Cycle Portland, Road Ride, Downtown Vancouver to the Airport Ride

If you are visiting the greater Portland area, you may want to know how to get to the Portland airport by bicycle. Portland is one of the great places in the world where you can get around exclusively by bike—including riding to and from the airport. This one-way, mostly flat trip provides you with an easy way to travel to/ from the airport from downtown Vancouver, Washington.

Terrain

Paved streets and multi-use pathway. Narrow sidewalk/ bike path over the Route I-5 Bridge.

Traffic

Urban traffic on streets. Bike paths have low traffic with the exception of the Marine Drive bike path which is low to moderate.

Access

By car, take I-5 north to Seattle; take exit 1B toward City Center/Convention Center; left on E Sixth Street; right onto Columbia Street. On-street parking.

By public transportation, take C-Tran Bus #105 from the corner of SW Sixth Avenue and SW Taylor Street in downtown Portland; disembark at Broadway and Seventh Street in downtown Vancouver.

Food and Drink

Available at the beginning of the ride in downtown Vancouver and again at the Portland airport at the end of the ride.

Side Trip

Explore downtown Vancouver and Esther Short Park; ride the full length of Marine Drive Bike Trail.

 

More Details

You can be completely comfortable taking your bike as your sole means of transportation and beginning your adventure the moment you step off the plane. And if you have found another bike-friendly place you would like to visit beyond the Pacific Northwest, you can begin your adventure by riding to the airport using this route. Some would say that crossing the Columbia River via the I-5 Bridge is a harrowing experience.

Though the sidewalk is narrow, it is completely separated from motor traffic. Pedestrians and other cyclists using the same sidewalk are very polite and make way for others. Begin your ride in downtown Vancouver and take the I-5 Bike Path. The bridge will loom ahead of you shortly after you make the left turn off Columbia Street. After crossing the bridge you will be on low-traffic bike paths as you follow I-5 to Marine Drive.

For several miles of this trip you can enjoy the beauty of the Columbia River and watch the airplanes as they take off and land. There is no way to go in the wrong direction – just head toward the airport tower! After crossing over Marine Drive for the second time you may be confused about how to access Frontage Road. Simply follow the bike path and you can’t go wrong.

Once you arrive at the airport you will be astounded at the number of bicycles that are locked up waiting for their owners to return. Whether you decide to ride to the airport and leave your bike behind or take it with you, this is a very pleasant way to meet your flight. The airport even provides a bike stand and tools (located near the TriMet MAX station under the escalator).

 

Ride Log

  • 0.0 Begin at the corner of W Sixth and Columbia streets in downtown Vancouver and travel south toward the I-5 Bridge to Portland.
  • 0.2 Left onto the I-5 Bike Path immediately after riding under the railroad bridge to cross the I-5 Bridge over the Columbia River.
  • 1.8 Follow the bike path around into the parking lot staying on the sidewalk and ride through the tunnel following signs to Marine Dr.
  • 1.1 Left on the bike path down to the traffic light and cross N Hayden Island Dr. Staying on the sidewalk, cross again with the pedestrian light and ride in the opposite direction of the traffic to access the bike path.
  • 1.8 Ride along the I-5 Bike Path turning left at the sign for Marine Dr into the cul-de-sac of N Anchor Way.
  • 2.4 Left onto N Marine Dr.
  • 4.4 Right onto N 33rd Ave and then left through the underpass to access the bike path.
  • 5.4 Cross N Marine Dr to continue on the opposite side and ride along the dyke.
  • 8.7 Just before the I-205 Bridge follow the signs to the Portland airport riding up the ramp and crossing N Marine Dr.
  • 9.0 Left around NE 96th Ave then right onto NE Airport Way/Frontage Rd.
  • 10.8 Remain on the bike path and ride into the terminal. Continue on the sidewalk to the bike parking.
  • 11.0 End ride.
  • Trail map

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    17.371 km / 10.794 mi

    Total Distance

    82 m / 269 ft

    Total Ascent

    88 m / 288 ft

    Total Descent

    15 m / 50 ft

    Highest Point

    Ride type:
    Sightseeing
    Mountain biking
    Road riding
    Commuter
    Kid friendly
    Rail Trail
    Difficulty: Intermediate (Red)
    Ride Duration: 1-2 hrs
    Fitness Level: Varied
    Terrain:
    Shared Bike Path - Paved
    Shared Bike Path - Dirt
    On-Road Bike Lane
    On-Road
    Off-Road - Fire Trail
    Off-Road - Rail Trail
    Off-Road - Single Track
    Off-Road - Downhill
    Mobile Coverage: Excellent
    Estimated Distance: 11.0
    Elevation Gain: 240
    Services:
    Water
    Food
    First Aid
    Toilets
    Bike hire facilities
    Carparking
    Bike servicing
    Accessible by bike
    Accessible by car
    Accessible by public transport
    Accessible by shuttle / uber
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