Cycle Portland, Sightseeing & Road Ride, Columbia River Gorge to Multnomah Falls
There are so many wonderful sights along this bike ride that it is difficult to select just one to highlight. The roads are rough and narrow, and on the return trip between Multnomah Falls and the Crown Point, there are steep drop offs along the road often with no guard rail or fence. The spectacular Oregon woods, incredible waterfalls, and sweeping vistas of the Columbia River Gorge make this bike ride a must.
Light traffic along the Historic Columbia River Highway.
Varying road quality with steep drop offs and few guard rails on the return trip. This ride is recommended for experienced cyclists who are steady on their bicycles.
By car, I-84E/US 30-E take exit 18 toward Lewis and Clark State Park/Oxbow Regional Park; left onto Crown Point Highway, first right onto E Historic Columbia River Highway, Glenn Otto Park in on the right. Parking available.
By public transportation, take the TriMet MAX Red line east to 82nd. Board Bus #77 Broadway/Halsey to Troutdale to Glenn Otto Community Park.
Food and Drink
There are stores along the ride. At Multnomah Falls there is a gift shop and food vendors. Drinking fountains and restrooms are located at Glenn Otto Community Park, Crown Point Vista House, Bridal Veil Falls, and Multnomah Falls.
There are numerous opportunities to hike along the Columbia River. A ride up Larch Mountain is a good 14-mile training ride for hearty souls. Historic downtown Troutdale has several museums and unique shops. Both Oxbow and Dabney are parks worth visiting on a return trip.
The first landmark is Women’s Forum with a sweeping vista of the Columbia River Gorge. The founding members of the Women’s Forum saved this area from private development and eventually donated it to the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department. The numerous visitors to this location should be eternally grateful for their efforts. Crown Point is next, where the octagonal Vista House is located 733 feet above the Columbia River. Continue your descent on the road that drops behind the observatory. From here the road becomes more rural and traverses through the National Forest.
Next is Latourell Falls with a 224 foot plunge over the columnar basalt. Even on the hottest days of summer the short hike down the trail to Latourell Falls provides cool shade and damp spray. Shepherd’s Dell is next, but is best observed from the state park of the same name. This series of waterfalls is nestled in the woods where the rock formations curve to create several smaller waterfalls. Following is Bridal Veil Falls, which are best observed on the return ride as they descend from the creek that flows under the roadway. These falls are my favorite because they seem as delicate as the lace of a veil, thus the name. If you are going to visit these falls, you will want to lock your bike at the parking lot and walk down. Be careful though, the walkway is gravel and steep in places.
The furthest point of the ride is at Multnomah Falls, the tallest waterfall in the state of Oregon. Underground springs from Larch Mountain are the year round source of this magnificent waterfall. There is a popular hike up to the bridge that crosses in front of the falls. And for ambitious visitors, the trail continues up to Larch Mountain where you can see the falls from the top of the ridge. On the return bike ride, be careful of the narrow roads without shoulders. There are some sections where there are no guard rails or barriers protecting you from a precipitous drop off the side of the road.
57.04 km / 35.443 mi
780 m / 2,558 ft
780 m / 2,558 ft
273 m / 897 ft