Closest Towns: Roseburg(1hr),Oakridge(2 HR), Eugene (2.5 hr)
Ride Format: Shuttle or out and back.
Trail Style: Backcountry Trail
Giggle Rating: ***
Physical Difficulty: Advanced to Gnarly.
Ideal Bike: Trail Bike
Wet Weather ?: Can be snowed out. Better ride on a nice summer day.
Overview: TDM could forgive you for wondering why one relatively short section of the Umpqua trail gets its own page when sick sections in bend (for example) don’t get any coverage on his pages at all. To this he will answer simply: this trail is f&*%ing rad, unique, and kind of sick on top of that. Sick in what way? Most ways. Starting high in the cascades in the lodgepole pine, spruce and meadow filled mesa around Lemlo lake, this trail cruises along an attractive path for several miles before plunging off the mesa and into the river gorge of the upper North Umpqua River. Epic waterfalls, check. Big trees, check. Crystal clear river and springs (sometimes running down the center of the trail for 30-100 yard sections), check. There is even a hot springs along the route. What there is not is a lot of resting, as the trail climbs and descends constantly along it’s path. There are a few pretty epic descent sections, but the technical nature, narrow tread, and sometimes precipitous cliffs keep one on their toes, and make this section a lot more work than a typical ride with this short a section and this much vertical loss. To summarize this summary, Dread and Terror is one of the most iconic sections of Oregon singletrack, but come prepared to work a bit as you pass through a surprisingly remote river canyon. Bring a camera, some good friends, and prepare yourself for one classic backcountry ride.
Pros: Utterly stunning scenery in a variety of sections, very remote, there is a hot springs near the end of the section.
Cons: The shuttle is kind of annoying, the remoteness is a problem if something goes poorly, the scene at the hotsprings can be a bit nuts, and sections of the trail are often very narrow, wet (even in summer) and/or in poor condition. In fairness, all of these attributes could be taken as positives, depending on your social inclinations.
Need to Know: Come prepared…very remote…you will have to walk out if something (or somebody) breaks. The section of trail above the dread n terror proper is actually pretty cool…recommended. The section of trail just below the hotsprings parking lot…not so much. Better to ride down the road for a short distance to pick up the trail at the next road bridge downstream of Umpqua Hot Springs. Linking this to the remainder of the Umpqua trail is a good push if done in a day. TDM recommends doing this section over the lowest 20-30 miles of the Umpqua…much more exotic.
Recommended Route Options
- Dread & Terror Shuttle; about 17 miles and 2500 feet vertical (2-4hrs): Start at the Dread and Terror TH just below Lemlo Lk, and ride downriver to the lower TH at the Umpqua Hot Springs, then descend the road a short distance to the next TH at a bridge. Cruise this short section to Tokatee Lake, and the end…for now. Add on the Deer Leap section ( below Tokatee) for a bit more!
- Top down From Kelsey Valley (about 24mi, 3000ft elevation (2.5-5 hrs): Start at the road bridge above Tokatee Lake and cruise this fun section to the start of the Dread & Terror section. Now drop this…worth it!
Links, Maps & Media
MTB project: http://www.mtbproject.com/trail/87559