One of the best places ride OHVs in Oregon is the John’s Peak/Timber Mountain OHV Area in Jacksonville, near the city of Medford.
The area offers some 600 miles of trails winding through 14,000-plus acres. Can you get lost? Yes, but the chances are minimal because many of the trails and roads eventually form a loop. If you’re reasonably competent at navigating in the woods, there’s always a trail or road to lead you back to where you started.
Riding the trails offers some great discoveries like hidden log cabins, abandoned mines, ditches built by Chinese laborers to supply miners with water, and old lumber mill sites. From the top of the John’s Peak you can see all the way to California. There are many canyons that provide great photo ops. Plus, deer and coyote are common sights, and you may see an occasional cougar or bear.
A trailhead is located on the property of AMA-chartered club the Motorcycle Riders Association. Do you need to be a club member? No, but after enjoying jthe area you may want to join the club. Annual memberships, from Jan. 1 through Decd. 31, are $25 for an individual or $30 for a family at motorcycleridersassociation.org.
The MRA realized many years ago that the federal Bureau of Land Management wasn’t going to actively develop trails or staging areas for OHV recreation. So the club bought 220 acres of property in the area for enthusiasts to use.
To get to the MRA property, take state Highway 238 West from Medford, through Jacksonville to Jacksonville Reservoir Road. On Jacksonville Reservoir Road, travel about a quarter mile past the reservoir and you come to an area with parking on either side of the road. This is 40 acres of MRA property. The club’s other 180 acres, which includes trailheads and parking lots, is 2 miles further up the road (bear right at any forks in the road).
The trails are open year-round except when closed by fire restrictions, which is usually late August to early October. Primitive camping is allowed.
Oregon ATV stickers are required for motorcycles as well as ATVs but are a bargain at $10 for two years. They are available at store.oregonstateparks.org. Oregon will also recognize valid ATV permits from adjoining states.
Medford has motels, restaurants and other businesses you may need.