knobby rocks. As the trail progresses the easier and less technical it gets. There are only three short climbs on the way down, with the first one essentially marking the halfway point. Some sections of this trail are steep, and the trail can be washed out due to horses who frequent the trail often.
The trail is primarily dirt, rock, and loam. There are lots of chunky sections with loose rocks, a few soft loamy sections with some gnarly roots, a couple sections with a little bit of chop, high exposure, and hoof stomp-outs. There are lots of pop-out sneaker rocks, but overall the trail is fast and flowy with great technical bits here and there to mix it up a bit. There is one creek crossings that is no more than a few inches deep and a couple feet wide along the Independent Mine Trail #808.
Total Trip Length: Approx. 20 miles (12 miles up and about 8 miles down)
Elevation Gain / Loss: Approx. 3,200 ft.
Approximate Ride Time: 4 – 6 hrs.
WHAT TO EXPECT:
Excellent views, wildlife, complete silence, and an awesome trail to love and enjoy!
**We ride Rain or Shine, come prepared**
Eastern Oregon isn’t as temperate as the Willamette Valley and Coastal Range. The temperature can vary wildly in very little time. Lookout Mountain is fairly exposed near the summit and is the highest peak in the Ochoco mountain range which means it’s weather variability can be much higher on the mountain than in the surrounding area. Bring layers and a rain jacket if you have one. It can be super sunny and hot, extremely windy, and cold with rain and/or snow all within our ride time. Since we are riding in fall expect weather variability to be high. We most likely will have a sun filled warm day, but it is best to account for the possibility that the weather could take a downturn fast on us.
Estimated Temperature Range: 35 °F to 90 °F
There are vault toilets (a.k.a. outhouses) at Ochoco Creek Day Use Area approximately 3 miles away from our dispersed campsite. Might be best to bring some tee-pee and hand sanitizer if you expect you might need to use one of these toilets
Things we may encounter:
Wild Horses and Horseback riders (The area is home to wild horses and Horseback riding is open on the trails)
Hikers and other Bikers
Mountain Lions, Elk, Deer, and other wild and domestic animals
Cars and Logging trucks (During our road ride segment)
Weather extremes (Eastern Oregon isn’t as temperate as the Willamette valley, it can be hot one minute and cold the next, be prepared)
SKILL & FITNESS LEVEL:
Intermediate / Expert Skills Required
Moderate to Endurance Fitness Level Required
*** This is not an all ages and all skills level ride. This trail is not for the faint of heart or those with little to no technical riding experience. ***
WHAT YOU NEED / THINGS TO BRING:
This is a non-supported and bring your own gear campout and ride. You are expected to have all of your own food, water, and gear with you.
Things to bring for the ride:
Bike * (Hard-tail, Full Suspension, FAT bike)
Helmet * (You are required to wear a helmet during all NWTA Group Rides)
Backpack or Saddlebag (To carry your gear, food, water and extra clothing)
Water * (2 to 3 liters is probably enough, depending on your size and thirst, we will attempt to have a water drop near the top of the road before the start of the single track, a little under halfway through the ride)
Lunch and/or Snacks (Bring a lunch and enjoy. We’ll be out for a while, best to keep yourself energized and fed)
Rain Jacket and/or Wind Breaker (This should include any warm gear such as extra gloves and or a warm jacket if the weather takes a downturn)
Bike Repair Kit * (At a minimum contains: 1x Spare tube, 2x Tire levers, 1x Multi-tool, 1x Chain link, 1x Bike pump, 1x Patch kit)
First Aid Kit (A basic first aid kit and/or wilderness survival first aid kit with bandages for scrapes and small cuts will suffice, might also want to include a survival blanket and/or bivy)
Extra set of dry/warm clothes (To be left in the car to change into after the ride)
Camera (To capture the day, the ride, the scenery, and the fun)
Sun Glasses and/or Safety Glasses (In case it is sunny and or to protect your eyes from the wind and rain)
Binoculars (To scout out and view wildlife)
* Items Required for this Group Ride
Things to bring for the campout:
Tent and/or Bivy
Sleeping Bag and/or Blankets (Temperatures at night can dip to at or below freezing, take that into account when deciding on your sleeping arrangement)
Warm clothes to wear outside around the campsite
Warm clothes to wear inside the tent
Food (Dinner, Breakfast, Lunch to be eaten on the ride, and Dinner #2 for after the ride)
Snacks to share (i.e. Marshmallows and Chocolate, Beer and Wine, Cheese and Salami)
Stove (To cook and/or heat up water with)
Water (To keep hydrated)
Toiletries (Toothbrush and etc.)
(Note: If you do not have one or more of the items listed above feel free to contact me. We may have extra gear in which to loan)
Dogs are welcome, however they must be kept on a leash no longer than 6 feet per US National Forest Rules (see Resources and Other Info below). FYI I love dogs, and don’t mind much for this US Forest Service rule, but please familiarize yourself with their dog rules and regulations before bringing your pet.
Depending on the number of people who attend, we will divide up into smaller groups based on fitness & skill level.
No one will be left behind. We’ll ride rain, snow or shine. Have fun and enjoy yourself.
We will not be camping in a traditional campground, but will however be dispersed camping just up the road from the Ochoco Creek Campground due to availability. There are vault toilets at the day use area of the Ochoco Creek about 3 miles or so from our campsite, otherwise we will follow the US National Forest Service’s dispersed camping policy (see Resources and Other Info below). This may also mean that we will not be allowed to have camp fires if the fire danger is high and/or a fire ban is in effect.
This group ride and camp out requires that you come prepared and be self-supported. There are no aid stations and no cell phone reception. Please bring water, food, clothes, bike parts, and etc. (see What You Need / Things To Bring above).
The Lookout Mountain Trail is a loop ride with approximately 6.8 miles of paved road and a mile or so of gravel road to ride before hitting single track. The area is remote and you do not want to stray from the trail. The only bailout option is to simply go back the way in which you came or to continue down the path depending on how far you have already gotten. If for some reason you get off the trail and turned around this trail follows a series of ridges all the way down, your best bet would be to head up and not down to find your way back to the trail, this however will all be explained in our briefing before the ride. We will also be utilizing the buddy system so you shouldn’t find yourself alone. If you decide to ‘bail’ you will need to do so before hitting single track and let your ride or group leader as well as your buddy know so we don’t have to go looking for you and/or call emergency services.