In the middle of the Cascade Mountains, you can find Wesfir, Oregon near Oakridge, where organizers host the annual Mountain Bike Oregon event. The Red Covered Bridge, also known as the Portal, is the main connection point for this event held every July. This area is ideal for bikers and hikers of all ages, as well as those who just like to camp or enjoy watching outdoor events.
You may be a nature lover, and this gives you a great excuse to get in your RV and head for the mountain bike paradise of the west coast. The first Mountain Bike Oregon was in 2005 and only had 34 mountain bikers. In 2006, they sold out all 300 spots they had available, and the trend continues.
Guests can enjoy three full days of mountain biking with other enthusiasts in the lush ferns, forests, and meadows full of vibrant wildflowers. The trails take you by majestic waterfalls, creeks, and several lakes and ponds. In the midst of it all, explorers will find some of the most strenuous and challenging trails, as well as some exceptionally easy ones to pursue. Each day you ride, you may go to bed exhausted and wake up ready to go at it again the next day.
Camping is available for RVs, as well as tents, along the Alpine Trail at the Red Covered Bridge. Enjoy hanging out with other campers and try wine, hard cider, and beer in the free adult beverage garden. A food cart festival will be there as well, with tons of different kinds of foods, snacks, and beverages from the healthiest to the most indulgent.
If you are interested in joining hundreds of other mountain bike enthusiasts at the Mountain Bike Oregon event, you need to grab your tickets early because they sell out fast. If you plan to be there in July, you may need to reserve your tickets by December of the previous year. Ticket prices vary from $50 for just riding one day to about $450 for the full three days and camping.
In Southwest Oregon, just four miles from Oakridge off of OR-58 you can find the Office Bridge (also known as the Portal) of Westfir, where mountain bikers gather in July for Mountain Bike Oregon. It is only 41 miles from Eugene, which is home to the Museum of Natural and Cultural History and Alton Baker Park. Salem, which is the state’s capital, is also nearby at just over 100 miles to the north.
If you are camping onsite, the park has shuttles that will take you to the designated trailhead of the day every day. You choose which trails you want to ride and jump on the van or bus that is headed that way. If you are not camping there, there are parking lots specifically for RVs and other adventure vehicles where you can even stay overnight. Your registration fee includes parking and camping onsite whether you choose to stay in your RV on the lot or in a tent under the stars.
Although the City of Westfir does not have public transportation available, there are two in the surrounding county of Lane. One of these is the Lane Transit District Bus Service. Another service called the Diamond Express operates between Eugene and Oakridge. You can also use a rideshare app or call a taxi. However, your best bet is to camp onsite and bring another vehicle as well as your RV.
It is unclear how many sites there are at the Portal but there are a limited number according to the website because they sell out fast. You absolutely have to reserve a spot and be registered to be able to stay there during the three-day event. Whether you want to park in the lot and sleep right there or choose one of the spots designated for camping, your registration fee includes camping so take advantage of the benefit. However, there are no utilities or fire pits here so you will be roughing it. Although there are no showers, the shuttles will take you to a nearby facility with a shower house.
If you are not camping onsite, there are over half a dozen RV accessible campgrounds within 15 miles of the Mountain Bike Oregon event. While most of them have utilities and other amenities, a couple are primitive or dry. You may also want to check out Fall Creek State Recreation Area, which is only 22 miles away. They have 39 primitive campsites with toilets and potable water as well as fishing, hiking, and swimming.
One of the best things about Mountain Bike Oregon is that you pretty much always have your own personal transportation, your bike. In addition to your bike though, shuttle buses are also provided to get you to the trailheads and back every day. Some of them leave from the loading zone while others leave from camp. That way they can give rides to those who are not camping onsite as well as those who are.
While July is hot in Oregon, it gets cool in this area at night because of the elevation and nearby ocean breeze. It is best to bring biking clothes including a helmet, sturdy biking shoes, and cool summer clothes for when you are not biking. You should also bring a swimsuit for enjoying a dip in the river during your visit.
Since you will be biking while you are there, do not bring much that you have to carry. A water bottle with water or electrolytes is essential but you can attach that to your bike. Helmets and other safety elements for biking are important as well. And make sure you have a cooler with plenty of ice for your campsite because there are no utilities onsite.
The most important element to remember is water. Stay hydrated as you ride because dehydration can be dangerous on some of these trails. Especially during July. Bring some sunscreen with a heavy-duty SPF as well as some bug repellent to keep away the ticks. The area is known to have poison oak, so bring some Tecnu or another oil remover.
Since the campsites do not have utilities and do not allow campfires, you will need to bring a BBQ grill or camp stove if you want to cook onsite. Many people cook their meals ahead of time and freeze them so all you have to do is heat them up on the grill and eat them. Oakridge has several grocery and department stores to pick up things you may have forgotten.
Whether you are craving a big juicy steak or a greasy burger and fries, you can find that and more just three miles away in Oakridge. There is also a Mexican restaurant, BBQ café, and a pizza place. You can also enjoy a meal at one of the bar and grills in town while tasting some of the local brews.
The Mountain Bike Oregon staff provide a hot breakfast and lunch daily, but you are on your own for dinner. However, the event is known for its awesome food carts and free adult beverage garden. In fact, the adult beverage garden is the center of the evening activities, hosting many events such as games, raffles, and the state’s finest hand-crafted adult beverages. Attendees will also find a plethora of merchandisers showing off their wares all weekend long. They even have free demo bikes you can try out during your stay.
You have to be a registered guest to be on site during the Moutain Bike Oregan event. Although there are professionally trained guides during the rides, the security is basic. However, after the rides conclude for the day, security is beefed up at the adult beverage garden. No weapons, fireworks, or drugs are allowed, and fighting is not tolerated.
Oregon is pretty hot in July with highs in the upper 80s and lower 90s during the day. Evening temps drop quickly in the mountains and you will notice a 30+ degree drop on most nights with lows in the 50s. Rain is possible but not likely. However, stay alert and download a weather app to stay updated on the local forecast.
Although the trail guides who accompany each trail ride are all CPR and first aid certified, there is still a chance that medical help will be needed. A first-aid tent is set up near each trailhead, but since you will be in the woods on most of the trails, keep your cell phone with you to call for help if needed. The nearest hospital is about 40 minutes away, but there is a local urgent care nearby as well.