Northwest Passage Cycling
Includes all lodging, all breakfasts and dinners, van support, park entrance fees, leaders, tour maps & narratives.
Timberline van shuttle is included to and from Portland.
Not Included: Airline Service to Portland International Airport; Guide Gratuity.
Airport 1 pm, Hotel 1:30 pm
The gorge today presents the only navigable breach in the Cascade barrier between the Columbia Plateau to the east and the Pacific. Its role in the settlement and economic development of the Pacific Northwest has been profound. The gorge also illustrates the manner in which prudent governmental management and oversight has created an environment in which economic, recreational and environmental interests can successfully co-exist. The Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, administered by the U.S. Forest Service, and its efforts in the rehabilitation of the historic Columbia River Highway, has resulted in the creation of a bicycling corridor through the gorge that is truly extraordinary, and it is through this corridor that we will explore on our Northwest Passage Cycling Tour.
The Historic Columbia River Highway was designed to take full advantage of every natural aspect, scenic feature, waterfall, viewpoint and panorama along the Columbia River. By 1960, a new interstate highway had replaced nearly all of the older road. but new interest in the old scenic highway for recreation purposes began to resurface, and an ambitious restoration began. Currently there are 64 miles available for off highway riding and that will be the focus of this tour. As a finishing touch on the tour, we will explore the Willamette Scenic Bikeway in a valley filled with vineyards and wineries.
On Day 1 we will assemble in Troutdale – a western suburb of Portland, to check in and get set up on our bikes. A small loop in the area will give us a chance to work out the kinks in our equipment and clothing and get prepared for the next morning. We will dine as a group, and the guides will give their orientation information. Day 2 will start our real cycling as we leave the suburbs to work our way through the gorge. The historic highway climbs over Crown Rock for our first sweeping views of the Columbia River and the gorge through which it runs. From this high point it is relatively flat as we continue to work our way up river to Cascade Locks and our home on the river. Our treat tonight will be a dinner cruise on the river.
We need to avoid a stretch of road where the bikeway has not been completed yet, so we will van up to The Dalles on Day 3 to the beautiful section of riding that includes the Twin Tunnels that are cut through spectacular geologic formations telling the story of the gorge’s creation. This ride will bring us into one of America’s Best Towns, according to Outside Magazine, Hood River. Our boutique hotel, home for 2 nights, is overlooking the river where wind surfers are frequently skimming the surface.
We ride the famed Fruit Loop on Day 4 – a loop route on quiet country roads, that travels towards the flanks of Mt. Hood past vineyards and fruit orchards. The beauty of this route is the plethora of possible stops at fruit stands, country stores and wineries along the way. Take the whole day to enjoy this scenic ride and the local offerings.
After a second day in Hood River it is off to the Washington side for a ride on Day 5 along the Lewis and Clark Highway. Wide shoulders give us room to enjoy this slightly downhill route meandering along the Columbia’s north shore. The end of the ride includes a small climb to take us around the back side of Mt. Pleasant. Upon returning to the urban area, we will van shuttle down to the Salem area for our final night. Straight from our hotel we can catch the Willamette Scenic Bikeway on Day 6 for a worry free ride through the Willamette Valley, past fields of hops and vineyards. We come to the scenic bikeway’s terminus at Champoeg State Park and will celebrate our Northwest Passage adventure with lunch at a local winery. A van transfer into Portland and the Portland International Airport will conclude the tour.
|DAY 1||Assemble Troutdale, warm up ride||5|
|Day 2||Troutdale to Cascade Locks||31|
|Day 3||The Dalles to Hood River||25|
|Day 4||The Fruit Loop||35|
|Day 5||Lewis and Clark Highway and around Mt. Pleasant||30|
|Day 6||Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway||25|