This ride can be started from several different trail heads but Swampy Lakes is most convenient from Sunriver and allows you to end on an amazing descent you will be replaying in your dreams for weeks.
Start out on a gentle climb out to Swampy Shelter, a couple miles from the trailhead. From there you will descent the blistering fast South Fork trail. The steep gradient of this 3 mile descent makes it a local favorite. When the blur of tree trunks wizzing by subsides at the bottom of the Tumalo Creek Canyon, you will find yourself at Tumalo Falls. Many make the drive out just to see this monster waterfall but you are going to ride up stream and see 10 more falls as you grind up, in my opinion, the most enjoyable climb in Central Oregon. The trail is relatively steep but very rideable and stays in the canyon close to the icy waters of Tumalo creek keeping it cool on even the hottest days. You will soon reach Happy Valley, and idyllic meadow full of wildflowers and songbirds, complete with a picturesque creek running through the middle of it all. From there, the climb continues on the Metolius-Windigo trail through ancient fir, spruce and hemlock forest until it reaches the alpine meadows below Broken Tops jagged peaks. Traverse these meadows and one more short climb brings you to the top of one of the choice pieces of single track in the land. The Flagline descent is the stuff dreams are made of. A 4 mile ripping descent brings you back to the Swampy shelter and an easy pedal back out to the car. This ride is nearly 25 miles and has lots of climbing. It takes many groups as much as 6 hrs so bring food and lots of water. This loop as described includes the Flagline trail which is closed until August 13th to protect elk calving habitat. Much of the ride can be done before this short section opens. If you visit before mid August, come by the shop and we can show you how to make enjoyable loops in the area while respecting trail closures. Bringing a map is pretty much mandatory for this one as there are many turns.