Syncline Trails: Hidden Canyon Loop

One of the longest and most rewarding rides in the Syncline trail network.

Mountain Biking Difficult

Distance
10 km
Ascent
395 m
Descent
395 m
Low Point
33 m
High Point
376 m
Gradient
VIEW ON MAP
Syncline Trails: Hidden Canyon Loop Map

Description

When all the other trails are too wet and snowy to ride, the locals head to the Syncline area. This exposed, south facing mountainside catches sunlight all year round, melting snow fast and drying the dirt quickly after a rain. In fact, if you’re coming to the Hood River area in hopes of finding deep, dark Pacific Northwest forests to ride in and you choose to pedal in the Syncline area, you may be shocked at how dry, rocky, and barren the terrain actually is. But of course, dry and rocky can make for fantastic mountain biking!

The Hidden Canyon loop mapped here is one of the longest and most rewarding loops for mountain biking in the Syncline network. The climb up the old road is a grunt, but once you gain the top of the ridge, flowing singletrack delivers you across the picturesque ridgeline to the descent down Hidden Canyon.

You’ll find few trails as diverse as Hidden Canyon. The singletrack begins with delightful, smooth, flowing dirt singletrack that rips down the hillside, funneling into sharp but rideable switchbacks. The trail bobs and weaves out of small drainages. From the tops of low ridges, it provides stunning views of the Columbia River Gorge.

Lower down, Hidden Canyon gets progressively rockier and more challenging, before dropping into what is likely the namesake for the trail itself. Here, you’ll find some hefty rock features with big boulder-filled rock gardens, steep rock rolls down jagged rocks, optional ledge drops, and more. Delightful singletrack runs between these large, challenging trail features, meaning an intermediate rider who’s willing to walk a few obstacles would still love this trail. While the difficult obstacles may earn this trail a “severe” rating, I’ve only given rated it as “difficult” due to the intermittent nature of the obstacles.

Once back down on the old, gated road grade, you’ll look back up at the hillside and wonder, “just how could a trail that good be hidden up there?

And that is the beauty of Hidden Canyon.

Difficulty

Difficult

Mostly stable trail tread with some variability featuring larger and more unavoidable obstacles that may include, but not be limited to: bigger stones, roots, steps, and narrow curves. Compared to lower intermediate, technical difficulty is more advanced and grades of slopes are steeper. Ideal for upper intermediate riders.

High Exposure

3 out of 4

Some trail sections have exposed ledges or steep ascents/descents where falling could cause serious injury.

Remoteness

2 out of 4

Away from help but easily accessed.

Best time to visit

January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December

Features

  • Flow
  • Technical
  • Singletrack
  • Road sections
  • Drops
  • Rock Rolls
  • Rock Slabs
  • Rock Gardens

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area