Friday, April 13, 2012
Permanent #1513: Beaverton - Bridge of the Gods - Beaverton 203km
the route (ride with gps)
the reg form
Route availability: Currently open, but check for road closures
Road CLOSED April 15-May 24 2013, Perm not available during these dates
pretty much guaranteed May-October. Outside of that, I'll be checking the weather before I accept your registration. The Columbia River Gorge can be very dangerous in the winter.
Known closures: Check for occasional lane closures. New pavement is wonderful! It will certainly be reopened by spring 2013. Probably sooner, but the weather won't be all that great.
Starting in Beaverton (again, one block from the Beaverton Transit Center), you'll head north and east, uphill through a quiet neighborhood and onto the Sunset Highway Multi-use Path (or, as I call it, the Bicycle Freeway). Then down through Washington Park, and your first info control.
From there, you proceed through downtown Portland, crossing the Willamette on the Steel Bridge, then heading north and east (another info control in there...) to the I-205 Bike Path, and the Glen L Jackson bridge across the Columbia River into Washington. Looping off the bridge, you'll follow the Old Evergreen Highway east into Camas, for the first timed control. I myself am partial to the Burgerville :-)
Then, onto SR-14, climbing up to Cape Horn, for an amazing view to the east.
Proceeding east, and DOWN, you'll proceed past Skamania (store/food), Beacon Rock (water, restrooms, scenery), North Bonneville (see the dam!), and past the Bridge of the Gods into Stevenson, for your next timed control. Grocery on the left, plus coffee shops and restaurants.
Back to Bridge of the Gods, where you'll cross into Oregon. If it is your first trip across, maybe you don't want to look down. Metal grating, exercise caution.
Looping off the bridge (no toll for bicycles!), you enter Cascade Locks. The Char Burger (burgers, cafeteria style) is right in front of you, and there is a grocery and some food places off to the right.
The bike path entrance is just to the right of the westbound freeway on-ramp. Welcome to Middle-Earth. You'll go under the freeway (tunnel), up to the fish hatchery, getting back on the trail by proceeding the wrong way on the left side of the freeway off-ramp (only for a bit). Then up some stairs, eventually ending up at a campground. Turn right, cross the campground entry road, and you are back on the path again.
Under the freeway, up some switchbacks (another great view of Bonneville Dam), then follow along next to the freeway. You'll eventually see a black gate on your left; you can get on to the I-84 shoulder at this point, or go along awhile longer, and jump the barriers. If you run out of trail, turn around and come back.
(Note: by Fall 2012, the trail will be complete all the way to Warrendale. No more freeway shoulder riding)
Exit I-84 at the very first chance you get (Warrendale. Did you know he died on the Titanic?), turn under I-84, and continue west. You are now on the scenic highway.
Pass campgrounds (Ainsworth) and tunnels (Oneonta tunnel; be sure to ride through it), eventually arriving at Multnomah Falls. While not a control, there are restrooms and food. And really nice ice cream sandwiches and coffee.
Continuing westward, passing many more waterfalls, at Latourell Falls, the road winds up to Vista House at Crown Point. More amazing views, also restrooms and a small snack bar, both downstairs.
Then the last bit up, and on to the best descent ever. (Optional scenic possibility - Women's Forum State Park on the right) Be sure to enjoy Bell Rd!
Then along the Sandy River, cross over at the bridge, and you are in Troutdale. Park on the left right over the bridge has restrooms and water. Troutdale offers ice cream, coffee, restaurants, and a convenience store (great for popsicles on a really hot day).
Turn right, go under the freeway, loop around the back side of the airport, then on to Marine Drive all the way to I-205. Just before I-205, turn left over Marine Drive, and follow the path to NE Alderwood. If you need food, a short detour on NE St Helens on the right will take you to a cornucopia of expedient food and coffee offerings.
From here, proceed west and south through NE Portland (info control!), down to and across the Steel Bridge, then up through NW Portland, crossing Burnside to enter Washington Park. You'll ride up Stearns Way, which is paved (at the bottom that's a bit dubious), popping up just below the entry to the Rose Garden. Info control at the corner of SW Rose Park, right behind the bus stop.
Up through Washington Park, pass the Rose Garden, archery area, and the zoo, then up on SW Canyon Ct and the Sunset Bike Path to the Sylvan summit. Starbucks on your right.
Pretty much downhill all the way from here, back the way you came. The Starbucks at the finish closes at 7pm, but there are many receipt opportunities at the corner of SW 117th and SW Canyon Rd. There is another Starbucks at the Fred Meyer across the street, by the grocery at the SW corner of the store complex.