Category Archives: Dirt Bike
Jordan Creek March 30, 2013
Nostalgic of our first dirt bike ride in the PNW early spring 2009. It was warm, no dust, perfect conditions.
37 Stick In The Nose- The trail had been recut recently. More switch backs and less straight up. It was a nice warm up. Tried to take 103 Purple Bug Stump down, but couldn’t find it so we went down the way we came.
39 Spaur Creek, bermy with trees and small hills.
84 Jordan Creek- Mostly fast and open, same as always. It goes into the trees a couple times but mostly follows the Creek.
29 Morrels Maze- We looked for this before with out luck, but this time we finally found it. Brand new freshly cut trail. It looked as if only 10 bikes had been there before us. The very narrow trail hugged the mountainside. The area was an old growth graveyard of stumps and fallen trees. The new canopy was dense enough to provide deep woods feel even in early spring. It was all first and second gear, technical, but not too crazy. I could ride it with out it just being damage control.
28 Archers Firebreak and assorted side trails. Fun up-hills mostly going east to west. Big jumps, big puddles, rocks…better than I remember.
We missed 77 Payne, but Morrels Maze was better anyway and I needed to conserve energy for Buzzards
35 Buzzards Point- Riding this early spring, there are no leaves on the trees. You can see extremely well how steep the grade is, like very straight down. It has seemingly endless tight switchbacks, rocky down. It’s hard to manage at the end of the first ride of the season. My punny little muscles were giving out, but it was worth it.
We were so hot and sweaty when we returned to the van (yeah, in March), we jumped in the mountain snow melt freezing cold river, perfect ending to a great ride.
Remember to check with the Hood River County Forestry Department 541-387-6888 before going out to ride at Post Canyon at Mt Hood. It closes to OHV due to fire hazzards.
We started at Post Flats staging area on the north side. The surface is soft ball sized volcanic rock that was a little rough on Stanley. On the way out we noticed a couple dirt bikers with cars and small trailers staging by the mountain bikers probably for this reason.
The single track was nice, but there was not much of it. One loop was less than 20 miles. It was mostly loamy dirt. There was only one small rocky section. No gnarly hill climbs.
We tried to stay on single track because the quad trails were wide, point and shoot, and not so fun.
115 > 140 some parts of 140 were very new with very tight turns and the dirt not packed down.
160 to the Binns Hill Staging Area
crossed the road and took 180 > 173 > 170 the end of 170 got a bit rocky.
turned around and did 170 back
180 >160 >130>133>140> other leg of 115L back to the parking lot
130 across the parking lot>112loop>130 west out and back>137>130>parking
Post Canyon is good option if you don’t have a lot of time. If you want to make it a decent length ride you would have to do two loops unless you like quad trails.
270>Cat Creek Campground>118>back 118>271>back 271>270
Blue Lake Campground only had one other camper when we arrived Saturday morning. We were prepared to camp off campground due to the obnoxious campers we encountered at East Fort Rock, but the road clung to a mountainside, there was nowhere to pull off the road. Oddly, Blue Lake campground was almost deserted on a holiday weekend. After unloading and setting up camp, we hit the trails around noon.
We started on a route recommended route; 270>118>276>272> back down 270. The quad trail 270 was surprisingly good. There were some small elevation changes, lots of turns (unlike EFR), a little rocky, some mountainside hugging, but not too much. At Cat Creek Campground we lost the trail for a little while. This is where the quad/dirtbike families camp and there are splinter trails everywhere. Kids were doing endless laps around the campground. We finally found Hamilton Mountain trail and started heading up.
118 had loamy dirt and narrow goat trails etched into the side of the mountain. Along the way someone told us the trail was snowed in a bit higher up so we knew we wouldn’t make the loop. It didn’t matter much because this trail was so good, going back the way we came would be fun too. At one point I decided to stop to take photos of some wild flowers. After securing my bike, I turned around and was shocked by a stunning view of Mt St Helens. I didn’t know it was behind me.
We hit snow and turned around.
Quad trail 271 also made a loop to our campground. Besides the usual amazing greatness it had some tight switchbacks with big rocks on every exit, baseball size gravel trails, a downed tree. 271 was also snowed in but this time we tried to plow through a couple snow banks and made it about another mile before giving up and turning around at a beautiful mossy creek. Snow is fun! I thought this trail was a bit on the more difficult side until I saw a group of 7ish year olds on the way down. I didn’t know what to make of it. On one hand child endangerment on the other these kid must be incredible riders. With their small wheels the rocks must be like boulders.
We took 270 get back to the campground. We road hard for 6 hours. There were no straight flat sections to relax on. You had to pretty much be on it the whole time. I was so exhausted I was hallucinating.
Saturday night there was only one new camper. I think none of the yahoos were at Blue Lake campground because it is paved. No dirt for kids to do laps on. What luck.
270>272>back 272>270> across road from North Fork Campground>back.
We thought we would try to go up from the opposite direction on the recommended trails. We took 270 to 272. The trails were narrower, the rocks were bigger, and the drop-offs were steeper. We got up into the clouds where it was dark and cool. I was getting a little more used to the rocks and the extreme heights, but at some point it got a lot harder or maybe I was tired from the previous day. I had to turn around. Going down was a lot easier and faster than I expected.
At 270 we took a right. The trail to North Forks campground was whoopy and not too thrilling. Steve at his lunch on the bank of the North Fork Cispus river and I took photos. We decided to take the trail on the other side of rd 23 for a couple miles to check it out, and then turn around. At first it was flat but it had tight serpentine turns. About a half mile in, I had to stop. The forest seemed different. We were riding in old growth. I have been dying to do some hiking in old growth, but never imagined there would be dirtbike trails through it. We went for more that a few miles. The trail seemed to go up the base of the mountain and back down to the valley, narrow tricky and fun. Some of the best trails I had ever ridden, all through this primordial landscape.
Gifford Pinchot is about 2.5 hours from our house!
Super freaky dusty, more like flour than dirt. We just spread out a bit, which worked well enough. The freak dust had pea -sized pebbles mixed with graphite lube so slippery that it felt like snowboarding. Some hills were impossible. Video of Steve going uphill
The southern section of single track had a central “times square” that trails radiated out from and looped back. It had a bit of hills, ok flow, but the loops were short which was a little frustrating since were were trying to keep our distance from each other.
We had a bit of excitement trying to get from the Southern trails to the northern area. We couldn’t find the trails on the map and ended up doing a little bush whacking which was fun.
Toward the north, the trails got a lot better. It seemed like the trails were a little better planned out. The hills had switchbacks, the trails were more technical, there were a lot of rocks and less extra fine graphite powder. I was actually happy to see rocks. How strange. I like rocks, except what they do to my tires. I am missing a lot of knobbies.
We crossed a cool refreshing stream (Ditch Creek) on the way. Filled our camel backs. Had lunch.
Singletrack 160 was great; hills, rocks, boulders, deep woods. Wish I could remember more.
Then we hit quad trail 150 which was still a bit technical, burmy and good. We hit some unmarked that were not groomed=big logs. I practiced my wheelie over logs with some success. Back on 150 we had amazing lookout points, Mount Adams on one side and the town of Hood River and the Gorge on the other.
Single track 140 was a blast. A little narrow ledge clinging, boulder patches, hills.
Alas, we had to go home. I felt like we were just getting to the good stuff.
Sunday May 17
Margie threw Diamond Mill on the table for exploration. Trackmaster was not exactly familiar with the area, but he had been there before, which was more than the rest of us, so he became the navigator.
There were reports of trees down. I didn’t think much of it. A little adversity could be fun. But it was more like a tornado went through. Our first sign was a seemingly well-used quad trail that was interrupted, not by one tree, but a log pile.
The first trail we hit was 93 Mongos Canyon. It was rad: rocky up hills, tree dodging, ruts, and ledge clinging, not too steep. The many downed trees were cut.
Then we traversed to 76 Frankenstein. The trail narrow loamy single track carved into the mountainside. It looked amazing, but there were trees down. We got over the first 5 or so, sometimes having to carry the bikes over.
Margie’s throttle stuck. The ledge we were on was about 5 ft wide and she managed to stop it leaning into mountainside. 20 ft down the trail was a 90-degree turn. If you didn’t make it, straight down you would go.
We had a nice break on the trail while the Steves took a look at the throttle issue.
After that we decided to head back out of Frankenstein. I think we had only made it a 1/2-mile, but spent a couple hours there.
There was a little mix up on the way to the next trail. Trackmaster went one way and Margie went the other. We ending up catching Trackmaster and going Margie’s direction. I started up only to find Mos and Ken stuck in the trail, we 3 went back down. Trackmaster came down, and said Margie was in his way, that’s why he didn’t make it. He did not make it the second time either. Turns out, Margie was the only one who could make it up the hill. Mos theorized her throttle stuck to comfort his brused ego. Hilarious! Nice job Margie.
We encountered more armies of white trees down mostly perpendicular as we headed down a two track toward another trail. At first it was fun, we could get around, over, under most. Then we came to another huge impassable log pile.
Plan B was a quad trail (not sure, maybe 97 Old Cedar Creek?) It had many drainage jumps and it was clear of trees with very few rocks. Fun and fast.
It seamed like we did a lot of searching, turning back, getting unstuck etc, but what a great problem to have. There are so many trails out here, it is impossible to know them all or be able to gauge the condition of the trails.
On the way back we stopped Outazablue Market and Café (56625 NW Wilson River Hwy, Gales Creek, OR 97117) for lunch. It is a multi cultural urbany restaurant in the backwoods. Their signage doesn’t express well what is inside. I‘ve driven by quite a few times and not even noticed it. The Chef and Owner Gabriel Barber bakes his own ciabatta, and had homemade dolmas that looked amazing. Looks like everything is made from scratch, and very fresh. The waitress Sierra encouraged us to customize according to our likes and dislikes.
We went riding with Margie at Jones Creek about 45 minutes from our house. It has 3 main loops A, B, and C.
Loop A was about 4 miles. It was very muddy on the day we went. They put hallow cement blocks in the trail to mitigate erosion, so it was like an almost paved ATV trail. The A look looked very over used and sort of a mess. Looks like the trails were built for quads. I am told that there is single track if you know were to go.
The C Loop was a little less traveled still quad like, but had a couple good steep uphill rocky sections. At the top of the hill we tried to find some single track and ended up bush whacking. Which was all good and fun until a stick punctured Margie’s radiator hose. We pushed her bike out of the woods and luckily there was an access road that went down the hill to the parking lot. We coasted for miles. Eventually the road flattened out. Luckily Margie had a tow strap. I towed her to the parking lot.
Meeting Margie was the best part. It’s great to meet other women that ride and especially a good rider like Margie. We have both been riding for about the same amount of time and we ride at a similar pace. I think we will have a lot of fun this summer.