This Featured Ride content
still in development or in editorial review.
Hefty loop with a fireroad climb, remote 10 mile singletrack descent, and views of the Oregon's Basin Range country.”
— Gabriel Amadeus
What really stands out is the 360º views for 100 miles in every direction at the top of Morgan Butte. Oregon's basin range county is sparsely forested and even thinner on the crowds. You'll love the unique ecosystem, wildlife sightings, views, and fun rolling backcountry singletrack.
Need To Know
If you plan ahead, make reservations at Cowboy Dinner Tree in Silver Lake, not to be missed 30oz steak dinner!
The first 10 miles are on pavement but it's flat and there's very little traffic near Paisley. Besides, you'll be full from a big breakfast at the Paisley Homestead. Then you hit the grinding 6 mile, 2,500' climb up a quiet forest road to the top of Morgan Butte. About halfway there's a nice cool, clean spring—your only water on the route until the river.
Once at the top, take a break on the fire lookout's deck and enjoy the views. Pick out Mount Shasta, Abert Rim, and if you're lucky, the Three Sisters in the distance.
The descent doesn't see a lot of use so there may be some blow down after you wind your way through the upper meadows, but screaming through soft beds of pine needles makes it worth it. Nearer the bottom you'll find a few sections with a little more pedaling than you'd like but no real climbs to speak of after the summit. Then it's a breeze of a 7 miles pedal slightly downhill on asphalt back to Paisley, where you can recoup at the Saloon or the nearby Summer Lake Hot Springs.
History & Background
This trail is part of the Fremont National Recreation trail built by the Youth Core in the 1990s.