Gales Creek - Southern Climb
ElevationAscent: 2,058' 627 m
Descent: -2,059' -627 m
High: 2,528' 771 m
Low: 905' 276 m
GradeAvg Grade: 6% (3°)
Max Grade: 22% (12°)
Popular rides nearby
Browns Camp Loop
7.4 mi 11.9 km • Loop • 1,036 ft Ascent 315.88 m Ascent
Triple C to Step Creek Double Loop
7.7 mi 12.3 km • Loop • 893 ft Ascent 272.09 m Ascent
Buxton to Stub Stewart MTB Trail
11.4 mi 18.3 km • Out and Back • 1,181 ft Ascent 360.07 m Ascent
Visitor Center Loop
6.6 mi 10.6 km • Loop • 926 ft Ascent 282.2 m Ascent
Henry Hagg Lake
13.6 mi 21.9 km • Loop • 889 ft Ascent 270.89 m Ascent
“This ride takes the best part of Gales Creek Trail and makes it a more enjoyable and reasonable out-and-back.”— Brock Warner
Starting from the southern trailhead at Gales Creek Campground, the trail follows its namesake for a number of miles up the valley. After only about three-quarters of a mile, the trail crosses a bridge and immediately T's at a junction with the Storey Burn Trail.
Turn right to continue up Gales Creek Trail. As it climbs, the trail is often within sight or earshot of the creek as the singletrack winds along the ravines and gulleys that drain into Gales Creek. It makes for a lot of short, punchy climbs and brief flat stretches, always causing the legs to burn. It can feel rewarding nonetheless. Although not very technical for the most part, the ever-changing direction of the trail will keep you on your toes.
At about five and a half miles, a short but super fun reroute of the trail brings some obvious MTB-inspired flow to the trail and is a blissful section. If only it was longer. The last half mile is the steepest climb of the ride, but seeing the small parking lot for the Bell Camp Road Trailhead lets you know you're at the summit. Rest and grab a snack. Unfortunately, there aren't really any stellar views to catch up here. Exploring slightly to the north can yield some views through the trees, but it is nothing to write home about.
When you're ready, turn around and ride everything you just rode back to the Gales Creek Campground. The upper rerouted section will feel so sweet, but all too short on the way back down. A lot of the upper sections of the trail back will have some surprising flow, considering it was built as a hiking and equestrian trail. Several washouts over the years have prompted a lot of trail rebuilding, with mountain bikers getting more and more attention every time it's done. The closer to Gales Creek Campground, the less the trail will feel like this, as the ravines and gulleys rob the trail of more and more flow. But it's still fun!
The bridge that marks the junction with Storey Burn Trail signals the start of the only substantial climbing on the way back. Thankfully, it's not too long, although it is steep. In no time, the parking lot will appear. Congrats.
The trail is well signed and easy to follow.
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We need help with the following missing trail information:
Family Friendly, ADA Accessible, Need to Know, Dogs Allowed, Features, Electic Mountain Bikes Allowed, History & Background
Land Manager: Oregon Department of Forestry