Plains of Abraham

Plains of Abraham
Plains of Abraham

Nothing beats riding along the flank of St. Helens. Glaringly white pumice fields are interrupted by large black boulders. Call it the world’s largest zen rock garden. Getting up to the plain is a grind; think granny gear, but it’s well worth it. Save this ride for a cool day, bring plenty of water, and don’t forget your sunscreen and shades. Total distance, out-and-back, is 23 miles. Given the beauty of the trail, you’re not likely to feel all the miles.

This is, hands down, my favorite ride.

To get there:  From Hood River, go across the Columbia River and then head west on SR 14. Just after passing over the Wind River and before you reach Stevenson, head north on forest road 30. Stay on forest road 30 through Carson and over Old Man Pass. A couple of miles after cresting Old Man Pass, turn left on Curly Creek Road and follow this down to forest road 90. Head west on forest road 90 to forest road 83 (the map states go to the town of Cougar, but that’s not correct). Head north on FS 83 11 miles, to its end at the Ape Canyon Trailhead. (2 hours)

5 replies on “Plains of Abraham”

I’ll take you up on the brownies someday. As of 6/6/10 there were about 15 short snow crossings on the plain. Still well worth the effort but leave your socks at home. Ape Canyon is in great condition and may be the best downhill I’ve ever done. Truly one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been and will only get better over the next couple of weeks. Great website! Thanks for all the info…

Did Ape/Plains/Smith loop August 15th. 33 miles of incredible views and trails. Smith is clear. The trail around muddy river has been fixed but isn’t really ridable. Start at the Muddy River camp ground and ride up FR 8322 to the Ape Canyon trail head. If you don’t you’ll be sorry. We made this mistake and ended up have to climb seven miles and 1200 vertical feet back our car after 22 miles on Ape and Smith. Not a fun way to end an incredible ride. There is no water at Muddy river camp ground so bring plenty with you.

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