Cycle Portland, Road & Kids Friendly Ride, Rocky Mount Ride

This bike ride takes you to two of the three extinct volcanoes within the Portland city limits. The third is Powell Butte which has unpaved pathways perfect for mountain biking. The two buttes on this ride are Rocky Butte and Mount Tabor. Rocky Butte offers a sweeping 360 degree view of Portland and surrounding areas. Mount Tabor has a popular sunset view of the city of Portland.

Terrain

Paved streets and bike paths.

Traffic

Urban streets, some with bike lanes and low to moderate traffic.

Access

By car, take the Steel Bridge east to NE Oregon Street, left onto NE First Avenue, left onto Multnomah Street, left onto NE Wheeler Avenue; on-street parking.

By public transportation, take any TriMet MAX Red, Blue or Green train to the Rose Quarter MAX station.

Food and Drink

There is a café at the Rose Quarter MAX station and several places along the route there are neighborhood retail stores. There are restrooms and drinking fountains at Mount Tabor, but not at Rocky Butte.

Side Trip

The Grotto, a Catholic sanctuary and church, are located at the base of Rocky Butte. Services are performed in the carved out rock face and provide a cool, quiet sanctuary in the summer. During the holidays, the entire Grotto is a spectacle of lights and is a favorite of young and old alike.

 

More Details

Rocky Butte is an extinct volcanic cinder cone butte. The bike ride up is not as steep as it seems when you are at the bottom of the butte looking up. At the summit is the Joseph Wood Hill Park which is constructed of stone and resembles a fortress. In the park at the summit old fashioned lights sit atop the hand carved stone wall and illuminate the park at night. Rocky Butte is a favorite of mountain climbers and there are over 150 climbing routes available. From the summit you can see the airport, the Columbia River Gorge, downtown Portland, and Vancouver. Mount Tabor provides 196 acres of park that rises 643 feet and offers a picturesque view of downtown Portland. The climb up Mount Tabor is steeper than the climb up Rocky Butte, but you’ll have lots of company as this is a popular park with cyclists.

On the descent you will be charmed by these open water reservoirs. In addition to the long flights of stairs, gently curving parkways, and numerous walking trails, the park has basketball and tennis courts, playgrounds, picnic tables, and an amphitheater. Side Trip The Grotto, a Catholic sanctuary and church, are located at the base of Rocky Butte. Services are performed in the carved out rock face and provide a cool, quiet sanctuary in the summer. During the holidays, the entire Grotto is a spectacle of lights and is a favorite of young and old alike. 

 

Ride Log

  • 0.0 From the Rose Quarter TriMet MAX station ride up NE Wheeler St.
  • 0.2 Slight right onto N Williams Ave.
  • 1.9 Right onto NE Going St.
  • 3.9 Right onto the Cycle Track on NE 33rd Ave and travel along Wilshire Park.
  • 4.0 Right onto NE 37th Ave.
  • 4.3 Turn left onto NE Alameda St, then an immediate right to remain on NE Alameda St. (Going straight the road becomes NE Milton St.)
  • 4.7 Right onto NE 41st Ave, and then left onto NE Beaumont St.
  • 4.9 Right to remain on NE Alameda St.
  • 5.3 Left to stay on NE Alameda St.
  • 5.7 At NE Sandy Blvd make a box turn to cross diagonally and remain NE Alameda St.
  • 6.4 Left onto NE Sacramento St.
  • 6.5 Left onto NE 72nd Ave.
  • 6.9 Right onto NE Fremont St.
  • 7.9 Sharp right onto NE 92nd Ave/NE Academy Ave.
  • 8.1 Slight right onto NE Rocky Butte Rd.
  • 9.0 Right to circle around the peak.
  • 9.3 Right onto NE Rocky Butte Rd through the tunnel.
  • 10.6 Slight left onto NE 92nd Ave.
  • 11.0 Right onto NE Tillamook St.
  • 11.7 Left onto NE 74th Ave.
  • 12.1 Jog right onto NE Halsey St onto NE 74th Ave.
  • 12.8 Left onto E Burnside St.
  • 13.1 Right onto SE 78th Ave.
  • 13.3 Jog left at SE Stark to remain on SE 78th Ave.
  • 13.4 Right onto SE Yamhill St.
  • 13.6 Dogleg right at SE 76th Ave to stay on SE Yamhill St, then jog left at SE 71st to remain on Yamhill.
  • 14.0 Left onto SE 69th Ave and enter Mt Tabor Park.
  • 16.0 Exit the park via SE Salmon St. Cross SE 60th Ave and enter SE Salmon St through the iron posts.
  • 16.3 Dogleg right at SE 55th Ave then back to Salmon.
  • 16.6 Dogleg right onto SE 49th Ave and then back on SE Salmon St; dogleg left at 46th then back on Salmon.
  • 17.0 Right onto SE 41st Ave, then right onto SE Taylor.
  • 17.1 Left onto SE 42nd Ave, jog left at Belmont.
  • 17.3 Left onto SE Morrison St and then right onto SE 41st Ave.
  • 17.5 Jog right onto SE Stark St to remain on SE 41st.
  • 17.7 Left onto SE Ankeny St and cross SE 20th Ave via a curb cut.
  • 19.3 Right onto SE 12th Ave.
  • 19.8 Left onto NE Lloyd Blvd, then right onto NE 11th Ave.
  • 20.0 Left onto NE Multnomah St.
  • 20.6 NE Wheeler Ave intersects with NE Multnomah St at the Rose Quarter. End ride.
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    34.227 km / 21.268 mi

    Total Distance

    391 m / 1,283 ft

    Total Ascent

    418 m / 1,370 ft

    Total Descent

    193 m / 633 ft

    Highest Point

    Ride type:
    Sightseeing
    Mountain biking
    Road riding
    Commuter
    Kid friendly
    Rail Trail
    Difficulty: Intermediate (Red)
    Ride Duration: 2-4 hrs
    Fitness Level: High
    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: 20.6
    Elevation Gain: 1497
    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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