Okay. Here it is! Oregon’s North Umpqua Trail! The legendary NUT! Raw, remote, real. Stretching from the High Cascades to the lower reaches of the Umpqua River, this IMBA Epic Trail provides a much greater variety of terrain and difficulty levels than the most well-known river trails in the West. And check out Oregon’s Annual Great Umpqua NUTcracker race, and MTB Invitational on this hidden gem of raw trail adventure.
This epic, 78-mile, east-west single-track brings mountain bikers and hikers from all over the world. Highly challenging but with many trailheads to provide access, the North Umpqua Trail can be chewed on in big bites of 20 miles or more or nibbled at in shorter rides depending on how much time and skill you have. Remember to Share the NUT because, as you ride, you will occasionally come upon hikers or other folks biking. Be ready for these encounters and be respectful so everyone can arrive home safely.
Parts of the NUT are challenging for even the most experienced mountain bikers. Make sure your gear and skills can match the terrain and season. Check with Canyon Creek Bicycles in Roseburg or our local mountain bike club, Land of Umpqua Mountain Bike Riders (LUMBR), if you want to talk to experienced riders. And check in with the Forest Service or Bureau of Land Management offices that manage the NUT to find out if some segments might be closed due to fire activity or recovery efforts. Or which ones are especially dangerous due to rockfall or soil movement.
At the eastern end of the NUT, you can connect to Oregon’s north-south, rough-and-rocky Oregon Timber Trail. So, serious riders have many options for cycling across Oregon in the most challenging ways.
All along the NUT are parking areas, Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management facilities and campgrounds, and toilets. Some are available at NUT trailheads. Others are across bridges spanning the North Umpqua River at trailhead locations. And if you need supplies, you can ride to the few stores and restaurants located along Route 138 if you want to leave the NUT for awhile.
The NUT is accessible from many directions and roads. For example, if traveling along I-5, drivers can take Oregon Exit 30 at Medford and follow signs to Crater Lake and then the Diamond Lake area with the start of the NUT nearby. Or, drivers can take Exit 124 in Roseburg and follow Route 138 east, or take Route 97 from Bend to Route 138. Of all the routes, the scenery and riverscape along Route 138 from Roseburg to the Diamond Lake area are the most dramatic and beautiful; it’s a state and federally designated Scenic Byway. That route from I-5 along 138 also parallels the NUT and provides the best access to the various trailheads and NUT segments.
Parking can be limited at the trailheads. And there’s generally no shuttle service between trailheads unless you are riding with an outfitter. So, cyclists should plan their pick up arrangements before arriving at their drop-off point.