|Sandy Ridge Trail System, filmed and reviewed by Jim Bernstein
Review Date: 8/18/2016
I'm sure you have heard how the Northwest part of the US is known for its great mountain biking trails and it's definitely true. And Sandy Ridge is no exception when it comes to having some great trails. Sandy Ridge is one of those places where you ride up the road and then have your choice of different types of trails to ride down on. There is everything from runs categorized as green such as Laura's Line to the double black diamond TNT trail filled with jumps that will test your skills and courage.
There are new trails being added so the variety and number of trails is growing and most maps you will find online are out of date so expect to find more trails than expected when going your first time. The trails are marked for the most part so finding your way around shouldn't be too hard and there is a map at the parking lot at the bottom to give you an idea of where to find the trails you want to ride. You can easily spend a couple of days here trying new trails and mastering the ones you like. They occasionally have shuttle days as well so you don't have to ride up the road each time.
Sandy Ridge Videos
Sandy Ridge Trail System Review
Sandy Ridge is a great place to get your uphill exercise and have your downhill fun all in one day. Since the road up the mountain is paved and not all that steep it's pretty easy to ride up multiple times in one day without killing yourself. If you are on a pure downhill bike then that's another story and for the most part a DH bike is not needed on any of the trails there. The trails at the top tend to be a little rockier than at the bottom but overall there is a nice variety of terrain from rocky and rooty to smooth and flowing. We do recommend a full suspension bike and if you want to do some of the blue or black trails maybe some light pads. A full face helmet is only suggested for the double black diamond trails.
One of our favorite trails is called Hide and Seek and it's a blue level trail and gives you a little of everything. At the top its fairly technical with lots of rocks and roots to barrel over but when you get to the second half its becomes a lot smoother with nice berms and features to jump off if you find yourself in the mood. Another fun one is Flow Motion which is a shorter trail but consists of a bunch of turns and berms and is a good one to do on the way up because you don't have to do too much climbing to get back to where the trail starts on the paved road. If you are into jumps that are fun but won't send you to the hospital then check out Monkey Trail. It has a nice flow to it and consists of a bunch of medium size table top jumps that you can fly over, roll over or come up short without any fear of crashing.
Sandy Ridge will get crowded on the weekends and the parking lot will fill up fast but there are so many trails you don't really have to worry about crowds or people getting in your way. You won't see too many hikers here either. There are no signs that we saw saying the trails are downhill only but have never seen anyone riding up them either. If you do it will most likely be on the green rated trails.
Directions to Sandy Ridge
To get to the Sandy Ridge Trail System make your way to Mt. Hood Highway (Highway 26) about 15 miles east of the town of Sandy in northern Oregon and about 40 miles east of Portland. From there turn on E Sleepy Hollow Dr. and then turn right onto E Barlow Trail Rd. and the parking lot will be on the left in about a mile. If you put Sandy Ridge Trail System into Google Maps on your phone it will take you right to it. Just be sure to do so before you lose reception as you get closer to the trailhead!