The Hot Sisters Route came together we’re putting the route on the fast track to being published. There will much more info to come, but for now we have a page coming together over at bikepacking.net:
The route is ready to go — email me if you’d like GPX to go see it all for yourself.
Here are some highlights from the route, as yet unpublished since I couldn’t get photos off my camera during the trip.
Rolling out of Bend to climb the Newberry Crater on the Swamp Wells trail.
No swamps were found, but there was plenty of volcanic soil and singletrack (or open track!).
The crater has two lakes in it, both of which have hot springs along the shore and in the lakes.
Climbing Paulina Peak for a big view of the caldera.
One of many waterfalls to be found along the route.
One of the innumerable forest service campgrounds on the route. We rarely used them, but occasionally a picnic table is nice.
Into the deep dark and mossy woods! Metolius Windigo Trail.
One of innumerable and beautiful lakes the route passes by. Charnelton Lake.
Excellent trail around Waldo Lake, burned to a crisp.
Rocks! Waldo Lake. Supposedly the 2nd or 3rd most pure lake in the US.
One big challenge on this route: fallen trees. They were much less an issue than I anticipated. Oregonites are really on top of trail work!
Bunchgrass Trail. You could not actually see the trail tread on which you were riding.
This is on the McCredie/Bunchgrass alternate. Core Hot Sisters loop will skip this challenging section.
Thar be pirates in the woods!
Thanks for the trail work guys. And for letting us know that no more had been done. Time to bail!
Bail to an idyllic soaking spot! Hardships and trail dust quickly erased.
A sign told of a big fire here in the 60’s. It was amazing that a few gigantic skeletons of burned trees still remained. Old growth forest takes a while to grow back, it turns out!
Fetching water. There’s lots in the Cascades.
Lookout towers, often a short hike away, are a theme of the route.
The big view from Moon Point.
The killer ride down from Moon Point. Self-shuttle!
Some challenging terrain on the Middle Fork trail.
It doesn’t get much more green.
Forest roads to Lemolo Lake. Almost all the gravel grinding is devoid of traffic, most happily.
Sunset on Diamond Lake, part of a spur off the core route.
That spur takes you here.
To Crater Lake.
And maybe a lookout hike. Cool old airforce binoculars in the active lookout.
Best campsite of the trip, hiker-biker for free on Diamond Lake.
Camp is walking distance to the pizza place, and the lake.
A bike/hike summit of Mt. Bailey is also available on the spur.
On with the core loop, with the famous North Umpqua Trail.
It’s the land of waterfalls, creeks and emerald green rivers.
Giant leafy plants.
Just magic, a magic place.
Just off the trail is a beautiful hot spring, too. Just embrace your inner hippy and say hello to the folks living in school buses and tents nearby.
Toketee falls, a short hike off trail.
North Umpqua mostly follows the river under thick cover and deep woods, but not here!
Crazy geology throughout the route.
Creative trail work, love it.
Flowing along with the emerald green North Umpqua River.
Swan dive (slash bellyflop) into the river! Lots of opportunities to jump and cool off.
Running the Larison Rock trail during our downtime in Oakridge. The flowy descent is available on route, as the styling way to arrive in town…. if you’re willing to climb the 2500 feet to get to it.
Part 2, Oakridge to Bend, to come. Thanks for looking!