View Full Version : Historic Columbia River Highway Detour

08-03-2012, 03:13 PM
I've never been on Alex Barr or Palmar Mill rd. Which is less scary for 700x25 tires? Is taking I-84 East from Corbett a reasonable possibility?

08-06-2012, 03:28 PM
S-C, rode one of those (going up) about a decade ago, don't recall which, on 32c & it involved considerable walking - which may say more about my cycling skills/fitness than the quality of the unpaved road, but there you have it. Both are extremely steep & i find it hard to think either would be navigable on 25c in either direction -

02-18-2013, 03:33 PM
Just a little update to anyone who might be interested. I was out on the HCRH last weekend, and while construction was still ongoing at Crown Point, the road is open. Immediately after some single-lane be-prepared-to-stop business at Crown Point the smooth nice repaved surface begins and carries you through all those crazy switchbacks most of the way to Latourell Falls.

03-04-2013, 09:41 AM
I've descended Alex Barr (via Larch Mt. & Haines) on 23s. It's doable, and there's a spooky abandoned(?) house along the way, but I wouldn't recommend it to anyone. For comparison, I consider Saltzman (the one in the West Hills) just fine, if muddy.

I have looked into Palmer Mill, but was not able to find it from the highway or Larch Mountain. It might be a myth.

Update: thanks to this Strava Multiple Ride Mapper (http://www.jonathanokeeffe.com/strava/map.php), it looks like I turned around just shy of Palmer Mill on Brower Road, right where it makes a final turn east (and into gravel).

04-28-2014, 11:49 AM
Update: I'm not sure how I've missed Palmer Mill at the Angel's Rest trailhead all this time, especially since there are TWO ramps up to it.

If you can ride up College, I think this would be a fine challenge with the right bike. The gravel is in decent condition, but I would not consider either one suitable for climbing with 25s. For the surface and grade, you'll need to be firmly planted in the saddle to maintain traction, and Palmer Mill has very few places to restart (http://app.strava.com/activities/131709390/segments/2979782396) if you ever end up pushing (I certainly did).

Going down one and up the other will do for me, unless someone is spotting me a 26" hardtail and a trip out to the Gorge. You can see the house on Alex Barr from the highway—riding up to it might be the only taste you need.

Simple Nature
04-28-2014, 02:05 PM
Nice route! I might try the reverse to avoid that one massive uphill.