By many accounts, Post Canyon has some of the most radical freeride action in the northwest. Because it is not on more regulated national forest land, locals were able to build extensive wooden features. The first mile and a half or so are on private land. Then it turns into State Park land and at the upper end it is Hood River County Forest land. A pristine wilderness experience this isn't. Probably lots of local kids first got drunk and lost their virginity here. Speaking of multiple-abuse, there are Motorcycle/ATV trails mixed in with the mountain bike trails. If the trail seems impossibly steep for a mountain bike, it is, and you are on a motorized trail or else it is done as a downhill only. Currently Hood River County is working with other land owners to establish some management plans for trails in the area which may result in some closures on one hand and better maps and more signage on the other. Obviously if the area is too heavily abused the private land owners could shut their portion down so keep that in mind.
In the winter of 2012 for instance there was a bad ice storm that will take quite some time to clean up, many trails were not cleared by July even. Oregon Field Guide did a segment on free riding that appears to be almost entirely shoot in Post Canyon. This was first broadcast in 2005 but appears to have been updated. Check it out. There is also an article in the Bend Bulletin by Mark Morical on Post Canyon. It has great photos and interviews with local riders. This was in the paper on October 19, 2007. Hopefully the link will work for a while.
The maize of trails and logging roads on a map looks like a plate of spaghetti. The trails and roads are better marked than they used to be but if you are obsessed with wanting to know where you are at all times you probably won't get a lot of riding done. There are trail intersections about every couple hundred yards especially in the lower end of the canyon. This might seem like odd advice from a site providing maps and descriptions but the best bet is to just start riding. If you start at the lower end generally you will be heading uphill to the west on various trails. So if you have had enough, you head downhill to the east. If you are lucky, you'll get someone who knows the trails to show you around. As of the summer of 2010 the Hood River County Forestry Department put out a map of this area that is available in the local bike shops for $6.95 and no, there is no link to an electronic version on their site. The proceeds from the maps go to trail building and maintenance and for the next printing of the map. Here are some links to that map including the back side with a lot of text and recommendations. These links are to low res jpgs - not suitable for printing - buy the map.This is not suitable for your iphone and you will need to have a big monitor to have it be useful. For current conditions check the Hood River Area Trail Stewards site. They also have maps.
The profile, by the way, is starting up near the top of Riordan Hill Drive and roughly following trails along that road or on that road and finally dropping into and crossing Post Canyon. There would be many possible routes in the maize of trails from top to bottom but the profiles would probably look roughly similar.Other than the first mile or so the uphill riding is pretty strenuous and you will need to be in good shape to ride it to the top even if you opt to take the roads up.
If you are into big jumps and log features you will probably want a beefy bike and will be doing some kind of shuttle on Riordan Hill Drive or Binns Hill Drive. On some of the lower trials like Drop Out the wooden structures can be ridden around if you just want to check it out. Some of the trails up higher up in the canyon like Eight Track and Chorus Line do not have easy ways around the technical features and unless you are a very expert rider or don't want to take the risks you will be walking a lot. Some of these trails like Chorus Line are within fifty yards of the road and are worth going up to have a look at them to see how unbelievably extreme they are. Bend currently does not have anything even close to this level of technical riding. There are about ten times more free ride features (several hundred?) and they are generally much more difficult. It will probably only be a matter of time before some "victims" lawyer figures out a way to penetrate the private land owners and counties liability defenses and the whole thing gets shut down. God Bless America. Ride it while you can. On private land there are Oregon Recreation Statutes that prohibit lawsuits on private land if they are not charging you to use it.
After checking some of the man made features out you feel like your ready to give it a go there is a great place to practice called Family Man up near Riordan Hill Drive where the features are just 1-2 feet off the ground. After you have practiced there for a few minutes, you'll be ready for the jumps just downhill on Drop Out that are 5-10 foot drops one right after another, some requiring turning in mid air. This kind of riding takes total commitment. There is no chickening out at the last minute.
The riding surface in Post Canyon is very different from the riding up on Surveyor's Ridge. This is total hard-pack and it can get muddy. The locals like it best in the spring and fall. In the winter it is too muddy, and in the summer there are loose pellets of dirt on top of the hard-pack. If you are not pushing the envelope freeriding, it can be ridden in the summer with a little caution.
Getting to the start of the Post Canyon Trails on the east end:____ In Google Maps copy and paste "Post Canyon Dr @45.695850, -121.586200" as a destination in the get directions tab. Enter wherever you are as a starting point obviously.
Getting to the "Family Man" practice area on Riordan Hill Drive:____ In Google Maps copy and paste "Riordan Hill Dr @45.681420, -121.601470" as a destination.
Getting to the very top of the Post Canyon Trails is a bit tricky. There are actually three roads that will get you to roughly the intersection of Riordan Hill Drive and Binns Hill Drive, those two and Post Canyon Road. At the intersection of Riordan Hill Drive and Binns Hill Drive you want to take Riordan Hill Drive as far as you can until it turns into Road #1000. Then continue about another mile and a half. The end of the line in Google Maps is the intersection of Riordan Hill Dr and Binns Hill Drive :____ That intersection in Google Maps is "Riordan Hill Dr @45.654470, -121.643970" If you type in this destination and have as a starting point some place in downtown Hood River, it will have you going almost all the way on Post Canyon Road which may not be the quickest route. If you start on 12th or 13th or anywhere else in the Heights, it sends you out via Binns Hill Drive which would be more direct if you are running some kind of shuttle. Although it won't do you any good in Google Maps, the final GPS at the end of Road #1000 is 45.66433, 121.67432 You may want to program that into a gps unit if you have one. This advice is likely to be outdated and there may be new trails that start higher.
Maps of Post Canyon Trails (Note: some of these trails have changed and more up to date trial files are hopefully going to be acquired one way or another either from the county or gps)Post Canyon Trails - in Google Earth