MTB Project Logo

Crown Zellerbach Trail

Easy/Intermediate

Trail

22.5 mile 36.2 kilometer point to point
Doubletrack
Easy/Intermediate

Elevation

Ascent: 1,827' 557 m
Descent: -1,199' -365 m
High: 1,268' 387 m
Low: 14' 4 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 3% (1°)
Max Grade: 19% (11°)

Dogs

Unknown
Driving directions Take a virtual tour
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

Trail shared by Brock Warner

A somewhat rough and rowdy rail-to-trail that starts in Scappoose and climbs towards Vernonia.

Brock Warner

Electric Mountain Bikes Unknown

Features -none-

Family Friendly Although the path is a near constant uphill grade, it's not very steep and the path is fairly smooth and lacks any substantial obstacles. Good for young ones to get familiar with gravel and dirt.

This rail-to-trail runs through and very near a lot of private property, despite the actual trail being public property. You'll pass several signs designating it. This is especially important in the northwestern-most section, which goes through a timber lot owned by the Weyerhaeuser logging company. Be respectful and stay on the well-marked trail.

Need to Know

There is a small pull out at the beginning of the trail with room for two cars; it requires riding on the street for one stretch and crossing (busy) HWY 30.

The best parking, with room for a dozen or so cars, can be found here and is the recommended start.

Description

The Crown Zellerbach Trail (CZT) is an old rail-to-trail, starting in Scappoose and climbing across the Nehalem Divide to Vernonia. In the eastern section, the path is a patchwork of smooth and broken pavement. As the trail winds deeper west, the pavement become more broken and sparse before it disappears entirely, and the rest of the trail is gravel.

The CZT isn't much for fancy trailheads; it begins and ends unceremoniously. But there are trailheads along the way that can provide adequate parking. The trail starts in Scappoose with only a small pull-over parking space and a short foot trail to the start of the paved route. Nearly four miles into the CZT is the first large, easy-to-find parking area, on the Scappoose-Vernonia Highway.

For several miles, the trail closely follows the highway as it heads west. Eventually, the trail breaks away from the highway and goes deeper into the forest. This heralds the start of a long, steady climb to the Nehalem Divide. At the top of the Divide, the trail begins an equally long and steady descent. This is a nice reward for all of that climbing; it's a nice, long, steady downhill.

The trail on the western side of the Divide is quite pleasant. With no more asphalt around, it becomes a classic gravel doubletrack road. There are fewer reminders of the civilized world on this leg of the trail, and the flat grade makes for easy pedaling.

Eventually the trail nears a large meadow. At the far end of the meadow is a vital junction with a road to the left. A chain-linked fence around a gas meter and an abandoned trail kiosk mark this junction. The CZT continues to the left. While this is pretty obvious because of the signs, what is NOT obvious is that proceeding straight forward on what you've been riding thus far is actually trespassing on logging land. So turn left and cross the creek.

The CZT soon crosses the highway yet again and is guarded by a gate. Don't worry, the gate is for cars, not people. Immediately after the gate the road begins a steep climb to the top of the ridge. This section runs through Weyerhaeuser logging land. Follow the signs and stay on the road, all other spurs result in trespassing. It will start to descend steeply after a while and the road gets very rough and primitive.

At the bottom the CZT ends at the end of Knott Street. This short road leads to Highway 47. Turning left leads to Vernonia. Ride the Banks-Vernonia State Trail to Banks to really rack up the miles!

Rate This Trail

Rate Quality


   Clear Rating

Rate Difficulty

Share This Trail

Check In

Check-Ins

Oct 2, 2019
Jeremy J
Two downed trees and some mud. 3+ dry days was enough to dry most of it out, but not all of it after all the rain over the last month. 36mi
Sep 7, 2019
Jesse Brown
Pretty flat fast on the way back 19.7mi
Aug 25, 2019
Levanto Schachter
The area east of columbia river highway is partially closed to constuction. Better to go to where the trail meets the highway and take a left to park
Jul 22, 2018
Max Rees
Start a few miles from listed start point across the street from a general store. 17.4mi — 1h 25m
Apr 7, 2018
Nick Johnson
Rode it after some hard rains. Skinny tires made for a more difficult ride in the inch of muck on some parts of the trail. Super chill, otherwise. 26mi
Dec 10, 2017
Geoff Sosebee
After a week+ of sunny dry cold weather the trail tread was great. Frozen ground. Three trees down, no dismount needed. Saw a herd of elk. 41mi
Sep 23, 2017
Jm Jenkins
Rode Out-and-Back from Chapman Landing to the overgrown road blockade at the top of the descent into Vernonia. Great trail! Loved it! 43mi — 5h 21m
Aug 14, 2017
Brock Warner
Started in Vernonia and rode to the Divide and back with a short exploratory spur to the north. 25mi — 2h 41m

Trail Ratings

  3.5 from 12 votes

#1

in Scappoose

#7622

Overall
  3.5 from 12 votes
5 Star
8%
4 Star
50%
3 Star
25%
2 Star
17%
1 Star
0%
Trail Rankings

#1

in Scappoose

#202

in Oregon

#7,622

Overall
956 Views Last Month
11,335 Since Aug 16, 2016
Easy/Intermediate

64%
0%
36%
0%
0%
0%

Photos

Some of the singletrack
Oct 2, 2019 near Vernonia, OR
The bridge carrying Scappoose-Vernonia Highway. Continue underneath on the Columbia Forest Road to reach Vernonia.
Aug 16, 2016 near Vernonia, OR
Trail can be a little hard to find on this stretch. This looks like it was a huge, old road block that has been overgrown.
Aug 14, 2017 near Vernonia, OR
In late summer, much of the trail is lined in blackberries! Mmmm! Be sure to get a big, fat juicy one in the sun.
Aug 16, 2016 near Warren, OR
First little whoop-dee-doo, several miles in. About to start the tougher climb to the end.
Aug 16, 2016 near Warren, OR
Just the nice, open (gravel) road.
Aug 14, 2017 near Vernonia, OR

MTB Project is supported by

Support Your Local IMBA Chapter