View Full Version : US 26 to Government Camp

08-16-2007, 03:40 PM
I'm thinking of riding from Gresham or Sandy to Government Camp. The elevation shouldn't bother me, because I've been riding up Larch Mountain lately. I'm just wondering about how wide the shoulder is, how unpleasant the traffic is and whether there are any sections without guardrails that would be unnerving?

08-16-2007, 04:01 PM
d-bob, not sure about the shoulder width - the State bike map shows it as having a 3 foot-plus shoulder the whole way, but I'm skeptical. The traffic is, depending on your tolerance for such things, either somewhat unpleasant or outright hellacious.

There is the option of the Marmot Rd./BarlowTrail Rd., which will take you all the way from Sandy to the Lolo Pass Rd. in Zig Zag, following the north side of the Sandy River. A lot less traffic than hwy 26. A far longer (more than a one-dayer) but much more pleasant route is out the Gorge to Hood River, then up the back roads thru Parkdale, to Cooper Spur, & then Hwy 35.

08-17-2007, 08:24 AM
Did it last weekend and there's no issues with the hiway sholder other than glass and rocks. It's wide all the way. Didn't flat or get run over so can't say it was all bad. There is a lot of fast traffic going up but not much coming down. There was repaving west of Goverment Camp which may have moved lower down Laurel hill this week. There was about a 2 mile streach with fresh ground lane beds that was pretty tough but where the new coat is, it's as smooth as a baby's butt and you can really haul.

Matt P.
08-29-2007, 08:54 AM
The shoulder is generally 4'-6' for the entire length - there are a few tight spots on the uphill climb about halfway between Rhododendron and Governmnent Camp. Before Rhododendron the shoulder is 14' wide or more. Gravel is generally light to moderate on the shoulder, with occasional broken glass - not an issue going up, but when coming down with skinny tires, the debris makes the shoulder problematic at speeds over 25 mph.

Drivers get much more agressive from Rhododendron on up, especially on Labor Day weekend. Expect to be squeezed in spots. Road noise is moderate to severe depending on the traffic load - during the week it's not bad. I recommend earplugs.

If downhill speed and traffic does not frighten you, then take the lane on the way down and you should be able to maintain 45mph easily for almost 10 miles from Government Camp all the way to the Dairy Queen. (yes, I navigate by ice cream parlors) :-)

I don't recommend 45mph on the shoulder due to the aforementioned debris. Frankly, riding the shoulder at 30 last August with traffic passing me at 60-65 was the scariest experience I've ever had on a bike.

So of course, I want to repeat it.