North Umpqua sits near the southern terminus of the mighty Cascade Range and features dramatic Pacific Northwest riding. Start at Swiftwater Park and pedal east up into the mountains on the 16-mile stretch of the Tioga trail, passing over many bridges as you wend your way through thick, old growth Douglas Fir forests. Some of the trees are more than six feet in diameter.
A short, easier stretch on the Mott Trail brings you down near the North Umpqua River, where salmon and steelhead can be seen migrating from June to October. From there, jump onto the Panther Trail, which features many spectacular and high exposed faces above the riverbed. You've now reached the mid-point and it's decision time. Either turn around and gain a new perspective on the Panther Trail or veer onto the Riverview Trail-either way will get you towards home.
For the truly hardy, the complete North Umpqua trail totals 79 miles in length, divided into segments of no more than 16 miles. It rises to the spine of the Cascade Range where it connects with the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail.
Season: Year round. Snow may be encountered at higher elevations in winter months; floods can knock out bridges and sections of trail.
Bike shop: Bike Kraft, Grants Pass (541) 476-4935