Looking for some serious thrills and chills? Pretty proud of your bike-handling skills and lung power? Want to maybe spend some time outside your comfort zone? Well, then, we have a trail for you.
Baker City is a burgeoning mecca for adventure sports, a town surrounded by natural resources that really gets it – they welcome, support and celebrate visitors looking for an outdoor experience, and then offer them plenty of comforts for the rest of the day and night.
You can get a great ski-resort ride at Anthony Lakes Resort – or you can step up to this backcountry out-and-back trail that’s seriously rocky, challengingly steep and a true test of your technique.
Head out of Baker City and toward Anthony Lakes, hanging a left on forest road NF 7307 to the trailhead. Although you’re not “on the mountain” at the start, you’ll get there soon enough; you start at 5,000 feet, and the “out” part of this out-and-back involves nearly 3,000 feet of gain, spread over the first 8 miles.
While you’re climbing, pay attention to the details; this is a great chance to do some plotting of your lines for the “back” part of the ride – because, as you’ll see, the challenges keep coming.
The trail is rocky as all get-out, so that’s challenge number one (in both directions). It’s also a fast downhill that doesn’t give you a lot of time to decide your next move – challenge number two. And challenge number three? The trail’s narrow, with lots of tight switchbacks that demand your full-on focus.
Did we mention that it’s also a pretty trail, lined by larch trees? When you’re not crunching over rocks, you’ll be gliding on soft needles… not that you’ll have a whole lot of time to think about that. If you’ve done your homework on the way up, your descent will be fast and furious – and a whole lot of fun.
After an adrenalized adventure like this, you deserve a reward or two as you come back to earth. In town, check out Peterson’s Chocolates, where certified chocolatier Alyssa Peterson turns out an indulgent variety of treats – inside a high-end art gallery (but without the snob factor). Or swing by Sweet Wife Baking, where master baker Jenny Mowe will tempt you with an array of goodies. Or perhaps a stop at Glacier 45 Distillery for some refreshing beverages? If you’ve conquered Dutch Flat, you’ve earned all this and more.
Early summer through fall is the typical riding season.
Dutch Flat Out & Back