11 miles
Distance
1,809 ft
Climb
-3,274 ft
Descent
4,334 ft
High Point
Trail Supporters, Builders & Maintainers of Smith Creek Trail

Smith Creek Trail Details

  • Riding area
    Mt. Saint Helens
    Cougar, Washington
  • Difficulty rating
    Black Diamond
  • Trail type
    Mixed
  • Bike type
    AM, XC
  • Trail Usage
    Multi-use
  • Direction
    Both Directions
  • Climb Difficulty
    Blue
  • Physical rating
    Hard
  • TTFs on trail
    Bridge
  • Global Ranking

This is an epic ride especially combined with Ape Canyon-Plains of Abraham.
Not sure if an out and back is worth it, just ride the loop!
Park at the bottom next to the river and grind out the 3000' ascent to the Plains. Continue north and work your way to the visitors center and main road. The trailhead for Smith Creek is only a mile or so north east of Spirit Lake overlook.
The descent is fun and full of volcanic sand, super loose controlled slides. It may be more set up when wet.
It's an adventure and there is minor route finding involved.
Bring water or a filter and be prepared for a wilderness adventure.

Access Info

Park at Ape Canyon trailhead to do the full loop and be ready for the 1500' ascent at the end of a long ride back to the car. Or park at the river and get the long climb out of the way.

Local Trail Association
More Stats for Smith Creek Trail mountain bike trail
  • Altitude change
    -1,465 ft
  • Altitude min
    1,708 ft
  • Altitude start
    4,331 ft
  • Altitude end
    2,867 ft
  • Grade max
    -61.549%
  • Grade min
    28.185%
  • Distance climb
    5 miles
  • Distance down
    6 miles
  • Distance flat
    626 ft
  • Avg reverse time
    00:00:18
  • view trail stats
Status:
on Sep 27, 2017
Dry
Avg: 3.5 (2 votes)

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Directions to smith-creek-trail trailhead (46.258210, -122.116850)
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Smith Creek Trail Trail Reports

datedescription
Sep 27, 2017 @ 7:50pm
Sep 27, 2017
Upper Smith is closed above the stairs due to washouts, but it's mostly overgrown. Lower (what most people ride) is good, couple streams to...
Jun 17, 2017 @ 11:27pm
Jun 17, 2017
downed trees @ the south end, still some snow at the top
Aug 30, 2016 @ 5:00pm
Aug 30, 2016
Follow orange flagging where the trail is washed out, puts you back on the main trail, adds to the ride, as does the small river fording at the...
view all reports »

Photos

more »
60 |
Jun 12, 2017 @ 7:57pm
Jun 12, 2017
Smith Creek Trail, Portland
60 |
Apr 13, 2017 @ 8:45pm
Apr 13, 2017
Smith Creek Trail, Cougar
52 |
Apr 13, 2017 @ 8:45pm
Apr 13, 2017
Smith Creek Trail, Cougar
410 |
Apr 17, 2016 @ 5:44pm
Apr 17, 2016
Smith Creek Trail, Amboy

2 Reviews & Comments

  • + 0
flag sanfret NWTA (Aug 20, 2017 at 19:21)
 If you are starting at the Ape Canyon trailhead to start this ride you will make your way to the Windy Ridge viewing area. You will then follow the paved road to past the Smith Creek viewing area. Continue until you see the Smith Creek Trail trailhead sign on your right.

The first half mile is lose gravel, overgrown shrubs (trying to push you off the cliff) and a sheer cliff to your right. After that enjoy the ride.

In a couple of places the trail crosses the river. There are no official markers. Look for bright marking tape (bright pink) to tell you where to go.

The last three miles are up the old FS road 83. You will be directed up the road by a small blue detour sign. This is the correct way to dump you out right at the Ape Canyon trailhead.
[Reply]
  • + 0
flag rm7freerider (Sep 27, 2017 at 19:54)
 Great ride, used it to make a loop, but Smith Creek is a great trail in its own right. Lots of cool swoopy turns. Not as steep as the end of plains of Abraham where it drops out, but riding in the opposite direction would probably be a bear, not impossible except for a few hike a bikes, but it'd be a long day.
[Reply]

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Videos

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Some Smith Creek
1:41 | 283 | Sep 16, 2015 , Cougar
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