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Portland OR to Boulder CO

Old 04-19-13, 01:08 PM
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Portland OR to Boulder CO

Hey i am leaving for Boulder in August from Portland OR and would like to hear some suggestions and recommendations on some routes. I will be camping lightly so i will need to have stores accessable once a day. Would love to see some great sights while im there, but i am more interested in the easiest route possible. Anyone who has done this would help out great with cheap campsites along the way, also some great eats! I will be quiting my job and moving down there after, so this is just the start to quite a fun journey. Thank you in advance, Jesse
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Old 04-19-13, 04:30 PM
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You could go a little south to Eugene and hop on the Adventure Cycling TransAm route, the venerable old BikeCentennial route. Once in Walden, CO, take Hwy 14 over Cameron Pass or for more adventure and climbing, Hwy 34 from Grandby to Estes Park then south to Boulder.
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Old 04-20-13, 01:14 AM
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I would try to avoid too many mountain passes if you want to make time and avoid climbing for hours on end, although it will be somewhat less scenic. I have only done these roads on a motorcycle, although biking it sounds interesting. I would probably head east out the Gorge to take advantage of the tailwinds in the summer. It will be fast riding for awhile. You could stay on the Wash side for less traffic although as I recall that is kind of narrow and more winding. Then somewhere near The Dalles I would cut down in a Southeasterly direction on the 2-lanes (206-19-207) that take you down to Hwy 26 and over through Ontario and into Boise. Pretty country in the Blue Mountains of Eastern Oregon, and easy camping.

From Boise I would stay north on 26/20 (or smaller routes if possible) toward Idaho Falls and Pocatello and from that point I would again drop down in a southeasterly direction on 91/191 to Hwy 40 at Vernal, UT. If you look at the map you will see the mountain ranges usually trend north-south so you have to follow the terrain to make time. Then ride lonely Hwy 40 all the way to Golden and cut north to Boulder. The part past Steamboat involves a lot of elevation unfortunately, but it is beautiful country. Also keep in mind it will be really hot out there near Dinosaur on Hwy 40 in August and you will need to carry a lot of water.

I'm hoping you will get a response from Jamawani - he lives in Wyoming, knows that area very well and can probably provide better routing - perhaps through southern Wyoming and down 287 into Ft Collins instead of the Hwy 40 route - to reduce the climbing that you will encounter as you get past Steamboat and into Denver. Cheers - sounds like a fun trip.

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Old 04-20-13, 11:37 AM
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+1 with what Andrew said.

(I'd avoid I84. It wouldn't be pleasant from the Dalles to Baker City IMO.)

I've ridden from Salem to Halfway basically using the BikeCentenial Route. Salem to Sisters, Redmond, Prineville, Mitchell, Dayville, John Day, Prairie City, Sumpter, Baker City, Richland, to Halfway. It was an enjoyable route and there was at least one town with services every day.

None of the passes over the Cascades are bad. The passes farthest south are my favorites, but Hwy 20 to Sisters would put you in the best position for crossing eastern Oregon(IMO)

I have no experience or knowledge of that section of Idaho and beyond.
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Old 04-20-13, 03:47 PM
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Originally Posted by mtnbud
+1 with what Andrew said.

(I'd avoid I84. It wouldn't be pleasant from the Dalles to Baker City IMO.)
I agree, and my suggestion was to head south of I-84 at the Dalles, cutting down to Hwy 26. Still faster than heading over the Cascades IMHO.
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Old 04-20-13, 04:13 PM
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The trip from Portland to The Dalles is one of my favorite bike rides. The only downside is that you need to ride on the Interstate for about twelve miles of the route. A lot of the route is excellent bike trails, and you get to see Multnomah Falls and the Columbia Gorge.
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Old 04-22-13, 12:10 AM
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thank you for all the responses. what great feedback! i will love the tail wind in the gorge that is for sure. this trip will be my longest trip yet, and if anyone knows any hidden spios along the way to check out that would be great. or cheap/free camping as i will be camping almost every night. (my girlfriend isn't scared of a little body odor!)
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Old 04-22-13, 06:42 AM
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Not sure what you are willing to trade off.
It will be August - and I would MUCH rather be in the mountains of Idaho than in the Snake River Plain.
Are cooler temps and more shade worth a few extra miles and a bit more climbing?

PS - By August the wind direction in the Gorge can shift because of interior desert heat. Just FYI.
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Old 04-22-13, 10:29 AM
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Portland - Boise.. 26++++++..

Went that way last year.. Lived in a big city my whole life.. Wow.. Absolutely blown away by the scenery. Ample shoulders, too..
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Old 04-22-13, 02:23 PM
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If you go through the gorge, there are some state parks/recreation areas. Deschutes River State Recreation Area has primitive sites for $9.
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