Ring of Fire debuted in 2021 to rave reviews, was canceled in 2022 due to regional fires, but returns in 2023. The name "Ring of Fire" refers to the Cascade Mountains and the volcanoes which are part of the 25,000-mile volcanic region of the Pacific Ocean basin. The event offers 53 miles and 5,000 ft of climbing on stunning single track just West of Bend, Oregon. The race is produced by Mudslinger Events and is part of the Oregon XC Series, six premier Oregon MTB events spanning April to September. In 2023, Ring of Fire is also a stop on the National Ultra Endurance Series (NUE) Epic Series. The team at Strambecco considers the Ring of Fire to be one of the Best Mountain Bike Events in the Northwest. Set against the mesmerizing backdrop of Bend, Oregon, the Ring of Fire event offers mountain bike enthusiasts a thrilling chance to bid adieu to the MTB season.
This event, often referred to as the sibling of the July High Cascades 100, promises an unforgettable racing experience. Late-season racing in Bend is always special, with optimal singletrack conditions and the crisp autumn air.
Event & Course Info
Mountain bikers looking for an exceptional challenge will find the Ring of Fire a captivating blend of terrain and tests. With a route boasting 53 miles, racers will be enveloped by breathtaking views of Mt. Bachelor and the surrounding woodlands of ponderosa pine, juniper, and fir. Starting at an altitude of 4,800 ft at Wanoga Snow Park, bikers will reach elevations as high as 7000 ft. It's a challenging yet deeply rewarding experience.
As you take on the course, there are strategically placed aid stations at mileages 16 (offering water and Hammer Nutrition), 26.5, and 37. However, racers need to be mindful of the cutoff times with the first aid station at Mile 26.5 closing by 1 pm and the second by 2:30 pm.
The race offers several categories including the Clydesdale for those over 200lbs, Singlespeed and U18. The top 3 in all 9 categories will be recognized, with cash prizes of $350, $250, and $150 for both men and women. There are limited spots available, with only 250 openings for this prestigious event.
But it's not just about the race. The Ring of Fire event also promotes community and sustainability. Every participant is encouraged to give back 8 hours of their time or funds annually to trail maintenance, emphasizing the importance of keeping the beloved trails in optimal condition.
Area Accommodations & Things to Do
The official hotel partner for the Ring of Fire is Hotel Peppertree located on the west side of Bend, while other options include The Row, Cabin 22, and full Mount Bachelor experience at The Mountain. Alternatively, tent and RV camping is available first come first serve at the start/finish venue of Wanoga Snow Park, or you can check out the Camp or Sun Outdoors as well as private one-of-a-kind camping spots. However, if you prefer a more home-like experience, there are many vacation rentals available that suit a variety of needs from downtown bungalows to modern homes.
Bend boasts a diverse culinary scene, marrying Pacific Northwest flavors with innovative twists, and is complemented by an array of craft breweries and local wineries that highlight the region's rich agricultural heritage. From gourmet food trucks to upscale dining establishments, Bend offers a gastronomic adventure set against its scenic mountain backdrop. Check out Eater's list of must-visit restaurants in Bend.
Bend is known as an outdoor mecca with stunning natural beauty and endless recreational opportunities whether you’re seeking adventure, scenic beauty, or simply a chance to connect with nature. For those who enjoy hiking, it is surrounded by a multitude of trails perfect for hiking and trail running, ranging from easy strolls to challenging climbs. The Deschutes River Trail, Tumalo Falls, Smith Rock State Park, and the Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway are just a few examples of popular spots.
Outside of the event itself, Bend has earned a reputation as a premier destination for mountain biking. Phil’s Trail Complex, Wanoga Trailhead, and the North Fork Trail are highly regarded, offering various levels of difficulty and stunning views.
Lastly, The Deschutes River, which runs through Bend, provides ample opportunities for outdoor water activities. Whitewater rafting, kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, and fly fishing are popular choices. The Bend Whitewater Park, located in the heart of the city, is a great spot for kayaking and river surfing.
Mudslinger Events was formed by Michael Ripley, an enthusiastic mountain biker who grew up in Eugene, Oregon. The organization brings people together to explore the gorgeous outdoor areas of Oregon. Having been run since 1987, Mudslinger Events brings back a vintage atmosphere to Mountain Biking and cross-country racing. They organize some of the best mountain bike and gravel race events in the United States, all taking place in the Northwest. The Oregon XC Series includes Mudslinger XC, Sisters Stampede, Oregon 24/12, High Cascades 100, and Ring of Fire.
Mudslinger also produces The Oregon Triple Crown Series, a series of 5 premiere gravel and mixes surface events: Oregon Coast Gravel Epic, West Coast Gravel, Oregon Gran Fondo, Sasquatch Duro, and Takelma Gravel Grinder. People interested in participating can register for each event separately or benefit from the OTC Series Pass, which includes price discounts, bike accessories, and prizes associated with the timed-event awards. These are also top events in the area and ones that the team at Strambecco considers to be some of the Best Gravel Cycling Events in the Northwest.
The NUE Epic Series is a world-class mountain bike endurance race series with a national calendar of 9+ races, bringing the best riders in the country to compete for the overall title. But of course, you can do these events all individually as you wish. NUE comprises an Epic Series, 100-mile events, and a Marathon series, which includes 50-mile and 75k length events. Strambecco rates all of the events here: True Grit 100/50, Cohutta 100 – Big Frog 65, Mohican MTB 100, Wilderness 101k, Telluride 100/50, Shenandoah 100, Marji Gesick 100/50, Ring of Fire, Big Grizzly 100/75, Carrabassett 100, and Pierre's Hole 50/100.
For multi-sport endurance athletes looking for other events in the state of Oregon and broader Northwest region, be sure to check out our full list of Strambecco Best in Class road, gravel cycling and trail running events.