So many of us long-time riders forget what it’s like to be a beginner mountain biker. It’s tough being a newbie. Rocks and roots are scary. Loose corners are scary. Climbs are hard.

8 Mile isn’t the easiest bike ride in the world, but it’s fun for beginners and advanced XC riders alike. At only 6.2 miles, you’ll be able to walk out if you can’t complete the ride.

Park at the Bottle Prairie / Knebal / 8 Mile / 450 trailhead. The trail heads out of the left side of the small parking area. Take the right fork toward Bottle Prairie and 8 Mile (the left fork goes to Knebal Springs, but if you’re riding that, you’ll want to ride Bottle Prairie and then Knebal). When the trail forks again in less than 1/4 mile, take the right fork to 8 Mile. You’ll climb for 1/2 mile or so, roll down a fun descent through the woods, climb a bit more over a section of trail with a few roots and rocks.

Next you’ll hit the charming part of the trail: a curvy, flowy downhill through big, old trees. You’ll bottom out, and then climb for 2-3 miles at a gentle grade back to your car.

This is a great trail on a hot day, as almost all of the climbing happens in the shade. Plus, 8 Mile isn’t the length of the trail; it’s the name of the creek that runs along the climb out. Swim if you like.

Directions:  From Hood River, head 31 miles south on highway 35 to forest road 44 on the left. Drive up the 44 Road about 7.2 miles to the 8 Mile trailhead (it’s 2.2 miles past the intersection with a paved road on the left). The trailhead is not well marked – it’s just a tiny dirt pullout on the left. On the right is the trailhead for the 450 trail, also poorly marked. If you go too far, you’ll know it when you see a paved road on the right. Turn around and go back.

2 comments

  1. Fred |

    Rode Eight Mile Loop* 7/7/10…descending near the bottom of Five Mile Butte about a half mile from the campground I saw a lot of either small bear, or large Couger tracks in teh silty trailbed. Followed them for a good 1/8 of a mile or more. All trails were in perfect shape and wildflowers are everywehre.

    * fun route: Park at 8 Mile Crossing CG, ride road 44 up, then accross towards 15 Mile Creek, but then split off to the right to ascend towards 8 mile point/meadow. where trail crosses, take the left to 8 mile point and the 1.5 mile descent towards 15 mile creek. at trail’s end, pull a right u-turn onto the dirt road and continue ascending a few miles up to the top of High Prairie Trail. There was only one tiny 10′ long snow patch on trail at the top of highprairie. Then descend High Prairie, through 8 Mile Meadow, and cross 44 to Five Mile Butte trail ending up at 8 Mile Crossing CG for 7.5 miles of almost nonstop downhill. Then climbed back up road 44 again the three miles to ride the other side of 8 Mile Creek downill…so you get both sides of 8 mile creek as a downhill. 21 miles, about 9 of middle ring climbing and 12 trail, most all of which is descending.

  2. admin |

    8-Mile is reported as open and snow-free as of June 17th, 2009. Please add your comments on trail conditions!

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