The “two-season Aha!” – the realization that ski areas also make for killer bike riding – transformed the world of mountain biking. It’s not news any longer, of course, but there are some tucked-away oases of riding that you may not have explored, or even heard about. Anthony Lakes, outside Baker City, might be one of the best examples in Oregon.
In winter, Anthony Lakes Mountain Resort turns 300 inches of snow into incredibly scenic alpine runs and powder-perfect Nordic terrain. In summer, the scenery of the Blue Mountains is just as breathtaking, the trails are just as alluring, and the area draws in-the-know shredders from all around the Northwest.
The trail system includes the rolling pleasures of Nordic sections, as well as the tight-grip thrill rides of alpine. This route serves as a warm-up/intro/appetizer, the perfect opportunity for you to capture the area’s flow – hence the name. It’s straightforward: you can drive to the base of the resort, ride the new Broadway Flow Trail, and explore from there.
Baker City is marketed to year-round outdoor adventurers as Base Camp Baker, and that pretty much sums it up. This authentically Western town has historical architecture, a thriving downtown and a serious affinity for active visitors. Hit the Lone Pine Café for a hearty breakfast, and then head 35 miles northwest of town to the trailhead – at 7,100 feet, it offers both a cardio challenge and a welcome reprieve from summer temps.
As you start out, remember where you are – don’t bust out of the gate only to be gasping after 200 yards. You’ll be starting with a two-mile climb that includes a couple steep pitches, so pace yourself and let your lungs and heart and legs acclimate a bit. Because after this stout start, you want something left for the downhill treats.
You’ll top out at nearly 8,000 feet, and then plunge down through a series of berms and rollers that will help you modulate speed to your liking. Try to get a glimpse or two of the views, although dropping 800 feet in a hurry may capture your entire attention the first time through.
It’s a short lap that will go by fast, so use the first time ’round to get a feel for the trail, then take it a little faster the second time… and then get creative on the third – there are tons of options to fill your day. Once you’ve mastered the Broadway Flow, check out the rockier singletrack terrain available on some of the other short connectors (cross-country trails in winter). Grind some granite and glide through high-meadow loam as you work out the puzzle of the route system. There’s plenty to challenge your legs while the rest of you takes in the views and fresh mountain air.
When you’ve had your fill of riding, chase a different kind of fill at Barley Brown’s brewery in the heart of downtown. You’re likely to be quaffing next to some fellow adventurers; you can swap tales and wind down from a great day.
Early summer through fall is the usual riding season, but call the resort to confirm the snowpack-dependent timing.
Broadway Flow Trail Loop