Trail One List: Spence Mountain
TWO DAYS OF ALL-OUT FUN
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.
It is the joy of my life to get blown away by a previously unknown trail system with a couple positive reviews. Spence Mountain has flown under the radar for too long, this place is a must-ride destination in Klamath Falls, Oregon.
Spence is broken up into the north side and the south side. The north has the tough, techy fun that somehow still flows. There are some extra spicy rock gardens, drops and pure jank that will put your tech skills to the test.
The Nighthawk trail is a true masterpiece. It's 2 miles long, descends about 1,000 feet and manages to feel ENDLESS. It is just sublime to see NO WASTED ELEVATION. If this trail was built 10 years ago it would point straight downhill and would be a rutted mess after three seasons. Instead you've got a WICKED ride that is so much more fun and sustainable than old school fall line garbage.
North Ridge trail spices things up quite a bit more, and I wouldn't argue if it had double black diamond trail rating. I think the best day on the north side would be spent riding Nighthawk then North Ridge and then Nighthawk again.
The south has the high speed, machine built super speedway action. If you’re an intermediate rider, stick to the south side and you’ll have a great day. The Hooligan trail had some fun bits and pieces, but if you want to squeeze the most fun out of your day just do two laps on Speed King and ride the lightning the whole way down.
Spence Mountain has two different parking lots. If you're riding the north side, park in the Shoalwater Bay lot, if you're riding the south side you should park near the highway. The "lappy" nature of the mountain means you are never too far from your car at the end of a run and it's easy to refuel after each descent.
There is a free camping area at Eagle Ridge County Park about 10 minutes north of the Shoalwater parking lot. It's not much of a park, but it does have a pit toilet, boat launch and 92 million mosquitos.
If you’re roadtripping from the San Francisco Bay Area and headed to Bend or Oakridge, Klamath falls is a great first stop along the way. Crater Lake is also along the way if you're heading north.