One of the top trails in the state of Oregon, Surveyor's Ridge is a Pacific Northwest must-ride. It has all the makings of a classic with aggressive short climbs and descents throughout, technical rocky sections, open alpine meadows, and above all - unparalleled views of Mt. Hood.
To avoid shuttling, park at either the Oak Ridge
trailhead or the nearby Tollbridge Campground picnic area. The latter has shade and restrooms. Take an easy spin south on Highway 35 to warm your legs before the Dog River
Just Surveyors Ridge
If you want to just ride Surveyors Ridge you can do an out-and-back from the northern (lower) trailhead or loop it with National Forest Road 17
(Pine Mont Road).
Youll need a Northwest Forest Pass to park at the Dog River
trailhead. Permits and maps are available at the Mt. Hood Ranger Station in Parkdale.
The first couple pedal strokes up Dog River
seem easy enough, but then you hit a couple switchbacks and wonder what the heck youre doing. Dont worry, the trail soon levels out again into a mellow rolling climb above the namesake creek. The sideslopes are thick with wildflowers in the spring but keep your eyes on the narrow tread.
Youll hopefully be warmed up by the time you cross a small bridge because then the climbing starts in earnest. Up, up, and away! A modest descent through massive fir and pine trees signals one final push. This segment of trail does get high-speed descending so it is best to start the ride early to minimize the likelihood youll see other people.
The Dog River
climb ends where the Surveyors Ridge trail starts. Take it to a short segment of Road 1720, pedal through the recently built Super Connector
trail, and then start the ridgeline traverse in earnest. The stunning views of Mt. Hood will give you plenty of reason to rest between the punchy climbs and driftacular descents.
Fast, rocky sections will keep your attention towards the end of the ridgeline but make sure to rest your forearms before the final drop down Oak Ridge
. Its a short but steep plunge that will have your brakes squealing in protest as you burn through thick forest down into the exposed scrub oak and wildflowers. Chattering over talus and through tight switchbacks blasted into the hillside with dynamite youll be one of the few if you can make it though without dabbing.
Youll get a brief respite as the trail hits the valley floor and then spits you back out at your waiting car. Wipe the grin from your face and make sure you can grip the steering wheel before you drive back up to your other vehicle.