Two mountain bikers on a path

Biking Wagner Creek Trails

Tackle both wide, flowy trails and steep descents in southern Oregon’s backyard mountain biking haven.

Tucked into a valley about an hour south of Medford, Ore., the Wagner Creek Trail System boasts more than 65 miles of trail, 18 of which were designed with mountain bikes in mind. The layout lets you rocket down steep, twisty descents, then join up with wide, mellow forest service roads for the ascent back up. This area is still a bit off the radar, but its pristine forest, thoughtful trail-building, and proximity to nearby Ashland and Medford make it a hidden gem well worth a visit. 

Recommended Rides 

This compact network of trails offers dozens of route options. Here are some local favorites.


Expect steep switchbacks, big features, and a freeride style on this black-diamond trail. At the bottom, loop back to your car via forest service road NF-2040. 

Old Man

This fun, intermediate line starts near the end of the Wagner Creek Road. Follow it down via flowy turns and steep switchbacks, then either circle back via FS-2040, or continue down the Middle Earth Trail and use Wagner Gap Road to ascend. 

Fern Gulch

This intermediate-level line starts near the end of FS-2040, rolling downhill along a gentle contour to a short but steep set of switchbacks. It ultimately connects to the Middle Earth Trail, and shares the same ascent routes. 

Other Biking Nearby 

If you’re in the area for a weekend or more, consider heading to the Granite Trailhead at the south end of Ashland’s Lithia Park. This area offers several beginner-friendly out-and-backs, as well as a 25-mile-loop for endurance fiends. 

Getting There

The Wagner Creek trails are located between Bald Mountain and Wagner Butte, just southwest of Ashland. To get there from Medford, take state Route 99 south, exiting for Talent. Off the exit, hang a right, then an immediate left to hop on Talent Avenue. Turn right onto Main Street and go until you dead-end. Here, bear left (south) on Wagner Creek Road. Over the next 7.3 miles, you’ll take a few turns to stay on Wagner Creek Road. Then, you’ll reach a left-hand turn for NF-22. Take it. After about 3.6 miles, you’ll see the trailhead on your left. 

Refresh and Refuel 

When you’re done working up a sweat, cool off with a dip in the Granite Creek Reservoir, which you’ll pass on your right as you head back north toward home. Then, load up on sandwiches, wings, and craft brews at Gil’s, a colorful local restaurant in Ashland.  

More Info 

These trails are part of the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest. For trail closures and other updates, head to For more specific route details, check out the Rogue Valley Mountain Bike Association’s interactive trail maps.

All articles are for general informational purposes.  Each individual’s needs, preferences, goals and abilities may vary.  Be sure to obtain all appropriate training, expert supervision and/or medical advice before engaging in strenuous or potentially hazardous activity.