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Columbia River Bike
Old 10-07-2015, 08:34 AM   #1
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Columbia River Bike

Looking to bike/camp along the Columbia river from Portland to The Dalles, and back on the Washington side of the river to Vancouver. Hoping to go sometime late spring or early summer 2016. Have been searching online resources. Any local tips, tricks or secrets?
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Old 10-07-2015, 09:59 AM   #2
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Looking to bike/camp along the Columbia river from Portland to The Dalles, and back on the Washington side of the river to Vancouver. Hoping to go sometime late spring or early summer 2016. Have been searching online resources. Any local tips, tricks or secrets?
Nov-May is the rainy season. That would matter to me if I was camping and not able to dry things out but some people can deal better with it. June will get more crowded, but on a bike you don't have to worry about parking at the waterfalls. I just went last month, and even on a week day the waterfall areas were pretty crowded, though once you got more than a mile past the popular ones it thinned out considerably. Roads are narrow so wear bright colors.

I had read a lot of reports of car break-ins at some of the lots, especially those with quick access to I-94. Think about how you are going to secure your gear assuming you do some hiking and leaving the bike and gear behind. I didn't actually see much broken glass or other signs in the lots but I was paranoid. I asked about leaving my bags with the motel in Cascade Locks as I was checking in and the lady seemed surprised, but when I went to do it at check out another lady thought it was a good idea.

Many trails are steep and rocky, and I don't know how many are open to biking. I hiked/ran about 28 miles and didn't see any bikes.

Andrew's Pizza in Stevenson was very good. Bridgeside in Cascade Locks had great views of the river and Bridge of the Gods for a pretty simple burger type joint.

http://www.oregonhikers.org/field_gu...er_Gorge_Hikes was very helpful for hiking trails and orienting myself.
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Old 10-07-2015, 12:59 PM   #3
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Plenty of places along the river to camp for free.
Be sure to try the old highway on the Oregon side, less traffic better scenery.
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Old 10-07-2015, 01:45 PM   #4
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Great tips thanks folks. We're not locked into a format at this point, we may hike rather than bike. We're kind of targeting the last week of May to try and get it in after the worse rains, and before the kids get out of school. We're going during the working week and not over the weekend. Can't wait to go to the Full Sail Brewery up in Hood River and have a fresh one!
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Old 10-07-2015, 01:56 PM   #5
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This looks like a really good bike guide for the trip.


http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/HWY/BIKEP...rgebikemap.pdf
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Old 10-07-2015, 05:07 PM   #6
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If you decide to stay in a room for a night, check out the Riverside cabins in Stevenson. Individual cabins some with private hot tubs and they are right on the Columbia. Really reasonably priced, walk across the railroad tracks to the Walking Man Brewery for good beer and food, inside or out. You will want to use the provided earplugs at the cabins though as it is right be the tracks.
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Old 10-07-2015, 05:24 PM   #7
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A couple of friends went on an Adventure Cycling tour last August which started in Portland; day 1 & part of day 2 went along the Columbia River. Their blog might have some info useful for your trip (and, it's a fun read).

Curtis Corlew in Bicycle Land: Washington Cascades bike tour, prologue

Curtis Corlew in Bicycle Land: Washington Cascades bike tour, Day 1

Curtis Corlew in Bicycle Land: Washington Cascades bike tour, Day 2 Bridge of the Gods to Eagle Cliff
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Old 10-08-2015, 02:29 PM   #8
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Many people journal their trips on crazyguyonabike.com You did not say if you had done this before. People who use crazy guy will talk about their route, what they packed, etc. Adventure cycling might have maps. Their maps are great not only for directions but for locating bike stores, food sources etc. Enjoy!
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Old 10-08-2015, 02:49 PM   #9
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Of course you know it can be a bit windy along the Columbia!
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Old 10-08-2015, 02:50 PM   #10
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If you're not familiar with the site already, you may want to post your question at bikeforums.net I don't think there's a bike-related question that can't get answered there.
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Old 10-08-2015, 09:10 PM   #11
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You might want to cross over to the Oregon side at Hood River. Especially if you like beer as there are many good breweries. Pfreim and Double Mountain are both good and are within walking distance of the Hood River Hotel which has some pretty reasonable rates at least off season. Not sure where you would tent camp there. We are usually stealth camping in a rig when we go there. We have detoured to HR many times just to eat at the Hood River Taqueria which is excellente and authentico.
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Old 10-08-2015, 10:45 PM   #12
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No offense to my Washington friends but the Oregon side is better! Crown Point, Bonneville Dam, Eagle Creek. Better biking roads, better scenery.
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Old 10-14-2015, 10:40 AM   #13
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Our main focus is the Oregon side. The Full Sail brewery was the genesis of the whole idea. Once I saw the beauty of the area it became clear that we need to take this trip.
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Old 10-14-2015, 11:35 AM   #14
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Our main focus is the Oregon side. The Full Sail brewery was the genesis of the whole idea. Once I saw the beauty of the area it became clear that we need to take this trip.
The Hood River area is absolutely gorgeous. Check out some of the photos from this local guy:

Mt Hood and Hood River Valley in Bloom - 2 | Beautiful Hood River | hood river / columbia river gorge photo blog by blaine franger

We windsurf down there, and camp at a county park, Tucker Park, about 11 miles into the hills from town. Driving up there in the evening through the rolling orchards with Mt. Hood glowing in the sun and looking so close like you could reach out and touch its blue-tinged glaciers is one of my most memorable visions of life.

The town, which is getting pretty upscale and trendy, is a neat place to check out, and there are some nice public parks in the area, on the river and elsewhere. It can be a bustling place, and parking can be scarce at times. Parks on the river are especially crowded spring through fall when it's windy.

The brewery can be crazy busy at times, but the beer, food, and atmosphere are worth it if you have to wait.
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Old 10-14-2015, 01:35 PM   #15
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We did that in 2010.

Blog here: Idaho Car/Bike Trip

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