Spoke-tacular Post Canyon MTB Guide – Lay Of The Land

mountain biker enjoying the Grand Prix berms Enjoying the berms on Grand Prix - Photo by Jaime Pirozzi - Local Freshies®

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The scent of sweet pine fills the air. The most perfectly sculpted berms. The feeling of being transported onto the forest moon of Endor, with Ewoks peering from behind fallen logs. As part of our Hood River mountain biking trip, we had the privilege of experiencing the renowned Post Canyon MTB trail network, and it left an indelible mark on us. It’s unlike any other destination we’ve encountered, we’re already itching to return and delve deeper into this iconic mountain biking destination. Here’s a glimpse of what we gleaned from the locals and our own observations from riding it.


Before You Arrive At The Trailhead

Download Trailforks

Spanning over 60+ miles and more than 3,400 vertical feet of relief, this trail system is massive and only getting better. Similar to LA’s I-5, New York’s Van Wyck, and Chicago’s Dan Ryan, Post Canyon is continually being worked on. One major difference is you won’t be stuck in traffic. Instead, you’ll always find something fresh to explore!  With that being said, it’s a good idea to download the latest information on Trailforks before you head out. New trails emerge, while others may retire throughout the year.

Pick up a Parking Pass

Be aware parking passes are required at all staging areas for Post Canyon. With spotty cell coverage, it’s a good idea to visit the Hood River County website and purchase your day or yearly parking pass ahead of time.

Where to Start

7 Streams Staging Area sign at Post Canyon
One of the staging areas at Post Canyon – Photo by Jaime Pirozzi – Local Freshies®

With a trail network so large, you can expect to have a bunch of trailheads to choose from. The two main ones are the Seven Streams and the Family Man trailheads. For the first-time visitor, I’d recommend starting at the Family Man as your jumping off point. It’s home to a perfect progression zone to introduce kids and a central location to pick and choose which trails you want to hit.

Location of Family Man staging area on Google Maps

Location of Seven Steams staging area on Google Maps

Can You Shuttle Post Canyon?

For those mountain bikers like Marie Antoinette and only want to eat cake, you can hot lap some of the most iconic trails via a shuttle. Mountain View Cycles and Fat Tire Farm offer shuttle service from their downtown Hood River shops to a variety of locations including the Binns Hill staging area. From there, you can easily ride back into town. Here’s an example of shuttle from Binns Hill Staging to the Fat Tire Farm shop:


What to Expect

The loud ZZZZZzzzzzz of your rear hub. Beams of sunlight pierce through the canopy of tall pine trees and highlight the neon-green vegetation on the forest floor. As the route yips and yaws, you’ll swear you’re being chased by the Emperor’s soldiers on your hover bike. Was that a laser blast that flew past your head? Probably not, but Post Canyon will definitely leave you grinning from ear to ear and wanting more.


Perfect For All Riding Abilities

The region’s dirt composition leans heavily towards clay, so don’t anticipate stumbling upon sprawling rock gardens. Instead, prepare to be captivated by an endless serpentine maze of gravity-fed flow tracks. Each one weaving their way through dense forests with meticulously crafted berms and exhilarating roll-downs. There’s even a few rooty sections to keep things interesting. And for the seasoned veterans seeking to gain some air-time, the expert-marked trails boast colossal wooden kickers that launch you in the stratosphere onto a perfect landing. If there’s one word to sum up Post Canyon, it’s undeniably “FAST.”

When To Visit

Mountain biker enjoying the fall foliage at Post Canyon Hood River Mountain Biking trails
Fall is incredible at Post Canyon – Photo by Jaime Pirozzi – Local Freshies®

Post Canyon is at its best in late spring or better yet fall. The only time it’s best to avoid riding it is when the ground is frozen. Then, as the top layer thaws, it becomes a peanut buttery slip-n-slide. On such days, it’s a good idea to head out to Hood River’s other trail system Syncline instead. And during the hottest time of year, it can be weeks in between rainfall which can create little ball bearing sized clumps that are slippery.

Mountain Bike Trails We Hit

El Dorado climbing trail at Post Canyon
Where does the trail go? It goes up Ray. – Photo by Jaime Pirozzi – Local Freshies®

El Dorado – The Best Climbing Trail Ever!

Map & info about El Dorado on Trailforks

Being based in Tahoe, we’re used to brutal climbs that pulverize your soul and spit you out at the top. El Dorado isn’t one of those climbing routes. Instead, it has the perfect pitch to make it actually enjoyable to keep the pedal at a good cadence but doesn’t blow you out.

Navigating El Dorado felt akin to playing a game of peek-a-boo with the surrounding ridgelines. When we were there, each turn revealed a stunning vista of fluorescent fall colors intermingled with the rich greens of the pines. The soil was that Velcro stick. Slowly but surely, we climbed. The trail’s gradual slope proved to be a climbing cyclist’s dream.

Splash n Giggle – Easter Eggs

Map & info about Splash n Giggle on Trailforks

Splash and Giggle trail sign at Post Canyon MTB trail system
One of the many cool signs you’ll find throughout the Post Canyon trail system – Photo by Jaime Pirozzi – Local Freshies®

The mountain bike network is brimming with hidden gems, much like Easter Eggs for mountain bikers waiting to be discovered. Take, for instance, Splash n Giggle (also known as slip n slide), a trail we stumbled upon. Its entrance has a sign with a three-dimensional bear kayaking down a stream. Though short, this route is an exhilarating ride, zigzagging across the landscape until it deposits you at the convergence of a massive jump line from another trail called Extended Play. Don’t worry, you don’t need to hit those jumps.

On Trailforks, they call the jumps on Extended Play medium but to us they looked huge! Instead of a normal table top, the last two had towering wooden kickers with a gap to the dirt landing.


140 Hybrid Moto Trail

Map and info about the 140 Hybrid XC-Moto Trail on Trailforks

Certain trails at Post Canyon, like the 140 Hybrid Moto Trail, are shared with motorcycles, but not all. Take note, especially on trails like this one used as a connector to higher sections, as uphill motocross bikes might be ascending. However, for mountain bikers, it serves as an excellent warm-up for the descent. This one offers up a rapid set of twists and turns, rolling down the mountain at a gentle angle.

Bad Motor Scooter

Map & info about Bad Motor Scooter on Trailforks

Bad Motor Scooter Sign
Photo by Jaime Pirozzi – Local Freshies®

The name fits. It dives into a deep dark valley. Massive curvaceous berms slice their way down the mountain side until it delves into the heart of the darkest lion’s den… Here, huge kickers beckon, offering an optional thrill before finishing up with a raucous root fest, spitting you out back into the welcoming embrace of ample sunshine.

Grand Prix

Map & info on Trailforks for Upper GP and Lower GP

mountain biker enjoying the Grand Prix berms
Enjoying the berms on Grand Prix – Photo by Jaime Pirozzi – Local Freshies®

This trail usually is ridden after finishing Bad Moto Scooter and is split into two main sections: Upper and Lower GP. As an iconic trail in Post Canyon, it features immaculate banked slalom-like berms and a variety of features such as booters with mandatory gaps. While the upper section is labeled as expert, any of the mandatory gaps offer intermediate-friendly ride-around options.

For intermediate riders and confident beginners, navigating down using these ride-around options should pose no challenge, allowing them to experience its awesomeness and yet avoid the more advanced features.

Spaghetti Factory

Map and info about Spaghetti Factory on Trailforks

Yet another name that describes what it will be like. Brace yourself for a blend of rapid, punchy ascents interspersed with smooth, rolling descents. All of it weaving through a dense thicket of slender pines as effortlessly as slicing through a pile of spaghetti. Hence the Spaghetti Factory.


Mitchell Ridge

Map and info on Trailforks

Located on a ridgeline by itself, it feels more like a classic tour ride in the mountains. The trail begins wide as a double track, but as you venture further, it narrows, beckoning you into more daring terrain. At one point, the path becomes so steep and slick that a giant sign warns of “Caution: Tumbling Water Buffalo.” Heed this warning—it’s no exaggeration! The journey finishes up with another series of expertly maintained tight switchbacks, adding a thrilling finale to the adventure.

7 Streams

Map & info on Trailforks

Upon completing Mitchell Ridge, our only route back to the Family Man staging area was a climb up the 7 Streams trail. True to its name, this path leads you across the stream seven times. As you ascend through a narrow, winding valley, you’re surrounded by vibrant neon-green trees that form a canopy overhead, guiding you back up to the mid-level section of the trail system.

A word of advice: opt for the Cardiac Bypass route

The final stretch is a steep ascent straight up the mountain that doesn’t justify the shortcut.

Our Wish List

With just a single day at our disposal, we couldn’t possibly tackle all the iconic bike trails this place has to offer. However, after seeing a few photos and videos, one trail stood out: Dirt Surfer. We truly regret not having the time to experience it firsthand. Located at a higher elevation than the rest of the trail system, it seems that it has a different soil composition and slightly rockier terrain. But alas that only solidifies that we need to return for another adventure!

Where To Eat, Stay, And More

Post Canyon is but one of three major mountain bike trail networks near Hood River. For insights into the other trail systems, a deeper dive into the history of Post Canyon, top dining spots, and more, check out our article: “All You Need To Know About Hood River Mountain Biking.

And when it comes to lodging, there’s no shortage of fantastic accommodations. Consider options like the Hood River Hotel or Adventure Lodge in town. You can read about our firsthand experience at Adventure Lodge Hood River in our article: Adventure Lodge Hood River – An Ideal Basecamp For Outdoor Fun. And whatever you do, don’t forget to mention that Local Freshies® sent ya!

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