The following are a few recommended routes back to Portland for those of you finishing up the Oregon Outback. These options start in The Dalles. For those of you not quite there, here’s the short 19-mile route to get to The Dalles from the state park.
Option 1: 100 miles, 7,500 ft climbing, 95% paved. This route will take you along the historic Columbia River highway and the Mosier Twin Tunnels bike path to Hood River before climbing up and over Lolo Pass to Portland. We ended the route in Gresham at the MAX light rail and will leave the rest up to you. Click here for the GPS route.
Option 2: ~100 miles, minimal climbing, 100% paved. Another option is to take the historic highway back to Portland from Hood River. We don’t recommend this version as it requires riding 14 miles on the shoulder of I-84. If this floats your boat, you can download a map here and search the web for more information.
Option 3: ~130 miles, ~10,000 ft climbing, 50% paved. This option involves adding in parts of the Gunsight Ridge route and Barlow Trail route, climbing up Skyline from The Dalles, riding Gunsight Ridge to Bennett Pass, and then dropping down Still Creek Road to Zig Zag before taking pavement the rest of the way into Portland. See Option 1 above for the best pavement option from Zig Zag to Portland. This would be the hardest of the hardcore ways to finish up your Oregon Outback route… We won’t bother to map this out for you – if you’re into it, you can easily piece the route together with what we’ve provided.