With five vol­ca­noes, count­less water­falls, pris­tine rivers, vine­yards and incred­i­ble wildlife — you’ll be stop­ping for pho­to-ops with every few ped­al strokes in awe of the Colum­bia Gorge area. 

This incred­i­ble 7‑day itin­er­ary shows off an impres­sive grav­el trail net­work that has been laid over the last 100-hun­dred years. From old log­ging roads, min­ing roads, dou­ble-track trails and paved trails there are end­less oppor­tu­ni­ties to explore off-the-beat­en track and learn about the incred­i­ble nat­ur­al his­to­ry and geo­log­ic for­ma­tions of the Colum­bia Gorge. Plus, take in beau­ti­ful views of Mt. Adams and Mt. Saint Helens — the land­scape is sure to impress. 

To kick the adven­ture up a notch, we have also includ­ed a morn­ing white­wa­ter raft­ing expe­ri­ence on the White Salmon Riv­er near Hood Riv­er — the adven­ture hub of Ore­gon. Get ready to fill your lungs with pris­tine air, your bel­lies with amaz­ing food and your cam­era with incred­i­ble mem­o­ries. It’s time to let loose in the the beau­ti­ful Pacif­ic Northwest!

Is This Ride For You?

You love get­ting off-the-beat­en path and explor­ing the road less trav­elled. You crave car-free rides. You’re com­fort­able rid­ing up to 75 miles in one day at a mod­er­ate pace with breaks on dou­ble track grav­el trails, paved trails and roads. You usu­al­ly ride up to three times per week in your home­town and have a good car­dio fit­ness rou­tine. You love explor­ing new places, and top­ping to day off with a deli­cious meal and com­fy accommodations. 

Itinerary

Day 1. Vol­ca­noes to The Gorge

Wel­come to Ore­gon! This morn­ing, our guides will pick you up from any down­town Port­land hotel and we’ll enjoy a 1.5 hour shut­tle to the start of our first ride on the south­ern shoul­ders of Mt. Adams and Mt. St. Helens, the south­ern most active vol­canos in Washington. 

We’ll fit our bikes and ride to up a beau­ti­ful for­est grade past Pan­ther Falls before touch­ing our first grav­el. Gen­tly climb through emp­ty for­est roads that have reclaimed extinct vol­canos to a series of small lakes for our lunch. 

After a deli­cious lunch, the route deliv­ers the reward of the morn­ing’s climb­ing as you descend for almost 30 miles back to the Colum­bia riv­er. Hop back to the Ore­gon side of the riv­er to the adven­ture for­ward town, Hood Riv­er, home for the next 3 nights.

Day 2.  Colum­bia Gorge Nation­al Scenic Area

After break­fast, we’ll shut­tle 5‑minutes to the Coy­ote Wall trail­head, where we’ll start our morn­ing ride. This route offers up beau­ti­ful gorge views and stun­ning wildflowers. 

The Coy­ote Wall trail will take us into the town of Lyle, Wash­ing­ton where we’ll hop off our bikes, enjoy a post-ride bev­er­age and lunch, then shut­tle to Hood Riv­er, Oregon. 

Day 3. Rest Day in Hood River 

Enjoy break­fast at the hotel and get your fill of pre­mi­um Pacif­ic North­west coffee. 

This morn­ing, we have a dif­fer­ent adven­ture planned. Grab your bathing suit and sense of adven­ture — we’re going white­wa­ter raft­ing! A quick 20-minute shut­tle will take us to the White Salmon Riv­er, we’ll meet our raft­ing guides and hit the river. 

This after­noon is yours to explore. Walk around down­town Hood Riv­er, enjoy an ice cream and browse the shops, book a mas­sage at the hotel or take a wind­surf­ing les­son (not includ­ed) in the nation’s wind­surf­ing capital! 

Lunch and din­ner are on your own and our guides can offer restau­rant rec­om­men­da­tions — there are many won­der­ful options to choose from. 

Day 4. Hood Riv­er to The Dalles

Pack your bags. Wuit up and ped­al to break­fast. We’ll eat at one of our favorite break­fast restau­rants near our hotel, and then get back on our bikes! By the end of the ride, we’ll end up in The Dalles at our next hotel. Door to door! 

The Dalles is a french word for “rapids of a riv­er through a nar­row gorge” — and you will quick­ly see where the name comes from. There are a few dif­fer­ent routes to choose from today, and no mat­ter which way wem go, we will have incred­i­ble views and van sup­port along the way. 

We’ll enjoy lunch at Mosier Creek, before fin­ish­ing our ride and check­ing into our hotel. 

Tonight, we’ll dine togeth­er at the Bald­win Saloon, a his­toric restau­rant that has been a gath­er­ing place for more than 100 years. 

Day 5. Colum­bia Hills Loop

After break­fast this morn­ing, we’ll shut­tle to the Colum­bia Hills His­tor­i­cal State Park sit­u­at­ed on the shore­line of the Colum­bia River. 

We’ll enjoy a ride on the Dalles Moun­tain Loop. This ride starts with a chal­leng­ing 10 miles climb with views every ped­al stroke. Before you know it, we will crest the ridge line and find our­selves in a very dif­fer­ent envi­ron­ment of open farm fields of south Cen­tral Wash­ing­ton. Enjoy the grid roads of the farm lands as we head for the wind­mills which will mark the entrance of a unique and fun descent. 

The descent is of the local­ly famous Mary Hill Loops road. This play­ground was the test road bed for con­struc­tion a style to man­age car traf­fic of the ear­ly 20th cen­tu­ry, out of the steep walls of the Colum­bia Gorge. This stretch was refur­bished and resur­faced in 1998 and is a closed road now used for long board com­pe­ti­tions, sport card ral­lies and bikes! 

For lunch, we’ll stop in at Gunkel Orchards Fruit Stand for fresh, local hand-picked fruit and oth­er goodies. 

After our ride, we’ll shut­tle back to down­town The Dalles for our sec­ond night in town. 

Day 6. The Dalles to Timberline

After break­fast at the hotel, pack your bags and hop on the bike. No shut­tles need­ed this morning.

Today’s ride will reveal a fan­tas­tic trans­for­ma­tion as we climb away from the the Colum­bia riv­er, ped­al past orchards, through scrub oak for­est with Mt. Hood in the distance. 

Slow­ly the road will tran­si­tion to tall pines and cool­er moun­tain air as we approach the stag­ger­ing Mt. Hood. The van will be wait after after a fast, fun descent for your shut­tle up to the infa­mous Tim­ber­line Lodge best know as the hotel of Stan­ly Kubrick/ Stephen king’s The Shining.

If you want to test your legs, skip­ping the last shut­tle turns this into an even 10,000 feet of climb­ing for the day.

We will have a great din­ner at the lodge and enjoy the piece of sleep­ing above timberline.

Day 7. Cloud­cap back to the Colum­bia River

Eat a big break­fast at the hotel, the last day has anoth­er big ride. We will start with a short shut­tle before get­ting back in the saddle. 

This ride is one you won’t soon for­get. We start on a gen­tle grade of pris­tine tar­mac for a cou­ple miles of warmup before turn­ing to a beau­ti­ful grav­el climb high on the north face of Mt. Hood up to Cloud Cap. With the glac­i­ers, pines, long lines of site to Mt. Adams and Mt. St. Helen’s to the north, the climb will go by too fast. After pho­tos and a walk around the his­toric, and out of ser­vice, lodge remain­ing on top of this ridge, we will descend the 10 miles of the grav­el climb to tar­mac where you will coast 25 miles of paved down­hill out of the for­est, through the orchards and back into Hood River. 

Eat a great meal at Kick­stand, shed the span­dex and hop into the van for a scenic hour shut­tle back to Portland. 

Picture yourself here…

Book Columbia Gorge Gravel Now

Dates chosen: Oct. 01, 2022—Oct. 07, 2022
Skill Rating: Blue Square
Fitness Rating: Black Diamond
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Skill Levels
Green Circle

Typically, green Rides are safe for beginners. Green Rides may have both avoidable and unavoidable obstacles. Trails are generally low grade, wide, consistent surface texture and have minimal features. You are likely to come across unavoidable obstacles 2-inches or shorter, which is small enough for mountain bike tires to simply roll over. More challenging than tarmac, but in general, a wonderful Ride for those riders new to mountain biking or looking for a casual experience.

Blue Square

In general, Blue trails are narrower than green trails, encounter unavoidable obstacles such as roots, rocks, and drops that are up to 8-inches tall. You will want to have a solid understanding of the fundamentals of mountain biking including body positions, powerful braking, cornering, riding on varied terrain, steep sections and experience riding trails that requires line choice. Airtime is not mandatory, but you will find yourself on trails with alternate lines giving you the option.

Black Diamond

The Black Diamond Rides are  suitable for riders looking for that edge. Maybe it’s the edge of a drop, the edge of a cliff, or singletrack requiring focus and fast reactions developed from extensive experience riding “the edge”. You will find yourself on steep trails of varied surfaces. In the Pacific North West that could be slick roots and loam, in Nepal you will find exposed granite in the Mustang Valley and in Guatemala it maybe narrow stairways through cliffside villages. While airtime is rarely required, the ability to find the backside or clean a tabletop should be comfortable or in a state of progress. Obstacles on Black rides are likely to be outside the range of your bikes ability to cover your goofs with its awesome suspension and grip.

Double Black Diamond

A Double Black ride is for those that already know they are looking for a Double Black. It’s going to be very hard and require advanced bike handling skills. You will find yourself on trails with sections most non-riders would look at and say, “that’s totally nuts!”. You will know how to look at a line and contemplate where it will work and where it won’t. Drops of a couple feet should be comfortable and getting your bike off the ground should feel predictable and fun.

Fitness Levels
Green Circle

You should be ready to spend 2-4 hours per day on the bike. Mileage may be up to 30km/20 miles and elevation gain will be under 500m/1500feet. On e-MTB tours, numbers will be higher, however the approximate effort would be considered similar to a standard Green Circle ride. If you get on your bike once a week, you will be just fine. However, when preparing for a Ride, you will benefit from more rides and time in the saddle.

Blue Square

Blue should be considered a good deal more effort than our Green Rides.  You should be able to handle 3 to 5 hours in the saddle covering up to 45km/30miles and be able to pull off a big day of 1000m/3000feet of elevation gain. Managing fuel is important as well.  You should have a good understanding how your body responds to multiple days on the bike. We will help with positive coaching, a manageable pace and plenty of trailside snacks.

Black Diamond

A Black Fitness ride will test you. Aside from needing to be able to manage up to 6 hours on the bike, day after day, including distance up to 50km/30miles and elevation gains up to 1750m/5000feet of climbing, you will be adding extra challenges along the route like periods of hike-a-bike and the extra effort required by the whole body to safely dance with your bike over technical terrain. Generally, riders who are up for a Black Fitness ride, likely spend time on the bike a couple times each week.

Double Black Diamond

A Double Black will be for those with the strength and endurance to get to the top of anything they want and understand the term “turning the screw”. Distance could be quite high on some routes and elevation gain numbers could hit 2000m/6000 feet+ in a day. You are likely riding multiple days a week during the dry periods and have a trainer or belong to a gym for the rest of the year.