Impressive mountain views! Dazzling seasonal wildflowers! Fun trails! There’s a lot to like when you ride out of Knebal Springs Campground, on the east side of Mt. Hood.
30+ miles of riding
Elevation 3,850 feet
From Knebal Springs Campground, you can ride a fun loop to the top of Fivemile Butte. It offers amazing views of Mt. Hood, Mt. Adams, and Mt. Rainier, plus expansive views to the east.
You can see Mt. Adams and Mt. Rainier from Fivemile Butte.
You can do an out-and-back ride to wildflower-filled Eightmile Meadow. Along the way, you’ll have impressive views of Mt. Hood.
Eightmile Meadow is full of seasonal wildflowers.
You can ride the Knebal Springs Loop, a relatively easy trail with an astounding amount of variety: stands of trees so dense that sunlight barely penetrates, sun-dappled forest with wildflowers, and clear-cut areas with views of Mt. Hood, Mt. Adams, Mt. St. Helens, and Mt. Rainier.
Mt. Hood from the Knebal Springs Loop.
You can ride to the spectacular summit of Lookout Mountain, either by starting at Knebal Springs or by trailering to the Bottle Prairie Trailhead. It’s hard to beat the “WOW!” factor of this trail because it offers a 360-degree panorama featuring nine major volcanic peaks.
The view of Mt. Hood from the trail near the top of Lookout Mountain.
You’ll be sharing the trails around Knebal Springs with mountain bike riders, but don’t let this scare you off. Other than the trail to Lookout Mountain, the trails don’t have a huge amount of elevation change, so the bikes aren’t going too fast. And the lines of sight along the trail are open, so you can see them coming.
Knebal Springs Campground has seven sites, three of which have corrals. Non-horse campers are allowed. The camp’s amenities include a toilet and a spring-fed water trough. You’ll need a Northwest Forest Pass for day-use parking, or you can pay a fee for overnight camping.
At the Knebal Springs water trough.
From Portland, head east on Hwy. 26. About 2.5 miles past Government Camp turn north on Hwy. 35 toward Hood River. Continue 13.2 miles and turn right on Road 44. Drive 5.4 miles and turn left on Road 17. Continue 0.4 mile, then go straight on Road 1720 when Road 17 makes a 90 degree left turn. Continue 2.7 miles to the horse camp. From Hood River, drive south on Hwy. 35 for 25 miles, turn left on Road 44 and follow the directions above.
You’ll find more information about Knebal Springs Campground and its nearby trails in Riding Northwest Oregon Horse Trails, by Kim McCarrel, (Ponderosa Press, 2017), available at www.nwhorsetrails.com.