For some warm-up laps that wind through open lands and Ponderosa pines, consider a make-your-own/out-and-back trail or loop, starting and ending at the main trailhead for the Blue Mountain National Recreation Trail. It’s the trailhead with large parking area off Blue Mountain Road. It’s accessed off Hwy 93 (Brooks), after turning right on Blue Mountain Road, taking a hard left at a ½ mile and dead-ending into the parking area as Blue Mountain Road makes a hard right and continues to Maclay Flat.
After parking, you can ride your bike on Trail 3.04 heading southwest. Follow Trail 3.04 for a couple miles until it ends at Forest Service Road No. 365 (Gate #2), which is also the trailhead for the Hayes Point and Deadman Ridge trails (the latter also leads to the Blue Mountain Lookout). Return to the parking area on Trail 3.04.
But for an easier ride and loop, take Trail 3.04 out of the parking area until you see Trail 3.07 on your right. Take that trail back toward the parking area until you meet Trail 3.09. Take a right on Trail 3.09 and follow it until it meets back up with Trail 3.04. Make a left and follow this back to the parking area. If you still have some juice left, try a reverse loop for a change of scenery.
For a nice heart-pumping, out-and-back ride along a scenic creek and cedar trees, the Hayes Point Trail will offer a great afternoon leg-burner. The only drawback to this trail is that it’s shared with ATVs, motorbikes, equestrians and hikers, so you may want to try this trail during off-hours or during the week.
Start at the trailhead off Forest Service Road No. 365 at Gate #2 (approximately three miles from Blue Mountain Road). This is where you will want to park and start/end the loop. The first part of the ride is to bike about a mile further up Forest Service Road No. 365 until you see a clear singletrack trail leaving the road to your left. This will take you to Trail 6.01 and up to Hayes Point. It is a steep technical climb with lots of ruts up to Hayes Point (elevation 4,754 feet).
When you reach the top, take a break and enjoy the view. As you start your descent, stick to the left as much as possible on Trail 6.01. The trail down is technically a loop, but it touches the trail you took going up in a couple spots. When you reach the bottom, where Trail 6.01 meets the unofficial singletrack, you’ll see that Trail 6.01 heads south towards Hayes Creek. Follow the trail to and along the creek, and then back to the trailhead where you parked. This is a great downhill ride among some of the most scenic sections of Blue Mountain Recreation Area. Overall ride is 5+ miles.
For an endurance-style day of mountain biking, a popular Deadman Point/Blue Mountain Lookout combo will quench your thirst for sore quads. A part out-and-back, part loop mixture of trails, this 10+ mile ride will take you to two top viewpoints in the Blue Mountain Recreation Area.
Starting at Gate #2 on Forest Service Road No. 365 (see above description), look for Trail 6.01 out of the parking area (about .10 miles from the road). Take this trail to Trail 6.02 on your left. This trail will take you across Hayes Creek and toward Deadman Point (elevation 4,005 feet). After crossing Hayes Creek, you’ll pass by three trail intersections, all leading off on your right (6.05, 6.08, 6.02, respectively). Stick to your Trail 6.02 until you reach Deadman Point. You’ve now traveled about 2.75 miles.
Now to make your way to Blue Mountain Lookout. Follow Trail 6.02 back the way you came until you meet the first trail intersection, which is actually Trail 6.02 splitting off to the left, take this trail until it meets up with Trail 6.08 on your left. Take Trail 6.08 to Trail 6.05, also on your left, and follow it past its intersection with Trail 6.07 until you reach the Blue Mountain Lookout (roughly two miles past this last intersection).
Enjoy the view from the Lookout and then get ready to ride back to the start. Take Trail 6.05 to Trail 6.07 on your left, then continue on Trail 6.07 for a short distance until it meets up with Trail 6.05 again. At the next intersection, make a left on Trail 6.02, which will take you back across Hayes Creek and back to Trail 6.01 and back to the trailhead. For most of this ride you may be sharing the trails with motorbikes, other cyclists, hikers and equestrians, so please use caution.