“Extraordinary sandstone slickrock and singletrack playground with large variety of difficulty.
— John Gallagher
These extraordinary sandstone outcrops (Mesaverde formation) define the perimeter of Oregon Basin. Their are an unlimited number of ways to ride these outcrops ranging from strong intermediate to cliff hucking that is yet to be fully explored, all within a few feet of each other. You can blaze through this trail in an hour, or spend all day on its many permutations. The quality of the slickrock here is as good as you'll find anywhere, and it even has trees.
Need to Know
Unlike Moab, the slickrock here is not painted and you have to be able to navigate. It would be very difficult to get truly lost out here, but you'll likely lose the trail in spots even with a GPS. Wandering ten feet one way or the other is the difference between the perfect rideable line and a ten foot jump. But, that is the beauty of this place, there is so much to explore and learn.
Getting there: Head East out of Cody on highway 14-16-20. From Absaroka Bicycles, basically the last business on your right as you leave town, travel 5.8 miles to Bluebird Lane on your right. Proceed to the cattle guard and park there.
Ride up the two track into the canyon you see in front of you. At the mouth of the canyon the two track turns into singletrack. Climb the singletrack until you reconnect with the two track under the power lines.
You have three choices for the first descent. The first and most difficult is singletrack on your right immediately after you reach the two-track and power lines. The second option is a bit further down the road on the right immediately after the first power pole. The third option is to stay on the two-track. This trail is all about options with varying levels of difficulty. All options join up again on the two track.
After all trails rejoin on the two-track, you quickly come upon an obvious singletrack on your right. Take it. This bit of trail climbs onto the first slickrock outcrop.
You are faced with a steep drop-in and quick climb out, or you can tuck your tail and stay high and to the right and climb the fence.
You'll stay on this terrace level until the entire blob of stone dives into the desert floor at the western edge of the ride. When you hit the desert floor again, a quick downhill blast brings you to the next section of slickrock.
You are now heading uphill and back to the east. This vast blob of rock is usually ridden on the outside edge, but explore it. On the uphill side it all pinches into a narrow band as you hug the strip of rock between the hillside and cliff. You have now connected to the last really large slab. When you are done playing with this slab, head downhill to the north edge and connect with the fast downhill singletrack to the east that leads you to the two-track.
Hang a hard left to the north at the intersection. A quick uphill section of two-track leads you to another east-west oriented blob of slickrock. A quick session on this blob drops you on its east end onto a two-track. At your first intersection you can head east to one more large blob and the "jump pit" or you can continue the climb out to the top of the ride and closing the lollipop.
You can always do another lap, or finish the climb out. Either way, you ultimately have a screaming fun final blast back down the singletrack you climbed earlier. Return to your parked rig and have a beer for me.
History & Background
Oregon basin, which you are riding a small portion of the edge of, was once the largest oil and gas field in Wyoming. It is still actively producing. There are many areas in OB to explore. For the roadies, there is a great paved road that bisects the basin that has practically no traffic on it.