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High Lakes Trail – Brown Mountain Loop

Just an hour’s drive from Ashland, Lake of the Woods offers just what it suggests: a dip-worthy alpine lake tucked into a beautiful forest. This ride takes you for a tour of the scenery, before dropping you right back at the lake to cool off and visit Lake of the Woods Mountain Lodge & Resort for dinner overlooking one of the clearest natural lakes in the Southern Oregon Cascades.

Kick off your ride on the High Lakes Trail, a smooth path up through lava rock. You’re at 5,000 feet from the get-go, so take advantage of the gentle grade to get warmed up at elevation while you take in the scenery.

After a little more than five miles, turn right onto Brown Mountain Trail. The first two miles are scenic doubletrack, at which point it switches to an up-and-down singletrack trail that winds through old-growth trees and more lava fields. That mountain you see along the way is 9,500-foot-high Mt. McLoughlin, one of the primary landmarks of the Rogue River Valley.

At mile 11, you’ll start a six-mile climb up to the peak of the ride. The grades are relatively merciful, but pace yourself so you can fully appreciate the views of eastern Oregon when you hit the peak. 

From here, you’ll start flowing downhill on classic singletrack. Savor every minute of it as you glide back to where you started just a few hours before—only now you’ll have a big grin etched on your face. Call it a day at this point, or for an added challenge and even more stunning scenery, head out and back on the High Lakes Trail. It’s a good alternative to the popular Spencer Mountain bike trails that are just an hour away, outside Klamath Falls.

Riding Season
Like other rides high up in the Cascade Mountains, this one’s likely to be buried in snow until late spring. Your best bet is early summer to early fall, but the shoulder seasons can be a great time to go, depending on snowpack.

Dylan VanWeelden
Dylan VanWeelden

Activities

  • Bicycling
  • Bicycling Routes
  • Mountain Bike Trail

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