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Green Ridge Lookout Loop Professional Review and Guide
"This loop includes a short out-and-back to Green Ridge Lookout Tower. The ride is difficult due to its length and the long, steady climb to Green Ridge. Clear days allow good views of Three Sisters, Mount Washington, Three Fingered Jack, Mount Jefferson, and the Metolius River Basin. The trail is soft with pumice dust. This ride begins near the headwaters of the Metolius River, approximately 17 miles north of Sisters."
--Laurie & Chris Leman, Mountain Bike! Oregon (Menasha Ridge Press).
The Green Ridge starts just north of Black Butte, a prominent volcano northwest of Sisters. The ridge parallels the Metolius river. This wonderful stream starts at the northwest base of Black Butte, 2000 '' below the crest of the ridge. The landscape is stunning, with a copper blue river gushing out of the ground, glacial coated Cascade vocanoes on the west and giant cinamon colored ponderosas covering the valley floor.
The ride begins with a car shuttle south up a small paved road from the valley floor on the east side of the Metolius river. Just where the road crests on the ridge top and with Black Butte symetrically ascending in the background (on the Deschutes brewery''s Black Butte Porter bottles) there is a trailhead that zigzags its way up the manzanita covered slope that is the start of the Green Ridge. After 1 to 2 miles of mild climbing on this trail, the rider is facing north with her back toward Black Butte. Stay leftward toward the steeper side of the ridge with the Metolius river on the left. This ride meanders single trek with occasional links of fire roads through old clear cuts, meadows, old growth and some aspen groves. Occasionally, one gets a glimpse of Mt. Jefferson or one of the smaller Oregon volcanoes across the Metolius river valley below. Eventually, the trail comes to a wonderful fire lookout perched on the side of a cliff with the glaciers of Mt. Jefferson seemingly touchable they are so clear from this sight! On a particularly clear day, one may see Mt. Hood to the north, the Three Sisters to the south with Mt. Washington and Three Fingered Jack between the major cones. From the fire lookout, one takes a dirt road farther north (perhaps 2 miles) before coming to an intersection where an east-west road intersects. Go west (left) over the clear cut areas until the grade slopes downward and makes a 2000 ft. drop back to the Metolius river''s lower bridge campground.
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