For many years, Hood River has been known for its kiteboarding and windsurfing scene, as wind enthusiasts scramble to the Columbia River to pump the adrenaline. But Hood River is also an excellent mountain biking destination, with a huge variety of mountain biking trails for any season.
In the springtime, a top choice for mountain biking is Post Canyon, located just southwest of Hood River. Post Canyon is a network of mountain biking trails that serpentine through forests, on top of ridges and alongside gurgling creeks. Gazing at a map, the maze of trails looks a lot like a plate of spaghetti—purely a function of so many amazing trails in the area!
Over the last decade or so, Post Canyon was known as the place to go for the freerider — advanced mountain bikers seeking challenging features such as wooden ladders, log rides and seesaws. Today, it has everything to please all types and levels of mountain bikers, such as tight singletrack, swoopy flow trails and gravel roads.
There are two main parking areas at the lower half of the canyon, which is a 10-minute drive from downtown Hood River. The Post Canyon Staging Area is the lowest parking area and the Seven Streams Staging Area is a little further up.
In early spring, park at Seven Streams to ride a sweet 8-10 mile loop with up to 1,500 feet of climbing. Take the Seven Streams Trail to the Family Man Staging Area, and then go up 8 Track Trail and Upper 8 Track. These trails that wind (very steeply at times) up forested hillsides will take you to the top of a ridge. From there, my favorite route back down is the Bad Motor Scooter Trail. Not only does it have a stellar name, but it is also a stellar descent. Meticulously built, this is a classic Northwest flow trail with sweeping berm corners, tabletop jumps, fun whoop-dee-doos and fast flowing sections. Be sure to keep your speed in check while whooping it up on this trail.
If you are looking to improve your skills or have adventurous mountain biking kids, the Family Man Staging Area is a superb skill-building hangout with man-built challenges for every level. From here, you can also access a multitude of trails to suit your desire.
Later in the season, after the snow melts, the upper elevation trails open up, taking you all the way up to Kingsley Reservoir at 3,200 feet. Ambitious riders can do a longer out-and-back ride or loop, starting at the bottom of Post Canyon. Or check out Hood River Adventures to get a shuttle to the reservoir. From there, it is about 12 miles of downhill fun.
The Post Canyon trail network has expanded wonderfully over the years, thanks to the Hood River Area Trail Stewards who log hundreds of volunteer hours in planning, designing, building and maintaining these trails. Several new trails are currently being built in partnership with the Travel Oregon Forever Fund. Before you ride, be sure to check the Stewards’ Facebook page for the current trail conditions.