Adventure on Two Wheels
Two of the nation’s great mountain biking locales, the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area and Gifford Pinchot National Forest offer great mountain biking! Please stay on the designated trail to protect sensitive resources and follow these tips:
1. Follow trail etiquette and right-of-way. Ask at a local shop which direction most trails flow.
2. Typically downhill riders yield (move aside) to uphill riders, even if they are going up a trail that typically favors riders descending.
3. Mountain bikers should always yield (move aside) to horses, hikers, and runners.
4. On weekends the trails can be crowded, so descend with enough control to allow yourself to stop in half your site distance at all times.
5. Leave no trace and pack out all your trash! Don’t modify the trail or build any structures.
6. When the trail is extremely wet, consider an alternative activity or bike one of the paved trails in the Gorge to avoid contributing to erosion.
Mountain Bike Routes
Did you know? Wild huckleberries, magnificent waterfalls, savory mushrooms, Mt. St. Helens, the Gifford Pinchot National Forest, mineral springs and maybe even a peek at Bigfoot can all be found just north of Carson, Washington.
#1 | Hard Time Loop
Trip: 11 miles // Level: Easy to Moderate // Location: 30 min from Stevenson, WA
Many cross country ski trails offer great mountain biking adventures at the Wind River Sports Area. The Hard Time Loop is an excellent 11 mile touring trail offering flat and rolling terrain ranging in elevation from 2,980 feet to 3,240 feet. Start from the Oldman Pass Sno-Park at Trail #148, (Oldman Loop). Head clockwise to the intersection with Forest Road 3054. Turn left and continue on Forest Road 3054. A viewpoint offers a spectacular view of Mount St. Helens, Mount Rainier and Mount Adams.
From Stevenson, travel three miles east on Highway 14 and turn left on Wind River Highway (Hwy 30) to Carson. Travel 25 miles north of Carson to the Oldman Pass Sno-Park.
NW Forest Pass is required.
#2 | Lewis River Trail #31
Trip: 19.2 miles // Level: Moderate // Location: 45 min from Stevenson, WA
The Lewis River Trail is one of the most scenic trails in North America. Ride through old-growth forest along the Lewis River on beautiful single track while passing by breathtaking waterfalls. A moderate ride, although there are some reasonable climbs and places where you may have to hike a bike for sections alongside steep cliffs. The trail can be ridden as an out-and-back, or as a one-way trail with the return trip along the 90 road. If you want to make this a weekend adventure, it’s worth getting a campsite at the Lower Falls Campground.
From Stevenson, follow Highway 14 east to the turn off for Carson. Head north on Hwy 30 through Carson and continue up the winding road to Oldman Pass. Turn left on Curly Creek Road and continue to Forest Road (FR) #90. Turn right on FR #90, then left onto FR #9039 and park on the other side of the Lewis River near the trailhead.
For an easier ride, continue along the road to the Lower Falls Campground, and ride the same trail downhill. If you are doing a one way trip, then park one car and continue heading up FR #90 with the other car for another 9 miles. You can park near the trailhead at the Lower Falls Campground. NW Forest Pass is required, see page 43 for more details.
#3 | Easy Climb
Trip: 2 miles // Level: Easy // Location: Cascade Locks, OR
Across the river from Stevenson is the Easy Climb, a relatively new mountain bike trail built by the Northwest Trail Alliance in partnership with the Port of Cascade Locks. If you are looking for a riding spot that is tight and twisty, this is a good trail for doing laps and getting a quick workout. There are many scenic views along the Columbia River, beach access and fun downhills with big bank turns. The route should take from 20–50 minutes depending on speed and ability.
From Stevenson, Washington, cross the Bridge of the Gods to Cascade Locks, Oregon. Go through town, take a left on Forest Lane. Turn left on Cramblett Lane, you will see the parking area to your right.
Watch for poison oak off trail. No pass required.
#4 | Fort Cascades Historic Trail
Trip: 1.5 miles // Level: Easy // Location: North Bonneville, WA
Short, but packed with history, the Fort Cascades Historic Trail can be accessed from the same turnoff used to access Bonneville Dam. You begin at an interpretive structure, where you’ll learn about ancient landslides, river transportation and early settlement at this unique river location. The loop will hook up with the Strawberry Island Trail at one point, offering a longer bike ride.
From Stevenson, travel 6 miles west on Highway 14 towards Bonneville Dam and North Bonneville. Just west of the Dam, turn left on Dam Access Road. Follow the road west to the trailhead.
No pass required.
#5 | Strawberry Island Trail
Trip: 3 miles // Level: Easy to Moderate // Location: North Bonneville, WA
This trail travels through beautiful oak forest and extensive grasslands offering impressive views of the Columbia River and Beacon Rock. It is both hilly and flat depending on which route you choose. Lewis and Clark named Strawberry Island in 1805, stating that the island was “covered with grass scattered with strawberry vines.” Sunsets are amazing from the park bench at the top of the hill.
From Stevenson, travel to North Bonneville, 7 miles west on Highway 14 from the Bridge of the Gods. Enter North Bonneville, turn right at the gas station, then follow signs to the ball park. The trailhead begins near the ball park, look for the totem pole.
Beware of ticks in the spring due to high grasses. No pass required.