This should be the year you do the Gorge Ride

Imagine you, rolling down the Rowena Curves as the gorgeous Gorge lays out all over you. (Photo: A.J. Zelada)

*This post is part of a paid promotional partnership.*

If you’ve been curious about riding in the Columbia River Gorge, there’s an event coming Saturday, June 24th that should be on your calendar.

The annual Gorge Ride will introduce you to some of the most stunning sections of the fabled Historic Columbia River Highway. This ride is a real gem. It’s been held since 2006 as a fundraiser for the nonprofit Friends of the Historic Columbia River Highway. It begins at the Gorge Discovery Center in The Dalles and the route is a 38-mile out-and-back that will take you through the Mosier tunnels, up and down the legendary Rowena curves (make sure to stop at the view on top!), through cherry tree orchards, and more.

A highlight of the ride will be a rest stop at the historic, 100 year-old Mayerdale Estate.

Add in a pre-made lunch option and fully-supported route with snacks, mechanical support and even a SAG wagon, and you’ve got the making of an excellent day of riding for all types of ages and abilities.

Longtime Gorge riding advocate A.J. Zelada helps organize the ride. He says even if the elevation profile of the route looks daunting, there are no grades above 5%. “When you encounter a hill, just ‘gear down’, take it one pedal stroke at a time, and remember that it’s taking you to a view even nicer than the ones on the way up! The variety of scenery is amazing.”

One thing you won’t have to worry about on this ride is a lot of car traffic. Much of the route is on carfree sections of the Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail. And when the road is open to drivers, the volumes are low and people are usually out for fun and not in a hurry.

I can personally recommend this route and can vouch for the fine folks like A.J. who put on this event. You will not be disappointed!

Tickets for the event are $45 for ages 12 and up and $15 for those 6-11. Online registration closes June 19th. Check out A.J.’s excellent photos of past rides here. Learn more and get links to register here.

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Founder of BikePortland (in 2005). Father of three. North Portlander. Basketball lover. Car owner and driver. If you have questions or feedback about this site or my work, feel free to contact me at @jonathan_maus on Twitter, via email at maus.jonathan@gmail.com, or phone/text at 503-706-8804. Also, if you read and appreciate this site, please become a supporter.

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Middle of the Road Guy
Middle of the Road Guy
10 months ago

The Rowena Curves (as well as the west side of McKenzie Pass) come close to approximating what it feels like to ride in some Euro mtn ranges.

John
John
10 months ago

So, to anyone who has ridden this or other gorge routes before, on the roads open to cars does it feel fine to ride on solo (or like, two people)? This looks like a ton of fun but I’d like to make a gorge ride into a bikepacking thing so probably out (further), camp somewhere or B&B, and ride back.

Just curious what the roads are like with cars, since there isn’t even a hint of shoulder in some of those pictures.

Granpa
Granpa
10 months ago
Reply to  John

This is a spectacular bicycle ride. Car traffic is light on the section of road that allows them. There are other cyclists taking the route so motorists should expect to see bikers and with the freeway just north, the hurried drivers are not on the same road. That is not to say that go-fast boys in their WRXs are unknown there.
I have never felt unsafe on that eastern section of the HCRH

Chris I
Chris I
10 months ago
Reply to  John

I’ve never had a problem east of Larch Mt road on the old highway. People driving out here might be distracted, but they are generally in tourism/waterfall mode and give you space. I have had issues with people in and around Corbett, though.

dwk
dwk
10 months ago
Reply to  John

The ride they are doing east of Hood river is spectacular, cars not a big deal. It is not easy, Nice rolling terrain but the climb coming back up Rowena Crest is a good workout…If it’s a Gorge west wind day, it can be be pretty epic and tough coming back.
I have ridden from Troutdale to Viento on the old highway and all the new sections they have built in the last few years. It’s pretty noisy at times and surprising hilly, I think it was 3000’ or so total elevation out and back.
Multnomah falls to Cascade locks for lunch and back, skipping the Crown point Corbett area is a nice family ride.