“A fast, technical descent through big, beautiful forest. Optional out and back to scenic viewpoint.”
— Leslie Kehmeier
Lawler is a popular Oakridge shuttle ride. It's often done in combination with the Hardesty Mt. Trail. Check out Oregon Adventures
to arrange a ride to the top.
Lawler Trail has a little bit of everything when it comes to all-mountain riding. Expect fun flow through big forests and fast, technical descents that are exposed. An expanded bottom section also adds a couple miles of flow/jump trail.
Lawler starts with a pedal up doubletrack road from the shuttle drop off to the start of the Lawler Trail (3473). From there the route is a rolling climb follwed by a gentle descent to the intersection with the Patterson Mountain Viewpoint Connector
. The out-and-back is worth the effort for the trail and the view.
From the intersection, the route contours through a beautiful forest a bit more and then starts the real descent. The trail surface changes often as it alternates between tight turns and straight line steep sections; one minute you'll be riding smooth hero dirt and then next you'll be skittering across loose and chunky.
After the second road crossing, there is a punchy hike-a-bike section to gain a craggy ridge. After topping out, enjoy the views before the next downhill sections that covers both sides of the ridge.
As you descend to the lower reaches of Lawler Trail, you'll get into the most thrilling part of the route. Relentless turns will whip you down steep and exposed slopes making your forearms burn and your heart race. You'll encounter a number of tricky switchbacks to keep things challenging.
Lawler originally ended by spilling out onto a grown in doubletrack that would lead to a forest road descent. The Greater Oakridge Area Trail Stewards opened up some additional mileage to keep the experience going even longer.
This newest section is a machine-built flow trail with lots of pumps, occasional jumps, and a few rocky spots. Carry speed where you can to make it up sections of rolling terrain. There's a small wide drop near the bottom of the trail that can sneak up on you (keep right for the ride-around).
Where the trail ends, turn left on USFS 531
to the pick-up point at an intersection with USFS 5840.