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Cascading Rivers Scenic Bikeway

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Cascading Rivers Scenic Bikeway

Old 07-30-18, 11:31 AM
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Cascading Rivers Scenic Bikeway

I was going to post this in the "where did you ride today" thread, but I think it deserves a bit more than that.

My wife planned a family camping trip for this past weekend. I figured I've been riding a lot lately, I can take one weekend off to hang out with the family. But a couple of days before the trip, I looked it up on a map to see where we were camping. Then I decided to see if by chance there were any decent bike routes near by. And, what do you know, our campground was directly on the Cascading Rivers Scenic Bikeway. Sometimes I'm certain I live a charmed life. I gently broached the topic with my wife, and she was very supportive. She likes to have breakfast without me sitting around being chatty anyway, and our daughters sleep in even more than I do. So, after packing the SUV to the gills, I threw on the bike rack and loaded up my trusty Sequoia.

I wasn't sure what to expect of this scenic bikeway. I hadn't heard much about it. One story in Bike Portland had a mixed bag of comments ranging from, "I rode it. It was great." to "I can't believe they'd make a road with no shoulder and lots of traffic a scenic bikeway." Well, let me tell you, the part that I rode was fantastic. I only did a 30 mile loop of the northwest portion of the route, from Fish Creek to Estacada and back. Along that stretch the shoulder was always wide enough for a bike and there really wasn't a lot of traffic. Further toward Detroit Lake, I believe, there really is no shoulder at all, but there is also less traffic. The scenery was exceptional. The pictures below aren't so much highlights as they are representative samples of what the entire route looked like. One really cool section was a four mile stretch along Faraday Road that is closed to automobile traffic (except dam service vehicles). Otherwise, the entire route follows Highway 224 but also follows the Clackamas River very tightly.

I'm thinking this would be a great route for a C&V meet and ride sometime next spring.

Without further ado, pictures....



















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Old 07-30-18, 11:31 AM
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A few more pictures here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/263825...h/42824797045/
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Old 07-30-18, 01:37 PM
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Very cool ride photos. I agree that would be a great place for a meet and ride event.
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Old 07-30-18, 01:39 PM
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Wow... gorgeous!
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Old 07-30-18, 02:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Andy_K
...our daughters sleep in even more than I do...
Based on the average start time of our rides, they must be vampires.

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Old 07-30-18, 02:07 PM
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I'd ride that in a heartbeat - and take the lane while I was at it. Great scenery and views! What kind of elevation changes on that loop?

I'd be up for a spin around that route come springtime

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Old 07-30-18, 02:33 PM
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Up river a short distance at Ripple brook the river makes a sharp turn and creates an eddy. I stopped there and watched as the Steelhead jumping around as if they were playing tag.


IMG_5796 (1) (2) by K Farm, on Flickr
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Old 07-30-18, 03:00 PM
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Looks like you do some climbing and descending. 224 is a great drive, though summer is probably your best bet to ride it as earlier times will still see deep un-melted snow for long stretches (and thus road closures). Had that happen to me a few years back on the way to Bend. Backtracking time!
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Old 07-30-18, 03:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Drillium Dude
I'd ride that in a heartbeat - and take the lane while I was at it. Great scenery and views! What kind of elevation changes on that loop?
The loop I did had just 1000 feet of climbing (~2 miles at a steady 4-6% grade), but even that was optional. I climbed that hill specifically to get the big panoramic view in the picture above the dam. That climb was a diversion from the official route, which takes Faraday Road and avoids the hill entirely.

The full official route, going ~71 miles one way from Estacada to Detroit, has a single climb with a similar grade but higher peak. That route has 4445 feet of elevation gain according to RideWithGPS.

As for a future C&V weekend get together, I was thinking that we could grab some camp sites somewhere in the middle and ride off in one direction one day and the other direction the next day. The whole route is obviously manageable in a single day, but point-to-point would require more complicated logistics.
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Old 07-30-18, 03:19 PM
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Originally Posted by RiddleOfSteel
224 is a great drive, though summer is probably your best bet to ride it as earlier times will still see deep un-melted snow for long stretches (and thus road closures). Had that happen to me a few years back on the way to Bend. Backtracking time!
The trouble with summer is that the traffic increases. The cool thing about this road is that it only connects two small towns that are both more accessible by a different route. I figure 80% of the traffic or more is from people going fishing or camping. The deeper you get into summer the bigger that group becomes. But you're right about this being a road that is not open year round. I was thinking late May/early June as an ideal time. If we really wanted to think big, we could make a week of it and combine this with McKenzie Pass and Smith Rock rides.
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Old 07-30-18, 03:21 PM
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Originally Posted by gugie
Based on the average start time of our rides, they must be vampires.
You have no idea.
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Old 07-30-18, 03:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Andy_K
If we really wanted to think big, we could make a week of it and combine this with McKenzie Pass and Smith Rock rides.
Spring Break would be perfect if the roads would be open by then

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Old 07-30-18, 03:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Drillium Dude
Spring Break would be perfect if the roads would be open by then
McKenzie Pass didn't open to bikes until May 6 this year, and even then it was only Friday-Sunday. It wasn't open mid-week until Memorial Day. I think that's typical.
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Old 07-30-18, 03:58 PM
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I'm liking Andy's idea. Buncha friends, camping, alcohol, bikes, what could possibly go wrong?
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Old 07-30-18, 09:45 PM
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So many great PNW rides, so little time!
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Old 07-30-18, 11:04 PM
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Looks like a great ride.
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Old 07-30-18, 11:39 PM
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Originally Posted by gugie
I'm liking Andy's idea. Buncha friends, camping, alcohol, bikes, what could possibly go wrong?
Someone might overcook the burgers. Otherwise I think it's a winning plan. There's a six month reservation window. Hopefully I'll remember to bring this up again in November.
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Old 07-30-18, 11:42 PM
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Originally Posted by ryansu
So many great PNW rides, so little time!
So true. I was looking at it today. There are 17 Oregon Scenic Bikeways and I've only ridden three of them. Then there's Washington, which I've hardly explored at all.
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Old 07-31-18, 12:21 AM
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Now that Velo Cirques are gone forever, we’ll need some excuse to gather the PNW C&V-ers, and any others that are interested. This looks perfect!
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Old 07-31-18, 04:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Andy_K
There's a six month reservation window.
Is the 6 month window for that particular campground or . . . ?

Awesome pix. Awesome ride. Thanks for posting.
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Old 07-31-18, 09:30 AM
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Originally Posted by SpinThrift
Is the 6 month window for that particular campground or . . . ?
I think that's the general policy for the vendor who runs the campgrounds in that area.
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