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Thread: Gorge Trail 400

  1. #1
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    Gorge Trail 400

    Im going to head out to ride Gorge trail 400 on friday. Since I am going by myself, And Im assuming there isnt a loop option, that it will be an Out and Back. So what I would like to know is, which Trail head would be the best to start from?

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    That depends on if you want to ride the whole thing or only part of it.
    You can start at the Ellowah Falls TH(exit after Multnomah Falls) and head east all the way to Cascade Locks and back...this is the whole trail.
    Or another good option is to take the Eagle Creek exit and head west toward Ellowah Falls. You will miss 2 miles of riding eastward to Cascade Locks, some of which is very challenging, technical singletrack.
    Go as far as you want. You will encounter a few more TH's but the trail always continues. Riding west of the Ellowah TH and east of the dirt road at Cascade Locks(PCT..sign was cut down last time I was there) is forbidden.

    I have a group of friends that ride GT 400 alot for after work rides in the summer. It is extremely technical and challenging, numerous tough switchbacks, rock gardens only the fittest and most competent riders can clean without dabbing and trail that is rugged and demanding both up and down. Plenty of places to get hurt, lots of exposure.
    Good stuff!

    Be careful, there will most likely be ice at the Ellowah Falls trail bridge(a fun technical challenge when only wet) and other spots. The Ellowah side has some very technical stuff in the first 3 miles.

    If you clean it all on your first try you must come back and crow about it! Personally, I'm doubting it, expecially in winter.

    Have fun!

  3. #3
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    Paging Switchback78....

    Quote Originally Posted by darkslide18
    Im going to head out to ride Gorge trail 400 on friday. Since I am going by myself, And Im assuming there isnt a loop option, that it will be an Out and Back. So what I would like to know is, which Trail head would be the best to start from?
    If I remember correctly, the last time I talked to SB78 about this he suggested starting at Eagle Creek TH. From there head East across the bridge and up the switchbacks. Once at the top of the switchbacks you will have two O and B options, the trail to the right will eventually take you to a huge waterfalls which is a good turnaround point on that trail. The trail to the left will take you to a lookout. If you ride both of those and still want more miles, head back to the car and take the trail West. From there it will take you all the way to the Pacific Crest Trail, which you cannot ride.

    Sorry that I don't have trail names for you, hopefully SB78 will chime in.
    Support mtb'ing in the Portland area, join NWTA with your dollars, hands, and/or voice. nw-trail.org

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    I already took care of it Freeagent. We don't need SB78's meddling opinions.

    enDO

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    The Wauna Point lookout is a fun ride up but I think is technically illegal. You are only supposed to ride GT 400 but that has not stopped us in the past....especially after work or in winter when there is no one there. It is a one mile spur to a lookout. Nice view above Bonneville Dam.

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    Woah....

    Quote Originally Posted by dirtpunk7
    I already took care of it Freeagent. We don't need SB78's meddling opinions.

    enDO
    enDO makes an appearance! Golf course closed for the holiday?
    Support mtb'ing in the Portland area, join NWTA with your dollars, hands, and/or voice. nw-trail.org

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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtpunk7
    The Wauna Point lookout is a fun ride up but I think is technically illegal. You are only supposed to ride GT 400 but that has not stopped us in the past....especially after work or in winter when there is no one there. It is a one mile spur to a lookout. Nice view above Bonneville Dam.

    This is debatable. I believe the Wauna spur is a legal option, from either of the lower trailheads. In the 5ish years I've been riding it now, I've run into others there on previous rides, as well as witnessing plenty of evidence of other riders. ...No one I've ever run into in the parking lot has ever questioned the legality either, so I'm of the mind that it's fine.

    enDO is right, in that it's a technical trail. There are several nasty exposures in areas where the trail is also very technical. Long and difficult scree fields, where a dab between rocks may mean a twisted ankle or worse. Be careful, have a good time, and rock it! It's very satisfying when you've, personally, had a good day out there.

  8. #8
    Daniel the Dog
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    Hope Not sure

    Quote Originally Posted by dirtpunk7
    The Wauna Point lookout is a fun ride up but I think is technically illegal. You are only supposed to ride GT 400 but that has not stopped us in the past....especially after work or in winter when there is no one there. It is a one mile spur to a lookout. Nice view above Bonneville Dam.
    I got barked at a bit riding up Wauna Point one day by a couple guys hiking with ski poles. I ignored them and kept riding. I have been riding that trail since the mid 90's and it is a fun ride. Oh, and never been hassled except once. By the way, what is up hiking up a Gorge trail with ski poles? Hmm.

  9. #9
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    A couple of years ago I spoke to the Recreation and Trails cordinator regarding the Wauna View point. Trail #402, she said it technically starts at the suspension bridge where its called the Gorge 400 trail. By default the upper section to the viewpoint is open to bikes as well. WAUNA POINT not viewpoint is accessed via Road 777 and then to Tanner butte trail is not legal to bikes. The two are often confused. I have gotten just as many smiles as dirty looks, but I have had the conversation so I know I am in the right.
    Ride. Dig. Party.

  10. #10
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    I stand corrected.

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    Thanks for the info guys. Sounds like alot of fun. Technical riding is my favorite kind of riding, I used to live in Utah, and I have been looking for a trail that can stand up. Im not worried, Ive ridden all over places like Moab, Fruita, and Grand Junction. Places like Moore Fun and Holy Cross. Im really looking foward to cutting my teeth here in Oregon. Also is the NWTA a good org to join? I am looking into doing trail maint and hooking up on group rides. I dont know anyone out here so Im wondering if the NWTA is a good way to meet other riders.

  12. #12
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    I know some of those guys in NWTA. ...You should join anyway. ;-)

    Moab, Fruita are awesome, to be sure. ...All the mt. bike rags have made it known to everyone. To date though, I think Oregon and Washington are still pretty well kept secrets. The riding around here is top-notch if you know where to go (which is at least 45minutes in any direction from Portland).

    Where in UT are you from? I grew up in SLC.

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    Moore Fun and Holy Cross are two sweet trails! Our trails are technicaly different obviously.
    You do not have the same traction you do on sandstone and there are alot more baby heads on GT 400 than anything I have experienced in Fruita/Moab/Bootleg...been to each numerous times. Things are moist alot and wet roots/rock is one of our most demanding technical challenges(especially off camber). But there is more vegetation to fall on when you wreck.

    More technical, good winter riding can be found at Syncline...across the river from Hood River, a couple miles east of Bingen, WA. I'm sure you have heard of it..it's called Syncline and some of the most technical riding around. Trails: Coyote Canyon, Loose Lucy, Lil Moab and Hidden Valley.

    NWTA is the org you want to join...cool people, many opportunities to do trail work. But I don't know about group rides....I just joined recently myself. I bet there will definitely be some this Spring going forward though.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by swift
    I know some of those guys in NWTA. ...You should join anyway. ;-)

    Moab, Fruita are awesome, to be sure. ...All the mt. bike rags have made it known to everyone. To date though, I think Oregon and Washington are still pretty well kept secrets. The riding around here is top-notch if you know where to go (which is at least 45minutes in any direction from Portland).

    Where in UT are you from? I grew up in SLC.

    I'm from California originally, But I got married before I got out of the Army. My ex wife was from Beaver Utah, but we lived in Orem. Got divorced and decided I needed a change of scenery. I miss the riding in Utah. But from what I have been told and have read, the riding here is world class also. Looking forward to the warmer months. But whats nice about here instead of Utah is there is more winter riding opportunities. All the good stuff in Northern Utah is under 10 feet of snow. Its going to be different riding for sure, because of the moistness of the trails.

  15. #15
    Daniel the Dog
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    Hmm

    Quote Originally Posted by darkslide18
    I'm from California originally, But I got married before I got out of the Army. My ex wife was from Beaver Utah, but we lived in Orem. Got divorced and decided I needed a change of scenery. I miss the riding in Utah. But from what I have been told and have read, the riding here is world class also. Looking forward to the warmer months. But whats nice about here instead of Utah is there is more winter riding opportunities. All the good stuff in Northern Utah is under 10 feet of snow. Its going to be different riding for sure, because of the moistness of the trails.
    The riding here is not as good as Utah. It is good but Utah has the best riding I have ever seen. Nonetheless, the NW has good riding.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaybo
    ...what is up hiking up a Gorge trail with ski poles? Hmm.
    The euro pansies call them "trekking poles." I actually do use them when I'm carrying a heavy pack on steep terrain, but that doesn't stop me from mocking the day-hikers with them. Taking one in the spokes would not be good, though.
    This computer system is not intended for use in the operation of nuclear facilities. -Mac

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    So if start at the ellowah TH and ride to Cascade locks, What kind of mileage am I looking at? Meaning, what is the dstance from start to the turn around point?

  18. #18
    Daniel the Dog
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    I thought

    Quote Originally Posted by fallzboater
    The euro pansies call them "trekking poles." I actually do use them when I'm carrying a heavy pack on steep terrain, but that doesn't stop me from mocking the day-hikers with them. Taking one in the spokes would not be good, though.
    I was worried about it at some level as they were pretty upset. Sharp sticks and angry hikers are typically a bad combo

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