Mt. Ashland Shuttle
A lot of the really great trail riding ends at an isolated parking spot, where you cool down, pack up and head out to the nearest town. But what if you could ride world-class single-track, downhill, and end up where you can roll right up to a brewpub or café? Welcome to Ashland.
This shuttle-assisted route offers lots of both variety and vertical; you’ll get more than 5,000 feet of descent on quintessential Oregon single-track. And the end of the route leads you right into the center of Ashland, one of the most culture- and food-rich places in the Western U.S.
Before you hit the track, some details. First of all, the riding season. The bottom portions of this trail system have a long season, thanks to the normally dry Southern Oregon climate. Whether the upper trailhead at Mt. Ashland ski resort is open is dependent on the winter season’s snowpack, which varies greatly year to year. The overall MTB season typically runs from late spring through late fall; an early-winter dusting of snow at higher elevations is not a bad thing; it often melts quickly andactually brings back that nice grippy tack.
Second, logistics. It’s actually possible to ride up double-track to the beginning of this route, but the shuttle is quick and convenient. No need to feel guilty, though – there’s still roughly 1,000 feet of climbing interspersed within this routing; you’ll still burn enough calories to justify that second beverage later.
There are several ways to get down the mountain, but we’re going to take you on the most popular one, which follows the legendary Ashland Super D route. (You can experiment with other configurations on lap two.)
Start at the parking lot of Mt. Ashland ski resort, where the shuttle drops you off. Your first couple miles on Upper Bull Gap are double-track, but not to worry: soon enough you transition to single-track when you hit Lower Bull Gap, and it’s a doozy. Whip down fast, flowing trails, negotiating berms, roots and rocks. Test your airtime and show your style as the trail segues into Upper and then Lower Lynx. Amid all this revelry, don’t forget to take in your surroundings: you’re flying through fresh-scented forest, with the occasional eye-grabbing view out into the picturesque valley below.
After a transition through a small parking lot, take an immediate drop into Catwalk,which cranks up the fun with jumps and side hits along a backslope. A left onto Toothpick Trail takes you to the start of Caterpillar, which throws more exhilarating, quicksilver curves and turns.
Next up: the newly redeveloped Jabberwocky Trail, a delectable treat brought to you by a cadre of creative, skillful local trail builders. Revel in the sudden sense of space as you roll through more open forest as you approach town. The menu here features bumps, berms and rollers, cooked however fast you like them. Let it all hang out –and then reel it back in a bit when you re-enter mixed-use trails; be courteous to other users as you navigate the neighborhood toward downtown.
At this point the choices are all laid out in front of you: eat, drink, back to the top foranother run? We think yes. Note: For information on shuttle service, go to Ashland Mountain Adventures.
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