Sunday, July 20, 2014

Surveyors Ridge Mountain Biking

On Sunday after a surprisingly peaceful sleep next to rumbling freight trains in our campground we got up late in the morning and headed into town for some breakfast at Egg River cafe.  It was pretty busy and we ended up eating at the bar in the back but the delicious food made up for it.  By the time we drove all the way to the trailhead for Surveyors Ridge it was early afternoon and I was little concerned about how long it would take us to ride the 20 miles back to the Prius we had parked at the lower trailhead, seeing that it had taken us nearly 8 hours to bike the 25 mile Mckenzie River trail just a few weekends prior.   Read on for more.

We started off at the same trailhead we had biked the Dog River Trail from the prior Fall.  It was hot out but not too hot and this time, unlike the Mckenzie, I had my Go Pro working for the ride.  This trail is famous in Oregon and this was our first time riding it.  It wasn't long on the trail before we began to get great views of Mt. Hood in the distance.  Although the trail descends a ridge on the flanks of Mt. Hood there wasn't much continuous downhill.  Except for the very end where there was a lot of downhill back to the car this ride was more rolling ups and downs.  No hard climbs or long descents and you could probably bike it in either direction without much of a problem.  

We cruised down the trail at a good speed and had plenty of time to stop at viewpoints along the way and explore several short side trails for views as well.  Near the end of the trail at an intersection of power lines we had a choice of biking down the road or biking up one last butte for a long descent down the backside and more single track.  We opted for the steep butte were forced to carry our bikes up the majority of it as the rocks were too loose to bike up.  

From the top we had great views over the Hood River valley, Mt. Hood and North to Mt. Adams and Mt. St. Helens.  The downhill from the butte wasn't fantastic and we actually missed the single track trail and ended up biking down a long gravel road anyway.  We did score some quick single track at the very end back to the car but I think if we were to bike it again we would skip the butte as the reward wasn't really worth the effort at the end of the long ride.  All told, it only took us 3.5 hours to bike the 18 miles of Surveyor's Ridge.  The trail had a few technical sections but was mostly smooth and easy.  

Because of the constant up and down it wasn't the most fun shuttle run but it was definitely worth an afternoon ride.  From there it was a quick drive back to Portland after yet another great weekend a year later in Hood River.  We even made in back in time for some impromptu and hilarious beach volleyball with Arley, Katie, Brian, Anna and Nate.

No comments: