“The guides have been all exceedingly friendly, helpful, and genuinely fun to be around, especially to my son, whose first question upon returning home is always, "Where are we going next year?" ”
- Jul 29, 2013 - Aug 2, 2013
- Aug 26, 2013 - Aug 30, 2013
Mount St Helens, Mt Rainier, Mt Adams and Mt Hood are all on the menu for this road tour through the central peaks of Oregon and Washington State.
We begin near Mt. St Helens and then travel through Mount Rainier National Park. You can’t really believe that some of these roads are paved. They sneak up on to the shoulders of these massive peaks and make for good long climbs, stunning views and thrilling descents. Our route to the base of Mt Adams is a beautiful forest service road that takes us right to Tahklahk Lake for lunch. Then down, down, down into the Columbia River Gorge for a lap around Mount Hood to finish the week.
We stay at tiny inns along the way with a splurge the last night right in Hood River. More questions? Call us at 800-845-2453. We’ll answer all your questions about this amazing trip.
Please provide a little information to see the full itinerary, travel logistics and other important details:
Northwest Volcanoes Itinerary
MEETING TIME AND PLACE
This trip meets at 9:00am PST at Best Western Hood River Inn 1108 East Marina Way, Hood River, OR 97031, 541-386-2200. You will need to spend the night before in Hood River, which is 60 miles East of Portland, OR.
ENDING TIME AND PLACE
We will return to Hood River between 2:00-3:00 pm on the last day.
TRIP DAY 1
After meeting in Hood River, we will shuttle north to the Mount St. Helens Visitor Center. Here we will learn how these giant volcanoes formed and what is most likely to happen next! An earthquake triggered the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens. The subsequent collapse of the north flank caused the largest landslide-debris avalanche ever. After lunch we will depart for our afternoon ride along Riffe Lake as we make our way up, down, and up again to the western slope of Mt. Rainier and the tiny town of Ashford. Here we will stay at the famous Whittaker's Bunkhouse, where many a Rainier ascent was staged. We'll go out for a great dinner just up the road before hitting the hay in preparation for tomorrow's big ride. TOTAL MILEAGE - 45 miles
TRIP DAY 2
Today's ride is truly stunning as we work our way up the western slope of Mt. Rainier. We'll take a rest stop at the Longmire Museum before we continue on our way to the Nisqually Glacier. Many of the glaciers on Mt. Rainier were advancing until 1850. Since then, they have both advanced and retreated, with the most recent trend being a slow retreat. After a break at the top we will begin our descent with incredible views of the Tatoosh Peaks looming all around us. Eventually we find ourselves surrounded by the old growth forests which make up the eastern slope of the national park. We will have lunch at the Grove of the Patriarchs where a short hike brings a new appreciation for these giant trees. From here we continue down into the town of Packwood. TOTAL MILEAGE - 63 miles
TRIP DAY 3
We begin with a ride through the Cowlitz River Valley before we head south through the trees of the Gifford Pinchot National Forest on our way to Mt.. Adams. Pinchot was the first chief of the U.S. Forest Service and we have him to thank for these public lands. We climb on this peaceful forest service road, which has almost no traffic. The only bad news is that the pavement ends just before we get to Takhlakh Lake, so we will jump in the van because the reflection of Mt. Adams in the lake at its base is worth the trip. From here we head down, down, down into the valley of the White Salmon River to our home for the night in the tiny town of Trout Lake. TOTAL MILEAGE - 55 miles
TRIP DAY 4
You'll want a hearty breakfast today since we will be riding almost 50 miles before lunch. It's a big morning, and we're going to have some incredibly beautiful and fun riding. We'll be cruising along quiet country roads through lovely pastoral settings of open farm country and tiny towns with wonderful vintage post offices. Our perspective of the volcanoes will be quite different today as Mt. Adams towers majestically over the landscape. You'll really get the feel of why the Native Americans of this region revered this volcano. After a full morning ride we'll have lunch in the quaint town of White Salmon. We'll then shuttle over the bridge into Hood River and park the van at the historic Hood River Hotel where we will spend the night. There is swill more scenic riding to be had on the historic Columbia River Highway. Although this road is closed to cars, it's easy to imagine driving your Model T through the impressive masonry worked into the stone tunnels and guardrails. There are awesome views of the river and it's hard to believe it can be that blue. This is a short out and back, but it's so lovely that folks often ride it twice! Our rooms shold be ready by now and we'll settle into the historic hotel for the night. TOTAL MILEAGE - 49 miles am, 12 miles pm (optional)
TRIP DAY 5
We wake up in Hood River with several choices for the morning, beginning with what type of fruit you would like on your waffle! In fact this morning's theme is fruit as we will be riding the famous Hood River Fruit Loop, past orchards, farm stands and country stores where you can find everything from ripe peaches to blackberry jam to pear brandy. The van will be following to pick up any purchases. The whole loop is 35 miles, but we ride it as an out and back so that we can stay on the back country roads. Besides being known for its luscious fruit, Hood River has recently been designated as the wind surfing capital of the world. Perhaps we'll view some "board heads" at play along the waterfront while we have lunch. Afterwards, we will load up in the van and shuttle back to the bike shop. TOTAL MILEAGE - 35 miles
Physical Difficulty: Moderate to Advanced.
Altitude: 2,800 - 7,100 feet.
Please Note: Itineraries are subject to change due to weather, road conditions, rider safety, and other factors which may affect the logistics of the trip.
Hood River is located approximately 60 miles East of Portland on Interstate 84. Take exit #64 toward OR-35 White Salmon/Govt Camp. Before crossing the Columbia River you will see the Best Western sign on your right. You will be able to leave your car at the Hotel while on your tour.
-Flying into Portland, OR
Airport Code: PDX
Hood River is the closest airport and there are two options from there.
1. Blue Star provides shuttle service from the Portland airport to Hood River. $83-90 Call 800-247-2272
2. Rental car rates from the Portland airport range from $184 (Thrifty) to $275 (Avis & Hertz), these prices do not include tax. If you rent a car you will be able to park it at the meeting place hotel while you are on your tour.
Hood River Taxi & Transportation 541-386-2255
Hood River is a gateway city to Mt. Hood and the windsurfing on the Columbia River is very popular during the summer months. It is a good idea to book you rooms several months in advance if possible; here are a few recommendations.
Best Western Hood River Inn
This is where the trip will meet. Mention Western Spirit and you will receive a 10% discount for the Sunday night before the trip. Due to popularity, they are unable to offer a discount for the following Friday. Please show the front desk something with our logo on it for verification.
Hood River Hotel
Oak Street Hotel
$70 & up
Comfort Inn & Suites
Above rates are approximate.
There are really just two kinds of weather: weather you like and weather you do not like. Come prepared for both and you won't care what the weather does.
If you have questions about temperatures for your specific trip please feel free to give us a call 800-845-2453 or email us at email@example.com. We will be happy to give you packing suggestions and help you with ideas for things to do before and after your bike trip.
PACKING FOR YOUR TRIP
You will receive a tour packing list with your tour confirmation package. Be sure to bring everything on this list. Weather in the mountains can be unpredictable so be sure to bring all the warm clothing and rain gear listed! Please pack all of your gear in a medium to large duffel, it will ride in the trailer. If you have questions about anything on the list, please call us.
SHIPPING YOUR BIKE
You are welcome to ship your bike to us in advance of your trip. For a moderate fee we will unpack it, build it, and ship it back home to you afterwards. Bikes can be insured to $4,000. Domestic shipping only. If you decide you want to go this route, you must call us in advance of your trip so we can inform the shop that your bike is on its way. We highly recommend having your bike tuned up before your tour. Our guides are fine mechanics, but there aren't any bike shops in the backcountry!
To ship your bike UPS, send it to Dirty Fingers Bike Repair, 1412 13th St. Ste 100, Hood River, OR 97031; 541-308-0420. It is critical that you include your name, "Western Spirit Cycling" and tour date on the outside of the box. Check with your local UPS people for the number of days needed for it to arrive in time. It is imperative to have your bike finely tuned and cleaned before your tour so you know it is in top running condition.
If you have any other questions about trip logistics, please feel free to send us an email or, better yet, to call us at 800-845-2453. We will be happy to try to help you answer any other questions you might have about our bike trips.
THINGS TO DO
Your guides will have all the maps necessary for your trip. If you would like your own copy for a souvenir, here is all the info:
Go to http://www.adventuremaps.net/, then to Oregon, and choose Hood River.