When you think of mountain biking in Oregon, you think of Bend with its hundreds of miles of singletrack from your doorstep, the backcountry of Oakridge and its thousands of feet of descending, and Oregon’s crown jewel: the McKenzie River Trail. But does Mount Hood ring a bell? What about Hood River? Maybe for year-around skiing and kite boarding, yes, yet the curiously arcane collection of mountain bike trails found throughout the Mount Hood region are some of the best Oregon has to offer, often overshadowed by the likes of the aforementioned classic destinations. While Hood-area trails don’t light up most rider radars, they remain some of Oregon’s best kept singletrack secrets… until now!
Mount Hood is one of several volcanic peaks within the Cascade Arc overshadowing an expansive range of moderately-elevated land, and is also the highest point in Oregon at 11,250 feet. The Mount Hood Scenic Byway (U.S. 26) connects Portland, Oregonians an hour away, where snow-goers enjoy lift access year-round, climbers can summit the lofty peak and, more recently, mountain bikers can recreate on a number of trail systems beginning approximately 23 miles west of Mount Hood along the corridor and on up through to the Hood River Valley some 50 miles northeast of the mountain.
The city of Hood River, OR is located smack-dab in the middle of the Colombia Gorge to the northeast of Mount Hood at the confluence of the Hood and Columbia Rivers and (unless you’d rather get weird in Portland) serves as the epicenter of food, drink, lodging, bike shopping, and off-camber fun to mountain bikers, kite surfers, and all manner of outdoorsy-types.
And, sufficeth to say (for now), there’s a grip-ton of riding all over this area!
If you live and ride in Northern Oregon, you know the mountain biking bliss that exists in the Mount Hood region. If you don’t, you need to. Whether new to the area, just visiting, or looking for your next bike-cation, stay tuned as I set out this summer to prove Mount Hood and the Hood River-area worthy of everything from a day to a week-long destination, in a series of articles called: “The Hood Report.”
In no specific order, here’s a sneek peak of some of the trails and trail systems on which I hope to report on:
- Post Canyon
- Timberline to Town
- Surveyor’s Ridge
- Knebal Springs
- Sandy Ridge
- …and more!
As a recent transplant to the Portland area, my primary motivation for exploring Mount Hood-area trails is somewhat self-serving, but I’ve also found many of these trails poorly documented or, in some cases, not documented at all in the Singletracks trail database–an issue I hope to rectify over the course of my exploration.
There are approximately 10 trails or trail systems on which I will report, and you can find them on an overview map at the beginning of this article, and with each individual article to come. We will roll out the first half, along with this introduction piece, over the course of one week, while the latter half of trails will follow later this season.
Follow my findings and join in on the conversation (and riding!) as I shed some light on Oregon’s singletrack in the shadows, featured this summer in #TheHoodReport series.