The Trail One List: Lawler / Hardesty
SUPERSONIC SHUTTLE RUNS
The Trail One List is our guide to the best mountain bike trails in the world. We know your riding time is precious and travel is expensive. We want you to finish these rides with a giant smile on your face and a heart full of stoke, knowing the juice was worth the squeeze.
Oakridge, Oregon, is filled to the brim with fast and flowy runs in lush green forests that are almost all accessible with shuttles. Describing these trails as "fast" might be selling things a bit short. The sense of speed on the wide open sections is unlike anything else I've experienced on a bike.
If you’ve only got one day to experience Oakridge, the best of the best is the Lawler / Hardesty double shuttle. It’s a little confusing to figure out logistically, but once you’ve done the shuttle math it is one of the most fun days you can have on the bike.
Everything in Oakridge is really good, but Lawler and Hardesty are GREAT. You get two big, fast descents and smiles for miles. The biggest problem with the riding in Oakridge is hypersonic speed combined with flat, no berm turns. Lawler and Hardesty have a few of these “Oakridge okey dokes”, but it’s the least of all the trails.
If you're taking CogWild to do the double day, here's how they describe the logistics:
- Book two consecutive times: Hardesty first and Lawler second on the same day.
- Park at Hardesty Trail Head to and catch the first shuttle. This leaves your vehicle at your eventual end-point.
- Ride Lawler trail first: at the exit of the trail, take a left and continue up the road 1/4 mile to the Lawler Shuttle meeting location to catch your second ride up.
- On the second shuttle, ride the Hardesty trail back to your vehicle.
Oakridge is a very small town with only a handful of food and accomodation options.
TransCascadia Excursions is developing a campground in Westfir that will be a crown jewel when finished. Check their website to see if things have opened yet.
The Oakridge Trails Alliance does trailwork in the area and keeps these amazing trails alive.
One of my favorite swimming holes of all time is here in Westfir. My last trip was during a heavy duty heatwave and cooling off in the Willamette River was an awesome relief. Oakridge Greenwaters Park also has water access, but that fork of the river was deadly cold, even in 100° heat!
If you’ve got more time to spend in Oakridge, the Alpine shuttle should be the next one on your list. Dead Mountain and Larison Rock are both fun runs, but over a bit too quickly. Eula Ridge starts out with a pretty awful set of crazy steep and loose rock chutes but then turns into a flowy masterpiece where everything is built right and just works. Eula Ridge can be reached with the Hardesty Shuttle, but Cog Wild doesn’t even list the trail on their website, if that’s any indication.