Downtown Portland to the Airport

Cycle Portland, Road Ride, Downtown Portland to the Airport

One of the best ways to convince visitors that Portland welcomes bikes is to show them how to get to and from the Portland airport by bicycle. This is one of the wonderful cities where you can truly leave the automobile behind. Even with a bike fully loaded with panniers packed for faraway lands, this relatively flat ride is a great start or finish to your Portland adventure.

Terrain

Smooth, paved urban streets and neighborhood greenways with sharrows and/or bike lines on most.

Traffic

Urban streets with low to moderate traffic; bike boulevards with very low traffic, two very busy intersections.

Access

By car, take SW Sixth Avenue north. The entrance to Union Station is directly ahead after crossing NW Irving Street. On-street parking.

By public transportation, take the TriMet MAX Green line toward Clackamas Town Center; disembark at NW Sixth Avenue and NW Hoyt Street.

Food and Drink

Plentiful restaurants and cafés in downtown Portland, along North Williams Avenue, and at the end of the ride at Portland airport. Restrooms and drinking fountains at Union Station and at Portland airport.

Side Trips

Whitaker Ponds Nature Park, Fernhill Park, canoe the Columbia Slough, and explore the Alberta Arts, historic Mississippi, and the Pearl districts.

 

More Details

From Union Station bike ride up the hill and cross the Broadway Bridge via the sidewalk. Look to the right beyond the railroad tracks and you may see a cargo ship so large that it dwarfs the Steel Bridge. When you take a left onto North Williams Avenue you’ll be riding on a very well-travelled bike commuter route. You are in the northeast quadrant of Portland where the city boasts 25 percent ridership. Don’t be surprised when you take a right onto North Going Street and find even more bicyclists on this neighborhood greenway.

At North Holman Street ride around Fernhill Park on your way to North 42nd Avenue. This is a difficult crossing because of the fork in the road to the left which creates two converging roads of vehicles coming toward you. Thankfully there is relatively light traffic most of the time. The road is rough along this section. With the Columbia Slough (pronounced “slew”) on your right you’ll ride past an industrial park with wide roads and little weekend traffic. Off to the left you will see the airport control tower and you’ll know you are getting close. Turning left onto NE 82nd Avenue may require a box turn to cross safely.

A short distance ahead is NE Airport Way/Frontage Road. Cross all the lanes to turn left toward the airport which is straight ahead. You will see the bike path travels into the lower level of the terminal. Do not go up the access ramp. As you enter the terminal area, bike parking is on your left. There is more bike parking at the other end of the terminal and around the corner from the bike staples, there is a bike stand. The airport has tools if you need to assemble or disassemble your bike. Instructions for borrowing tools are posted on the wall. 

 

Ride Log

  • 0.0 Begin at the Union Station.
  • 0.1 Exit the station; right on NW Irving St, uphill and cross the Broadway Bridge.
  • 0.9 Left onto N Williams Ave.
  • 2.5 Right onto NE Going St.
  • 4.2 Dog leg left onto the cycle track to cross NE 33rd Ave, then right to remain on NE Going St.
  • 4.7 Left onto NE 37th Ave and cross N Killingsworth St.
  • 5.3 Right onto N Holman St and circle around Fernhill Park.
  • 5.5 Left onto N 42nd Ave to cross the narrow bridge; cross over NE Columbia Blvd at the traffic light. Once across NE Columbia Blvd, the road becomes NE 47th Ave.
  • 6.4 Right onto NE Cornfoot Rd at the stop sign at the end of NE 47th Ave.
  • 7.9 Left onto NE Alderwood Rd.
  • 8.4 Left at NE 82nd Ave by making a box turn.
  • 8.9 Left across the tracks and access NE Airport Way/ Frontage Rd.
  • 9.3 Jog left at stop sign and access the bike lane/path along NE Airport Way.
  • 10.0 Enter the terminal area.
  • 10.3 End ride.
  • Trail map

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    16.315 km / 10.138 mi

    Total Distance

    111 m / 364 ft

    Total Ascent

    113 m / 370 ft

    Total Descent

    74 m / 241 ft

    Highest Point

    Ride type:
    Sightseeing
    Mountain biking
    Road riding
    Commuter
    Kid friendly
    Rail Trail
    Gravel
    Various
    Difficulty: Beginner (Green)
    Ride Duration: <1 hr
    Fitness Level: Low
    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: 10.3
    Elevation Gain: 490
    Services:
    Water
    Food
    First Aid
    Toilets
    Bike hire
    Carparking
    Bike servicing
    Accessible by bike
    Accessible by car
    Accessible by public transport
    Accessible by shuttle / uber
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