We drove out to Mt Hood to spend a day of riding the lift assist trails at the Ski Bowl Adventure Park. Ski Bowl is a little under 60 miles from Portland, the location is killer. So why don't we hear more people talking about it? Here is what we found out.
Pulling into the parking lot you immediately notice that Ski Bowl is a small operation and by no means a Whistler or a Northstar. Day passes are $39 or you can buy a summer pass for $200. Being so close to Portland a summer pass makes sense but only if the trails were good. So were the trails good?
Keep reading to find out.
The lifts at Ski Bowl are sketchy. There is no other way to put it. Bikes hang by their front wheel swinging in the air. The upside is the staff loads your bike for you and bikes get to jump to the front of the line. Once you get to the top of the lower lift there is a short connector to get to the upper lift. This lift is less used and we didn't have to wait in a line the entire day.
At the top of the mountain we quickly realized there wasn't a whole lot of options to get down. Sunrise, Cannonball and the Pro Line. Sunrise is a pretty fun trail and was our go to on most of the runs. Cannonball is not a trail, I repeat Cannonball is not a trail. Ski Bowl literally took a jeep road and just put a sign in front of it. I have no idea why you'd take a lift to the top of a mountain to just bomb down a jeep road. The Pro Line was real. The top section is called Ridge Line on Trail Forks and there are a couple gnarly moves at the top.
Once you make your way down to the top of the first lift you have a couple of options to get back down to the bottom. Gnar Gnar, Fire Hydrant and the Pro Line. Gnar Gnar to Fire Hydrant was definitely the most fun. Fire Hydrant was steep and rooty. It finally felt like we were mountain biking! The Pro Line got pretty serious but we managed to make our way through it. The rock garden has a really tough right turn into another steep rock garden. I advise you to walk the top of this line, it's definitely a black/ double black.
So thats about it. The big question is, was it worth it? Would we go again? We all kinda agreed that it would be fun to go one more time. The trails will be a little more familiar and there is enough technical riding to keep you occupied through out the day. Especially with a couple mountain top beers!