- Rating: Moderate
- Activity: Bike
- Distance: 12.5 miles, one-way
Though the Surveyor’s Ridge trailhead is a few miles from the river itself, this ridgeline trail will give you stunning, unobstructed views of the northern slopes of Mount Hood, as well as perspectives across the Columbia as far as Mount Adams. Ride south to north on the 13-mile, one-way trail and you’ll slope slightly downhill toward the Columbia with our signature mountain at your back. But as soon as you turn around, Mount Hood towers ahead in the distance. The hard-packed terrain, strewn with rocks and roots, snakes around a slalom course of trees, and the wide-open ridgeline, though nearly flat, can be a challenge.
ROUTE: Pack a lunch for this trip. The trail’s highest point at Bald Butte, elevation 3,779 feet (the ride has a total elevation gain of 1,000 feet), is a to-die-for place for a picnic. Here you’ll find an open grassy spot with a perfect rock perch peering down into the patchwork quilt of Hood River orchards and flanked by the lush forests on the mountain’s slopes. Map: Adventure Maps Hood River & South Central Washington; www.adventuremaps.net.
DIRECTIONS: Take Rte 35 30 miles south from Hood River. Turn left on Forest Service Rd 44, and park at the Surveyor’s Ridge trailhead 3.5 miles up. Keep your eyes on the markers: You’re following Trail 688. You’ve arrived at the turnaround point when you reach Forest Service Rd 17, which heads steeply downhill.