Bikepacking the High Cascades Overnighter (video)
This past summer, Chris Wilson spent a couple days on the High Cascades Overnighter route, a 90% singletrack loop in Oregon’s Cascade range. He made this video route report along the way. Find that alongside some notes about his ride and more on the route here…
Accessible directly from the town of Bend, Oregon, the High Cascades Overnighter bikepacking loop is made up of 92% cross-country singletrack trails that take you far from town and high into the Cascade range. Videographer Chris Wilson rode it back in July. With the summer heat and challenging terrain, Chris had his work cut out for him on this ride, but still managed to make this video route report and take in the loop’s beautiful alpine lakes along the way. Watch it below, then scroll down for a few notes and more about the route.
by Chris Wilson
Day 1: I started at Phil’s Trailhead, and camped at Little Lava Lake. Day 2: Little Lava Lake back to Phil’s trailhead. If I were to do the route again, I would almost certainly stay at Little Lava Lake again.
I rode my Ibis Ripmo AF (29er Full Suspension) with a Maxxis DHF in front and Maxxis Aggressor in the rear (both 2.5″ tires); No seatpost bag to maximize range on my dropper post.
A hardtail with front suspension would be fine, but not as fun as a full suspension bike. If you are riding a fully rigid bike, slap on some 2.8 and 3.0″ tires and hold on! It’s totally doable, but if you’ve got something with suspension, take that! I’ve never ridden a true fat bike so I can’t comment on how well it would work
The temperature in Bend was mid 90’s that weekend. As such, I carried a decent amount of water despite there being frequent resupply options.
Note that I’m not a strong mountain biker and I am not super fit. I am… pretty average. If you aren’t used to riding singletrack, be prepared travel a lot slower. The trails in Bend can get pretty sandy, and while it isn’t very technical, there are enough rocks and roots to slow you down, especially on a bike weighed down with gear.
My favorite riding was on day 2 along Tyler’s Traverse, though heading down the Windigo trail on day 1 was also very fun.
High Cascades Overnighter
The High Cascades Overnighter is pure singletrack bliss that covers everything from the high desert to alpine lakes. This route is a great tour of some of the mountain biking options around Bend, Oregon. Pack a fly rod, some fat tires, and a sense of adventure. Find the full route guide here.
More from Chris Wilson
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