Surveyors Ridge is the heart of the 44 trails mountain bike system on the eastern side of Mt. Hood and Highway 35.  This trail is used for both the Wy’east Wonder and Wy’east Howl trail races.  I decided to ask Renee Janssen of Go Beyond Racing, co-director for the Wy’east Wonder, about why she loves this area for trail running and what her favorite routes are using these trails.

“The Surveryors Ridge trail (#688) is a beauty,” states Janssen. “It’s best to run it with a friend so you can make it a shuttle starting or ending at Oak Ridge Trailhead #688A and starting or ending where Surveryors Ridge and Super Connector trail intersect with Forest Road #17 – this is the spot where the Aquaduct aid station is in the Wy’East Wonder. That’s a 10-mile route and has a bazillion stunning views of Mt. Hood. In the late spring/early summer, there are wildflowers everywhere. There are a few old roads/trails that branch off Surveryors Ridge, but you’ll stay on the Surveyors Ridge trail the whole time. If you get to the powerlines, you’ve gone too far (although the Surveryors Ridge trail does continue past the Oak Ridge trail junction so that you can add more that way. Maps show Surveryors Ridge trail going all the way to Pine Mont Road, and it does, but it gets really rough and not as developed). The Oak Ridge trail is steep, so think about how you want to start or end your day when deciding whether to start or finish at that trailhead.”


Elevation profile running to Oak Ridge Trailhead


Paul Weeks on Surveyors Ridge during the Wy’East Wonder (Paul Nelson)


“Another favorite that has fewer viewpoints but is a super flowy fun route is the Cooks Meadow trail (#639),” says Janssen. “The upper part of this trail is only a few years old! This is also a great shuttle option, but you could make it an out-and-back too. Start at the High Prairie trailhead (NW Forest Pass required) and pick up the trail just west of Lookout Moutain Road (#4410. (this is where the High Prairie aid station is at the Wonder). Follow Cooks Meadow north and downhill, about mid-way through crossing over Lookout Mountain Road. The trail comes out at Road #44. This is a 6.6-mile route with 2,200 feet of loss. Turn around and go back up, or continue across the road for some extra miles on The Hub trails that will connect to the Surveryors Ridge trail.”

Stephanie Imig at Shellrock Mountain during the Wy’East Wonder (Paul Nelson)

“I have to mention the Bottle Prairie trailhead too,” claims Janssen. “The Eightmile Loop trail (#496) is really just 6-miles, and doing it clockwise makes a nice shaded return along the creek. Starting from the parking lot, take the Bottle Prairie trail #455 and at the Y, go right onto Eightmile Loop trail. There’s a fire lookout about 2.5 miles into the run, up the trail on Five Mile butte, that is a nice little side-trip to take in some views.”