10% paved, 90 % singletrack. Tight and somewhat dusty. The ride begins across the road from the campground outhouse. Look for a faint trail that is marked by a "closed to motor vehicles" sign. (The trail goes between 2 campsites and heads into the woods.) Ride up this trail, turning left in 0.3 mile onto paved FS 1720. After 1.3 miles of pavement, turn left and climb up signed Knebal Springs Trail 474. Shortly, you will arrive at a gravel road. Turn right onto the road, then immediately turn left to regain the trail and ride into a clear-cut. In 0.3 mile, turn left onto a gravel road, then immediately turn right to regain signed Trail 474. You will arrive at a dirt double-track in 0.4 mile, bear right and ride through a clearing with incredible views of volcanic snow-cones. Soon, the roadbed becomes gravel and Trail 474 branches off to the left. Pick up the trail and pedal 0.3 mile to cross an overgrown double-track. In another 0.9 mile, cross a gravel road and follow the trail as it becomes a double-track. (The double-track is marked with a sign that directs you toward Trail 455 and Trail 450.) Travel down the double-track for 0.2 mile to signed Bottle Prairie Trail 455. Turn left and climb up this trail for 0.5 mile to an intersection with Eightmile Loop Trail 459. Here, continue straight (take the left fork) to remain on Bottle Prairie Trail 455 toward Knebal Springs Campground. You will pass a side trail in 0.4 mile; it goes right to Perry Point. (Follow this short trail if you would like another view of Mt. Adams.)
After passing the side trail to Perry Point, continue in a northeasterly direction on Trail 455. The trail descends nicely to a double-track. Cross the double-track and ride 0.9 mile to an intersection where Knebal Springs Trail 474 goes left. Bear left to follow the trail toward Knebal Springs Campground. Some climbing leads to an unsigned gravel road. Turn left onto the road and ride 200 feet to regain the trail on the right. Descend and cross 3 creeks. (The first 2 creek crossings are followed by 2 brief, steep uphills, the third creek crossing is followed by a long, steep climb.) The ride ends with a descent into Knebal Springs Campground.
From locations to the north, drive south from Hood River on OR 35 for 25 miles. Turn left (1.4 miles south of Sherwood Campground) onto FS 44/Dufur Mill Road. From locations from the south, drive north on OR 35. FS 44/Dufur Mill Road will be on your right, 6.8 miles north of Bennett Pass (2.6 miles north of Robinhood Campground). Follow FS 44 for 5.3 to FS 17 (signed for Knebal Springs Campground). Continue straight onto FS 17 (where FS 44 curves right). In 0.5 mile, continue straight onto FS 1720 (signed for Knebal Springs) where FS 17 goes left. Stay on FS 1720 for 2.7 miles to FS 150. Turn right onto FS 150 and drive 0.2 mile to enter Knebal Springs Campground. Bear left through the campground to park on the left in an open grassy area.
Summary: Lots of fun. Reminded me a little of Rossland B.C. trails minus all the rocks and stunts. Good views of eastern oregon and mt. hood. The uphill is usually gradual and the downhill is fast, rooty, and neverending. There really is an abundance of sweet decents, especially if you figure-eight with 8 mile trail. Careful of other bikers and hikers while flying down the trail.
Recommended Route: From knebal springs campground: take the single track out of the campground (Starts just west of the outhouse) to the road. Head west on the road for 1.3 miles and then the trail starts back up on the left. I would recommend a map (go to GORP online and print the map)for first timers. It helped me out a lot. Fairly easy trail to navigate.
Other recommended trails in the same area: Post Canyon, Hospital hill, Syncline
Summary: Great ride! Pick up the newest topo/trail map at Discover Bicycles or other area shops. We rode in early October and dust was not too bad with a group of two (especially since I rode the descents first, heh). Unfortunately, there was some recent logging, and horse use of 1/3 or so of the trail, making it choppy. Also some tight brushy sections that slow you down a bit. Overall great ride. Some long extended climbs, but overall more fast than technical.
Recommended Route: As directed by the map, we started at the parking area on 44. We rode the 8-Mile Creek loop first (ccw), extremely fast and fun descent on smooth wide trail. We linked that with the Knebal Springs loop, also ccw, although we saw several other riders going the same way. Recommend the side trail to the fire overlook tower, with great three-mountain (Hood, Adams, Rainier) view. Both loops took 2.5 hours with side trip and a few breaks.
Other recommended trails in the same area: All of them.
Summary: About as good as it gets! We lucked out on weather, a little drizzle made for no dust. We camped at Knebal Springs, followed the previous route descriptions and added in 8-mile loop. We tood the southern end of 8-mile loop for one of the coolest, flatish downhills I have ever done! The last downhill into the camp was great also. Shades of South Fork in Bend.
Recommended Route: Knebal with 8-mile, take southern (far side of river) loop to desend on 8-mile.
Other recommended trails in the same area: Surveyors Ridge and the DOG.
Summary: I like this trail a lot because I like less crowded, out in the boonies type rides. You get some good views also. In the Mt. Hood National Forest. Please stay on the trails and watch you speed around blind curves because of hikers and other bikers.
Recommended Route: Standard loop route
Other recommended trails in the same area: 8 mile, Post Canyon.
Review Date July 2, 2003
Overall Rating 5 of 5
Ridden Trail: Every few months
Reviewed by: Will
, from Beaverton
Summary: This trail is absolutely killer, especially if you hook it up with 8-mile creek. There are only 3 real times you'll do any extended climbing. (1) the FS road from Knebal Springs CG to the trailhead (2) from the trailhead to the first descent and (3) about a 1/3 of the way through the 8-mile creek loop. Most if not all of the climbing is grueling do to the loose conditions. The dust can spell your demise. Despite that, the climbs are not technical, just long (especially the one out of 8-mile creek). If you go with others, make sure to leave yourself plenty of space to let the dust settle or you won't see where you are going. The descents on Knebal are ruined by all the dust as it really slows you down and hidden roots steal your momentum (don't get me wrong, it is still very, very fun). The one long descent on 8-mile is the fastet I've ever ridden a trail (25+mph). Although the trail is well-maintained and marked, keep a map close by for the first couple times you ride it as it can get a bit confusing (the map is handy if you plan on connecting nearby trails). Also, two heads are better than one when reading the map. Shoot me an e-mail if you'd like to ride it.
Recommended Route: Counter-clockwise and hooked up with 8-mile Creek.