From the Larison Creek TH, this trail is basically river grade with some rolling. Nothing steep for very long. I just got back from riding this trail (Jan 6,03) and it was in pretty poor shape. Lots of streams and small creeks washing out the trail. There are many exposed roots and in the wet climate, it was very slick with many 'washouts'. I suggest riding this trail in the summer months. If you have ever ridden the McKenzie trail, you will know what I mean about roots and rocks. As far as technical rating, this trail has many challenges because of the washed out areas and the sharp switchbacks at the West end of the trail. Because it is relatively flat, any rider can negotiate the route, but there will be places where dabbing or dismounting will be a must.
As an out and back, you will get a definite workout. I rode it as a loop. I parked at the dam and rode back to 2102 Road. Paved climb for two miles then jct off to the left on road 101. This is a gravel road with very little use. At approximately 10.5 miles, the TH begins. Making the road ride, trail, then road 21 back to the dam made a nice combination of all riding fun.
This is a very beautiful trail because it's mossy, in old growth timber and you skirt along Larison Creek 80% of the time. Very serene and didn't appear to be heavily used. Ride hard, or ride home. Kevin
From Oakridge, travel East on Highway 58 to Hills Creek Res/Lake. Forest Service Road 21. Travel approximately 2.5 miles to Larison Cove/Creek Turnout. There is a trail marker on 21 and it will be the first time there is water on both sides of Road 21.
If you opt for making this a loop ride, park at the dam and ride back to Road 2102. It is 1/4 mile back from the dam. See the trail description below for loop information.
Out and back is 13 miles. As a loop from the dam, 19.3 miles
Summary: Rode this trail today to avoid riding the usual muddy suspects as the snow level begins to ascend. Thought it would be a good ride, but not spectacular having heard this was a fairly beginner friendly type ride. But boy was I wrong. This trail was simply amazing. I couldn't believe it. A good portion of the trail was quite rideable. Lots of roots and rocks give it just enough technical aspect to make it a challenge up and down. Some short but steep sections that were just barely doable were nice. Some walking sections towards the end (I am not sure even No Way Hans Rey himself could make those switchbacks).
It's mid April here and its been a particularly wet and wild (read AWFUL) PNW winter (well, the latter half hasn't been so great at least) and including the downpour we had today, this trail had held up remarkably well!
Not only was this a fantastic trail, both up and down, but it was in a very beautiful, serene forest with shots of the cove, some mild old growth and earlier and earlier successional forests as you ascended to the top!
Recommended Route: Climb up trail from parking lot to the top (gravel road). Don't be afraid to take breaks or walk. The downhill is very rewarding and you'll be surprised that you can clean some things you saw on the way up and thought to yourself, boy is this going to be a tough one going down.
Other recommended trails in the same area: Middle Fork, Larison Rock, Heckletooth, so many great trails near by.
Summary: Just rode this trail. It is fairly easy from a technical and cardiovascular standpoint for the first segment, but then it begins to climb and there are numerous obstacles that were fairly difficult, especially when uphill. The trail was in good condition, though not spectacular. At the western end of the trail, there is a series of switchbacks that are very difficult to navigate going downhill, so I ended up walking the last mile or so. I am riding SS, but I doubt anyone is clearing much with gears. Overall it was a very good ride, challenging enough to improve riding skills and hard enough to get a very good workout. Even the poison oak wasn't terrible.
Recommended Route: Drive to the parking lot and do an out and back. What you didn't clean on the uphill might be redeemed on the return journey.
Other recommended trails in the same area: Middle Fork, Alpine, Tire Mtn., Goodman, Northshore... the list goes on and on...
Review Date January 6, 2003
Overall Rating 3 of 5
Ridden Trail: Ridden Once
Visitors rate this review 1.00 of 5,
Reviewed by: Kevin Lyons
, from Oakridge, OR
Summary: See trail description above
Recommended Route: See the above description for the routes.
Other recommended trails in the same area: Larison Rock Trail