Alpine starts at the intersection of FS 1912 and FS 1825 and mostly climbs through classic Oregon forests to Kate's Cut-In where most people start Alpine.
Start from the road and turn left onto Kate's Cut-In. There will be a quick switchback to the right and then you'll have a short climb to the Alpine intersection. Turn left again. The trail climbs gradually through big trees to a large grassy meadow. Enjoy a brief flat section before diving back into trees, rolling towards the first sustained descent.
The crossing of a short narrow ridge signifies a fast descent ahead. This one goes quickly with long runs of trail intermixed with turns and switchbacks.
This section ends at a road, cross and roll into an uphill section that leads to another big descent nicknamed 'Jedi'. This dark and fast section of forest ends at Windy Pass, a major road intersection.
From here there is an easy pedaling climb through a new section. It ends at yet another road. From here you'll be on a rehabbed road, now a trail, that climbs through a series of surfaced 's' turns.
There's a brief respite and then the route continues to climb. The forest opens up to big trees and steep, lush, lichen-leaden sideslopes to an incredible view at a high meadow. This is a great place to stop for a snack break and take in the views.
From here Alpine rolls past the Tire Mountain
intersection (turn right here if riding A-T-C-A
) and then descends continuously through fast, flowy turns and beautiful forest down to the Buckhead Shelter. There are a few sections that rise along the way but you'll have enough speed to carry through.
From the shelter, there's another round of brief climbing followed by sustained descent to a road. After crossing you'll experience another descent, one of the the more rowdy on Alpine with tight turns and some scrabbly texture.
Afterwards, you'll get a little break from being on the brakes as you pedal through flatter terrain. The trees are beautiful through here, covered in multi-hued lichens up and down their trunks.
Stay straight through multiple road crossings then dive into a fast and narrow trail that has long, straight runs. At the last intersection, make a hard left and fly to the finish at the bottom of the road. Turn right to cruise back to parking lot at the red bridge.