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Old 06-07-2011, 01:26 PM
shewmaker shewmaker is offline
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Default Route to Hood River

Anyone have any tips on how to ride from gresham to hood river?
I rode on the freeway yesterday, don't recommend it.
I commute


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Old 06-08-2011, 06:31 AM
jeff jeff is offline
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Default to Hood River

shew, there's no way to avoid the freeway completely. here's a link to the route map, cues, elevations, etc.

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Old 06-08-2011, 06:32 AM
jeff jeff is offline
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i should say, on the Oregon side of the river. The Washington side has it's own traffic challenges.
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Old 06-13-2011, 07:05 AM
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jr98664 jr98664 is offline
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Default I-84 vs. HCRH vs. SR 14

I've cycled out into the gorge a number of times so I have some photos to share from various trips. Usually I just hop on I-84, as it provides a flat route with wide shoulders and good sight lines. Here are some photos I took from a ride out to Wyeth (Exit 51) and back. Be mindful of the Toothrock Tunnel heading eastbound between Exit 40 and 41.

There's nearly no shoulder, but there are passive bicycle warning signs before the tunnel indicating the presence of bicyclists. Heading westbound however, you have a nice, wide shoulder with great views of the Bonneville Dam. Alternatively, the bike path between those two exits avoids the tunnel by means of a staircase.

While it does have grooves to help in guiding a bike up and down, it's easier said than done depending on the weight of the thing.

Here are some earlier photos from a trip out to Home Valley in Washington, by way of the Bridge of the Gods, this time staying off of the freeway when possible. There's much less traffic than either I-84 or SR 14, but it's much less straightforward of a route. Compared to the shoulder of a highway for the entire route, the secluded bike paths are idyllic.

If you want to cut between states at Cascade Locks, the view from the Bridge of the Gods, can't be beat, assuming you don't have a fear of heights. The Columbia River flows 135 feet below the open metal grated deck of the bridge.

Additionally, I have ridden SR 14 from end to end (although I doubt you're heading towards the Tri-cities any time soon) and while I don't mind riding it, it could definitely be better. The shoulders near Cape Horn are often non-existant, and with a road that curvy with 60+ mph traffic, I would not recommend it to just anybody. After Home Valley, it's much flatter and straighter, but eventually you have to deal with five narrow, shoulderless tunnels. There's not as much traffic on this stretch, but WSDOT was smart enough to install flashing, button-activated bicycle warning signs at each of the tunnels; while I never had an issue with cycling through the tunnels, I would find it rather annoying to have to slow down or stop for each of the warning buttons.

Once you get to Bingen/White Salmon though, you still have to find a way across the Hood River Bridge, as it's currently illegal to cycle across the span.

Another great resource is the Columbia River Gorge Bike Map, detailing routes all of the way out to the Dalles. While I would generally just stick to I-84 the whole way, here's a suggested route that avoids the freeway where an alternative route is immediately available:
  1. Make your way from Gresham to Exit 17 in Troutdale (alternatively take Halsey to Exit 18 ) and take the on-ramp onto the shoulder of I-84. In the ten miles between Exits 18 and 28, there are only two exits, and you can easily just take Exit 22 and ride straight back onto the freeway if you'd rather not cross the on- and off-ramps.
  2. Take Exit 28 to Bridal Veil and it will take you directly to the HCRH.
  3. Follow the HCRH until Exit 37, when you must reenter the freeway.
  4. Take Exit 40 at the Bonneville Dam and follow the HCRH Trail to Cascade Locks.
  5. Follow the HCRH route through Cascade Locks to Exit 47 and reenter the freeway. (Wyeth Road is an alternative, but supposedly climbs to over 600', according to my maps.)
  6. Take Exit 62 to Hood River. (Most exits in this 15-mile-long stretch should allow you to ride off and back on if necessary, as they don't really go anywhere. They shouldn't have much traffic, anyway.)
If you have any questions, feel free to ask me, and I'll do my best to help you out. Have a good ride!
Gas Tax Holiday? I must be on gas tax retirement.

Last edited by jr98664; 06-13-2011 at 12:55 PM.
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