UPDATE: This post has been edited to reflect the fact that the State of Oregon has not technically “closed” the gorge to bicycling. People on bikes are still allowed to use I-84 (legally, from NE 238th east); but should be advised of work zone conditions. We regret any confusion the initial story caused.
The combination of fire clean-up and construction of new paths (ironically) adjacent I-84 has led to
a decision to prohibit bicycling warnings for bicycle users through a key segment of the Columbia River Gorge this summer.
An Oregon State Parks employee emailed us about the news last night and urged us to spread the word so that no one gets stuck. “What I have found is there is no way to ride through the Gorge this year — not even for those willing to ride on the shoulder I-84.”
The Historic Highway State Trail route is open between Hood River and Mosier, but it’s currently
prohibited not advised for bicycle riders to ride from Bridal Veil to Hood River.
Bicycle users who want to bike all the way through
will have to should consider crossing the Columbia River and use Highway 14 on the Washington side as an alternate.
This is bad news for the many people who take the Lewis & Clark Trail route promoted by Adventure Cycling.
Crews are busy cleaning up the Historic Highway after the Eagle Creek Fire that decimated many acres last September. The usual route for cycling is to take a combination of the Historic Highway State Trail and a short stretch on the shoulder of I-84 where the final few miles of the State Trail are unfinished. The State Parks employee we heard from said construction of that new section from Wyeth to Lindsey Creek (due to open next year), “is causing shoulder and lane closures due to pavement work.”
Parks has posted a map and an update on their website with more information.
UPDATE: Here’s the official latest word from OPRD:
The Oregon Department of Transportation and Oregon Parks and Recreation Department are working to reopen the Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail as soon as possible. Interstate 84 through the Columbia River Gorge is open and bicyclists may ride on the freeway at their own risk. Another option is Highway 14 in Washington. Visit the Adventure Cycling Association website for a detailed map included with their Lewis & Clark Bicycle Trail route series.
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