Volcanoes of the Cascades/South Cycling Tour
Assembly Point: Troutdale/Portland
Tour Cost: $3,050
Volcanoes South presents a dramatic illustration of the geographic diversity of the Cascade Range. A product of the region’s intense volcanic legacy, the Cascades began to take shape approximately 15-17 million years ago. As the landscape rose, the Columbia River, with its vast area of drainage, began to carve its course through the basalt bedrock on its way to the Pacific, a process that was dramatically accelerated at the end of the last Ice Age when the Missoula Floods cut the dramatic walls that exist today. The result of those floods is the 80-mile gorge that at times reaches depths up to 4,000 feet. The many streams that drain the region’s abundant snowmelt were left hanging by this cataclysmic event, and account for the 77 spectacular waterfalls that today pour hundreds of feet from the basalt cliffs into the Columbia below.
This biking trip assemble in Troutdale, just to the east of Portland and situated perfectly at the gorge’s western portal. We’ll ride east into the gorge early morning of Day 1, climbing initially to the Vista House, with it’s commanding view of the western reaches of the river and gorge, and then spend much of the day exploring many of the gorge’s magnificent waterfalls, including its highest—Multnomah at 620'. We’re headed to Hood River and our first overnight on the Columbia at the Hood River Inn.
The climb from Hood River to Timberline Lodge on the slopes of Mt. Hood, planned for Day 2, is heroic, to say the least—a true classic Timberline (as in Timberline Adventures) climb. The views of Hood as we climb from the gorge are breathtaking and continue throughout this extraordinary day. The layover day that follows at Timberline is a welcome and compassionate gesture—but not to be confused with a rest day. The hiking at Timberline is extraordinary, and for those interested, we’ll climb to the summit of Tom, Dick & Harry Mountain, for yet more views of awesome Hood.
Much of Day 4 can be considered payback for our climb to Hood as we roll downhill to Madras. Following an overnight at the Inn at Cross Keys Station, we’ll continue south along the eastern foothills to the vibrant town of Bend. Day 6, we’ll be biking moderately to Mt. Bachelor and continue along the quiet roads of the Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway to LaPine. We’ll then van shuttle early morning of Day 7 to avoid an unexceptional stretch of roadway along US 97, and then it’s back on the bikes as we ride to Crater Lake and a never-to-be-forgotten loop along the crater’s rim.
We’ll spend our final night of this cycling tour at the magnificent Crater Lake Lodge, on the brink of the caldera, and then launch into an exciting downhill plunge along the beautiful North Umpqua River toward Roseburg on our final day, prior to our van shuttle return to Portland. This trip can be enjoyed individually or in tandem with the Volcanoes of the Cascades North Cycling Tour.
|Day 1||Troutdale — Columbia River Historic Highway — The Waterfalls of the Columbia River Gorge (Latourell, Wahclella; Horsetail; Ponytail; Multnomah) — Cascade Locks — Stevenson — Hood River; overnight at Hood River Inn.||58 miles|
|Day 2||Hood River — Mt. Hood/Timberline Lodge||46 miles|
|Day 3||Layover day at Timberline; hiking options, e.g., Tom, Dick & Harry Mtn.(8miles); overnight at Timberline Lodge.|
|Day 4||Timberline — Madras||61 miles|
|Day 5||Madras — Redmond — Bend||68 miles|
|Day 6||Bend — Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway — La Pine||46 miles|
|Day 7||La Pine — Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway — Crater Lake National Park — Cycle Crater Lake Rim;overnight at Crater Lake Lodge.||68 miles|
|Day 8||Crater Lake — North Umpqua River — North Umpqua Scenic Byway — Dry Creek; van shuttle return to Portland.||52 miles|
Total Mileage 399