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Waldo Lake Loop

  • Length:
    20.2 miles
  • Difficulty:
  • Nearby Cities:
    Gilchrist, Crescent, McKenzie Bridge
  • Region:
    Southern Oregon, Willamette Valley
  • Attributes:
    Lake Views, Single-Track, Technical

Trailhead Elevation: 5492 ft


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, 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.

This is one of the finest loop rides in Oregon, a good mix of challenge, terrain and scenery as you circle one of the purest bodies of water in the world.

Trailhead: Head south from Bend on Hwy. 97 to the Hwy. 58 cutoff on the right, in the twin towns of Gilchrist and Crescent. Go west on Hwy. 58 over Willamette Pass to the Waldo Lake access road on the right. (You can also access this trail from the Willamette Valley by coming east up Hwy. 58, starting just south of Eugene. Follow signs to the Shadow Bay Campground and park near the boat ramp. Or take Road 4290 off the Cascade Lakes Highway, which is much shorter but very rough. Approximately 85 miles from Bend (1.5-2 hours drive time).

Highlights: A challenging trail around a picturesque lake. If you can stand the chilly water, a swim is highly recommended (great jumping location at end of the side trail to Klovdahl Bay). The single-track will challenge and entertain you the entire way. A forest fire burned the north shore of the lake in the summer of 1996, so be sure to check the progress as the forest regenerates. We recommend contacting the local ranger station for trail conditions; the trail often isn’t cleared of winter debris until mid-summer or later.

Seasons: Late summer through fall

A detailed map of this route and others nearby is available through Adventure Maps, an Oregon company, at local bike shops and outdoor retailers, as well as online at

Waldo Lake Loop was designated as an International Mountain Biking Association Epic Ride in 2012.


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Submitted by

Scott Rapp

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