The NFFL starts with a steady climb were you cover most of the 2,800 ft in the first half of the ride. On the way up you pass 7 waterfalls as you parallel the North Fork of Tumalo Creek. The climb features lots of roots. The tread in general is hard pack and was a nice change from all the sand at Deschutes River. Obviously built with mountain biking in mind, the switchbacks are very wide and sweeping. It hardly feels like you are riding a switchback most of the time as the sweep is so gradual, it just feels like part of the climb. The climb was a good grind and offered some good technical challenges, but it was all doable and a great climb.
|1 of the 7 falls|
|if you only new how tricky this shot was...|
|imagine miles and miles of trail JUST like this|
Once on top of the ridge, the great views continued. The trail meandered through several high alpine meadows and around rocky peaks. Although less climbing on the ridge, the trail still had many up and downs to keep you sweating. Weather was much, much cooler up at 7k feet as evident by the frost on the creek crossing...keep the feet dry!
|view from the ridge|
|yes, the mountain is actually red|
|no shortage of fire wood|
|signs like these are at trailhead that go into the watershed areas|
Great ride, not an epic for me. The NFFL is a trail a little of the beaten path, and maybe one most visitors would overlook. Just keep in mind that Bend has many, many great trails, other than the Disneyland rides.