“Great loop for those looking to get fast flowing trail without shuttles. Demanding climbs.”
— Brock B-Rock
Very few technical challenges, but this ride is full of high exertion climbs and LOTS of high speed trail. There are rough downhill sections with steep sidehill and exposure and flowy sections where you're on a rollercoaster. The road climb to connect South Willamette is steady, some call it relentless. It's straightforward and boring but the juice is worth the squeeze.
Once on top of Hardesty, you'll forget about the climbing and enjoy a combo of buff, rocks, speed and flow.
Need to Know
Lower Hardest (below Crale Creek Road) gets a lot of mixed use.
South Willamette gets very little traffic from Hardesty to Crale Creek Road, but a good amount of foot traffic from Crale Creek to the Eula connection.
Park at Hardesty parking area off Hwy 58. Ride up trail on the east side past Goodman cuttoff to South Willamette cutoff (1/2 mile). Continue on S. Willy for close to six miles across several road crossings (trail is always directly across from you).
Once on Patterson Mt. Road, turn right and climb to "The Saddle" and turn right (it's obvious). Climb for another 1.7 miles to end of road and begin Hardesty Mt. Trail. The climbing is done in about .5 miles (a steep .5 miles). Avoid the trail junctions and just go straight until you're at a flat spot in the trees with a three-way junction.
Drop your seat...enjoy. The Eula trail junction comes up fast, but it's a hard right hander - you don't have to worry about taking it accidentally. You'll cross Crale Creek road first. The Trail continues on 1/4 mile downhill, on your left. Continue through an abandoned road. Hardesty gets a lot of mixed use from this point down. Enjoy yourself, but keep your eyes peeled.
Once you find yourself at the South Willamette trailhead again, ride your brakes and consider the ride over. The foot traffic will appreciate it.