Hood River/St. Helens- awesome muni


Just curious whether others on this newsgroup have ridden at the Hood River or Mt. St. Helens areas. I just got back from two days of riding there and I have to say it was among the best places I’ve ridden. Near Hood river there are some very good, hard, North Shore style trails, a lot with huge gap jumps that aren’t uni friendly but some with some fun hard skinnies and uni friendly gap/drops too.

And at Mt. St. Helens I did one of the most visually spectacular rides I’ve done in the U.S. It’s called the Smith Creek Loop, about 50 km singletrack and 2000 metre vert climbing/descending, plus about 12 extra km and 300 m vert. on roads you have to do right now because of a washout. The ride takes you up onto the flanks of Mt. St. Helens, across an alpine ridge below the 1980 blast zone, where you can see trees tossed like matchsticks from the eruption. You pass by Spirit Lake, which was filled with debris during the eruption (still has thousands of trees floating in it) and then ride down a valley across one of the enormous lahars (mudflows) that occured during the eruption. In total it was about an 8 hour ride including the road section, with a few steep bushwack sessions in the lower valley due to other trail washouts.

Here’s a photo of the upper section (follows the green ridge in mid-photo), with St. Helens in the background.

Definately a destination area worth travelling to.



The st helens area is beautiful… and hood river a great place as well. mostly been hiking/camping there, since my wee ones are a bit young to uni (or rock climb). The trails in Southern oregon are quite fun and scenic as well. Especially for beginner muni, the ashland oregon area has some nice relatively smooth trails…

I kept meaning to hit the bend oregon area for muni, but alas, moved east, and am direly missing the grandeur of the Pacific northwest…

-a jealous wumpus

I haven’t done the St. Helens ride. It’s a bit too epic for me to consider. I’ve been getting stronger though and more endurance so an epic ride like St. Helens could be a possibility in the future. Did you do that one on a 29er?

Did you ride the Post Canyon trails Hood River? I try to go riding there when I visit Portland. The problem with that area, though, is that the trail conditions in the Summer can be slippery. The dusty dirt doesn’t give you traction. It can be like riding on ball bearings or riding on a freshly waxed floor. I’ve bruised a hip and sprained an ankle riding there because the unicycle slides away from me.

Post Canyon is fun, but a better place to ride in Oregon is the Blackrock Trails in Falls City OR (near Salem). Fun trails and many of the stunts are unicycle friendly.

I actually did the Smith Canyon loop on my 24, as that happened to be what I had with me. It would have been good on a 29’er though.

I rode at Post Canyon the previous day. It was really good conditions because it had rained the previous week- no dust and good traction. There were a lot of good stunt trails and some recent construction. However for XC exploring I’d probably go elsewhere.


I just moved to Portland and was at Hood River this Saturday. I rode for about half an hour at “Hood River County Northwest Area Recreation Trails” about 4 miles West of HD. I did the small loop 100L and there are lots and lots of spots to play. I hope to make it there and explore it as often as I can.

I also need to find spots closer to Portland itself.


I too live in Portland area. I started on my KH29 last December.
Last few weeks I head out to Boring, Or. where the springwater bike trail ends. The last 2.4 miles are unpaved. Yesterday I went out and back on it then there is a new trail called Cazadero trail which is 3 miles of gravel. Have not met a uni partner yet.

Thanks you for the post.

You rode all that on an UNgeared 24? Gnarl!

Good job, KH.

Next summer if I canmake the drive, I’d like to get back out there and ride. Hood River is a great riding area, would love to live there as it’s close to skiing and the Gorge for wind sports.

The Mt St Helens ride sound awesome, nice above treeline views, but I think I’ll ride a 29er :slight_smile:

Me and two other guys from the Seattle area did these same rides this past weekend. Saturday at Mt. St. Helens and Sunday at Post Canyon. I’ll probably have a video up with some of the Post Canyon features soon. Super fun, good skinnies, and the ball-bearing tiny rocks aren’t that bad if you don’t try to brake too hard.

Mt. St. Helens, we did on bikes, and I can’t even imagine doing that on anything short of a 29er! Kris, you’re a beast!
Nothing really technical, just a lot of pumice and scree (40+% of the riding) and some looooooong sustained climbs at points. Kris (if you read this again), where did you start? Up by Spirit Lake? Or at the Ape Canyon trailhead?

The fact that posts like this can come out of the past is a great example of why this forum is better than Facebook =).

It was a really fun loop. I started a few kms below the Ape Canyon trailhead (road was blocked by landslides). I rode up to the trailhead and climbed singletrack up a ridge line to Spirit Lake, before descending the canyon and then climbing back up to the trailhead to close the loop. You’re right that there was some pretty sustained climbing on this one=)

That and the fact that manufacturers read it make it even better!