BEN’S TRAIL LUNCH LOOP
Ben’s > MTB > Kent’s > KGB > Phil’s
Length: 7 mile loop | Difficulty: Easy | Technically easy to intermediate/Aerobically intermediate
This isn’t the longest Central Oregon mountain biking trail, or the toughest, or the most scenic. It’s not the most photographed, or technical, or popular. But it is, for me, one of the most fun.
This collection of trail sections is my “go-to” loop after work whenever I can get out after work (which is tough these days with a newborn baby girl). It’s the perfect lunch loop, sunrise ride or when I want to crank out a short ride before I waste away on the couch during college football season. (I’ve ridden the trail snow free in just about every month of the year.)
It’s a short loop of about 6.5 miles that can be ridden in under 45 minutes. And don’t let the multiple names scare you. The trails are very well marked at checkpoints throughout – one of the best parts of the Phil’s Trail system.
This loop starts with a relatively flat, flowy 1.4 mile stretch from the parking lot at Phil’s trail through the trees (including a couple of really narrow openings) and up a couple small climbs to the intersection with MTB. Most riders hang a right and continue up Ben’s trail, a really fun section of the complex in its own right.
Before You Go:
- Be prepared. Flat tires happen, so have an extra tube, pump and patch kit in your pack.
- Be alert. Several trails are now “one way” so be sure to pay attention to the trailhead markers before you head out.
- Know the rules. Uphill riders have the right of way. If you’re descending, pull off to the trail and let them through with a smile and some encouragement.
- Bring water. There’s a vault toilet at the trailhead, but no running water nearby.
I like to hang a left on to MTB. In about two years of heavy riding this 1.1 mile stretch of trail, I’ve probably encountered three other people. It’s mostly flat singletrack until you get to a little more technical, but fun downhill section. My wife, a novice rider, is able to go down this part, but my 10-year-old son has had to walk his bike.
From here, you can hang a left on Kent’s back to the trailhead for a short and fast 4.2 mile loop, which is what I usually do with my son.
By myself, I usually take a right and head up Kent’s, which includes a pretty steep climb that I use to gauge my strength and fitness level. When I first started doing this particular ride, I had to use my granny gear and stop halfway up the climb. But these days I can get up the climb in my middle ring and keep going once I reach the intersection near the top.
At the intersection you can turn right and stay on Kent’s and add a few more miles as you venture deeper into the woods. But I usually veer left on to KGB for the short remainder of the climb then down to the popular Flaming Chicken mountain biking roundabout. (It’s where four trails merge together.)
From here, it’s just a mile and a half on Phil’s back to the trailhead.
One of the best parts of the Phil’s Trail system is that you can combine sections of trails to create your own favorite loop – whether it’s 5 miles or 25 miles. Stop by or The Hub in Bend to grab a map – then set out on your own adventure.