Phil's Trail—Bend, Oregon: A Classic Trail in One of the PNW's Best Outdoor Towns

mountain biking Phil's Trail

Phil's Trail is the grandaddy of Bend, Oregon bike trails--a perfect sampler of the high desert single track that long ago earned Bend its reputation as a PNW mountain biking mecca.

Bend is surrounded by thousands of acres of trail-filled wilderness, so choosing a trail if you're a visitor can be overwhelming--especially if you're looking for something that's not overly difficult.

Your best bet is to ask a local. And if you do, it's only a matter of time before Phil's Trail enters the conversation.

Bend, Oregon Mountain Biking

In the early '80s, trail-builder Phil Meglasson convinced his buddies to help him carve out a bike trail west of Bend. Today, Phil’s trail is the venerable keystone in an inter-linked stretch of single track that runs for hundreds of miles in Deschutes National Forest.

Nearly every trail system west of Bend at some point feeds into Phil’s trail, so the end result is a massive spiderweb of riding possibilities. The beauty of Phil's trail is that it offers a little bit of everything--rolling bumps, smooth berms, flow trail--which makes it the perfect warm-up if you're planning a long ride or a satisfying short spin if you just want a taste of the Bend biking vibe.

The trail is well marked, so you won't get lost, and it offers opportunities a-plenty for both beginner and experienced riders. 

If you're visiting Bend, the must-do list is far from short. There's world-class climbing at Smith Rock Park, epic snow at Mt. Bachelor, Class V whitewater, and blue ribbon fly fishing--all close to town. But a trip to Bend without a ride on Phil's Trail would be like a trip to London without seeing Big Ben--it's simply too iconic to miss.

Getting There: Phil’s Trail trailhead is approximately three miles from downtown Bend. From Drake Park, travel west on Galveston Avenue (which becomes Skyliners Drive) past Mt. Washington Drive until you reach a paved road on the left that is marked with a bike sign. The trailhead is a half-mile further down this paved road.

Brian Meier

Brian is the founder of and the author of Awaken the Bear.

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