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  1. #1
    Daniel the Dog
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    Anybody ride the Columbia Hills State Park System?

    I'm sick of the rain and want to ride in the desert. It is only 40 minutes from my place it the Hood and I'm wondering about it. Might check it out tomorrow. Looks awesome! Nine inches of rain and desert rock.

    Fall Work Party at Columbia Hills State Park

    October 27, 2007

    It might be raining and muddy on the trails west of the mountains, but at Columbia Hills the season is just beginning. Come pull weeds and check out the epic terrain at your new winter riding area!

    When:
    Saturday, October 27, 2007
    9 to 11am, ride or hike to follow

    Where to meet:

    Columbia Hills State Park
    Crawford Oaks Trailhead on Hwy 14, mile 86.5

    Tools to Bring:
    Heavy gloves

    Goal and Details:
    For the fourth year in a row, join fellow riders in controlling invasive species at the trail access areas. Invasive species displace native plants and wildlife and goatheads cause flats for riders and sore paws for our canine companions. Previous workparties have made a great dent in the goathead (aka puncturevine) population. This fall, we'll be searching for any remaining goatheads and working on star thistle removal.


    CAMBA has been working with Washington State Parks to develop a multi-use trail system within this new state park. Our trail proposal is working its way through the permitting process. Come show our continued support for the Park by helping to reduce the spread of invasive plants.

    After the cleanup, hop on your bike and join us for a ride through the Park!

    Some details: The Dalles Mountain Ranch part of Columbia Hills Park is just east of Horsethief Lake, which is a few miles east of the Dalles (40 minutes from Hood River). It was a working ranch from the mid-19th Century to the 1990's, when it became a Washington State Park.

    The proposed trail network includes a loop of about 8 miles which offers some spectacular views of the Gorge, Mt. Hood, and the old ranch. It's somewhat similar to riding at the Syncline. Since the trails have not yet been built, the post work party ride will follow a combination of old ranch roads, animal trails, footpaths, and some cross country, which roughly follows our proposed track. Don't expect a buffed out trail system, but don't expect crowds either!

    Directions:
    From the Oregon side:
    Driving east or west on I-84, take exit #87 and drive north on U.S. 197 across the Columbia River bridge. Continue north about four miles to SR 14, and turn right, heading east. You'll see the main Park entrance on the south side of the road at about mile 84, continue another 2 miles. Look for a gate on the north side of the road, between mileposts 86 and 87, just before the road descends. Park at the gate.

    From the Washington side:
    Drive east or west on SR 14 along the Columbia River. You'll see the main Park entrance on the south side of the road at about mile 84, continue another 2 miles. Look for a gate on the north side of the road, between mileposts 86 and 87, just before the road descends. Park at the gate.

  2. #2
    Singletrack Addict
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaybo
    I'm sick of the rain and want to ride in the desert.
    Dude, it's only October and you're already sick of the rain? No wonder you get grumpy

    My advice to you is embrace the rain, welcome it and revel in it. It's here to stay for the next six or seven months.

    In the mean time, trail work and developing a new trail system out in the Gorge is good therapy too.

  3. #3
    Daniel the Dog
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    Not riding in the rain

    Quote Originally Posted by Snake Muesl
    Dude, it's only October and you're already sick of the rain? No wonder you get grumpy

    My advice to you is embrace the rain, welcome it and revel in it. It's here to stay for the next six or seven months.

    In the mean time, trail work and developing a new trail system out in the Gorge is good therapy too.
    You can! Your choice but it sucks. Saturday was flipping miserable. I'm thinking of moving even futher into the Gorge to escape it. I like SUNSHINE! Screw rain!

    Jaybo

  4. #4
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    What is the status of these trails? Open? Worth checking out?
    This computer system is not intended for use in the operation of nuclear facilities. -Mac

  5. #5
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    Fallz,
    I attended one of these work parties a couple years ago. At that time the area was undeveloped but definitely has some potential. My wife and I rode it with the dogs again the same year but have not been back since. I often thought about this spot when riding Syncline.
    The care takers are the park rangers just below at Horsethief Lake. I can't remember names but they told me at that time to check in with them before riding. They seem to have not problem with mountain bikers riding the area but just wanted to know who was on the property. They actually acted quite excited to have CAMBA help them develop the area. Proper trails needed to be designed.
    The property near the farm house has some old chestnut trees, grapevines.

    I need to make a point to look into how I can help them this year. It does not have as much vertical as Syncline but we need to work to develop every area we are given a chance to develop. With some work it could be a fun area and take some of the pressure off Syncline.
    Jack

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the info. I'll have to try to get in touch with the Rangers, or some CAMBA folks, and see what's up. This time of year, it'd be nice to have something a little farther east, and I have some buddies that live in The Dalles or farther east that are getting into riding; it would be pretty convenient for them.
    This computer system is not intended for use in the operation of nuclear facilities. -Mac

  7. #7
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    Columbia Hills State Park update - off limits to Mountain Bikes for now....

    I decided to try a different trail on the east end (sunny side) of the Gorge today.
    Stopped by the local dealer in The Dalles and asked if he knew if the Columbia Hills Trails was open. He said yes. I should have suspected something, he did not know the name of the park. I was a little surprised the local dealer is not involved more with this development.
    I parked at the gate and went for a three hour ride. Great day and no mud. I noticed not much had changed since two years ago when I rode it with a CAMBA group. That was a work party ride to pull Goat head weeds.
    On the way home I decided to drive down to Horse Thief park and ask the Rangers if they need any help with the trail system this year.
    They were very nice but acted surprised that I rode there and informed me the area is not open yet and I should not be riding there. Oh no, hand cuff time...

    The Ranger told me they are about a year away from developing the north side park. This year they will be improving the hiking area (south side of Hwy 14) at Horse Thief Butte. This is a well used area of the park that they must complete first.
    The ranger mentioned he had heard rumors someone had GPS'ed the area and made up maps. He thought a bike shop in Hood River might be passing them out. He was concerned about this, as they do not want anything to screw up the planning approval. He was was going to contact CAMBA.

    As normal for this area it has taken them longer than anticipated to get all the planning permits in order and still working the north side. He mentioned some recent issues are related to Syncline issues.
    I told him I thought this area, once developed ,would help take pressure off of the Syncline area, and also bring more people to The Dalles for recreation.
    All the Rangers were encouraging and really seemed excited to make all the improvements. They said they will be in contact with CAMBA as things get rolling.
    I was told to have patience and they welcome the help when the time comes. It will be a nice area once it is complete.
    It was a nice conversation and I appreciated the rangers vision for all users, including us.
    Jack
    Last edited by sideup; 02-26-2010 at 01:07 PM.

  8. #8
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    Issues with the syncline

    They need a coded gate at the bottom of courtney road! Then you could say "what issues"?

    As long as there isn't any road above the CHSP, things shouldn't get too bad for those rangers.

  9. #9
    Daniel the Dog
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    Would help

    Quote Originally Posted by freebiker
    They need a coded gate at the bottom of courtney road! Then you could say "what issues"?

    As long as there isn't any road above the CHSP, things shouldn't get too bad for those rangers.
    But the issues are far deeper then that! The shuttlers don't help but some of those Courtney Road folks want peace and quiet without any bikers, hikers, or hunters bugging them. Others are worried about the environmental impact of people on those lands. A gate would help...as would a good deep snowstorm closing the area for most of the winter

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaybo
    ...as would a good deep snowstorm closing the area for most of the winter
    Due to global warming, snow will not fall in the PNW anymore, Poison Oak will take over the eastern end of the Gorge and the wimpy shuttlers will end up going elsewhere.
    I only ride bikes to fill the time when I'm not skiing.

  11. #11
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    A gate at the bottom of Courtney Rd. would be great, and then the local homeowners can pay to maintain the road themselves rather than us taxpayers. Seriously though, I desire peace and quiet myself but that doesn't mean that people can't drive down my street. How much peace and quiet do they expect when they live only ten minutes away from a large population base?

  12. #12
    Daniel the Dog
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    I hear you

    Quote Originally Posted by jmeldrum26
    A gate at the bottom of Courtney Rd. would be great, and then the local homeowners can pay to maintain the road themselves rather than us taxpayers. Seriously though, I desire peace and quiet myself but that doesn't mean that people can't drive down my street. How much peace and quiet do they expect when they live only ten minutes away from a large population base?
    But it means a lot when you criss cross their property. Think about it!

  13. #13
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    Does anyone know about a small trail system in the town of the dalles. I am looking for some winter rides east now that the Hood River are was hit with so much ice damage.
    Bryce Jenkinson Photography
    www.studioido.net

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by brycej View Post
    Does anyone know about a small trail system in the town of the dalles. I am looking for some winter rides east now that the Hood River are was hit with so much ice damage.
    There's a race there in April so I know there are some trails.

    Columbia Gorge Fat Tire Festival

    Check that site and maybe contact the administrator.

    Also some more info in this thread, Columbia Gorge Fat Tire Festival

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by TigerHijinks View Post
    There's a race there in April so I know there are some trails.

    Columbia Gorge Fat Tire Festival

    Check that site and maybe contact the administrator.

    Also some more info in this thread, Columbia Gorge Fat Tire Festival
    Columbia Hills and The Dalles middle school trails are two different locations (one in Oregon & one in Washington). Columbia Hills is still in the planning/approval stages?? Last I heard.

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