Mainly a road ride, this one has been in my good books for a long time. A solid 80 miler starting near Scappoose Oregon, with challenging climbs and twisty descents, comes in with a sweet downhill finish.
The ride holds a lot of merit for all kinds of riders. Nice sweeping downhills, uphill jaunts and bucolic country roads. Not to mention expansive views and a flat section to hammer on should you wish. Bonus, roughly in the middle, there’s a good coffee / patisserie stop.
Through the little towns
The ride starts out at a public parking lot off the CZ Trail. From here its all country backroads to the main town of Clatskine (klat,scan,eye). The elevation profile for the 45miles to Clatskine is peaky, with ups and downs no real flat sections and you start by climbing. It’s all very low traffic and goes through a few small towns of Yankton, Trenholm and Apiary. Early on it feels like you have been riding for a long time, due to the lack of cars and the sense of escape which is easily found.
A smidge of gravel
At around mile 13 you will encounter a little bit of gravel. Not to worry though, this only lasts a few miles and is easily ridden on a road bike. Crossing the highway closer to Clatskine is about as hard as it’s going to get. Then following the river and dropping down into into the town.
Services. There are a few coffee spots in town but my fav (Farmhouse Coffee) is close to the safeway grocery store, should you need stuff there also. It has a good selection of pastries and the coffee isn’t so bad. This is the point to refuel as the next section is a hearty yet worthy climb.
The climb to Mist
Coming out of Clatskine (into the second half of the ride) starts with a climb. At about 6 miles long, mainly mellow with a couple of pitchy bits. Avg grade around 3.5% and a gain of 1300ft before a super wicked good descent into the town of Mist Oregon.
Turning out of Mist, then riding approximately 11miles on the same road. It’s almost flat and a chance to take it easy or get aero and drop ya mates. Up to you. One thing to note, this section can be busy on summer Saturdays. Idiot motorcycle clubs trying to go fast (you know who you are Vernonia), so just be aware.
Heading in the direction of the start, the next 13 miles have that same middle of no where country vibe. Theres a shaded climb that’s long but mellow with some good views. Then the last 4 miles is mellow descending back to your car. A great way too finish the ride.
Three variations exist and the difference is at the very Northern part of the ride, only by a few miles but you can tweak for your preference.
R3 Keeps you south of the highway at the very northern point but you still do have to cross the highway twice to do this, then it is all road into Clatskaine. (83miles and 6100ft)
R4 Takes you over Beaver Falls area, its a gravel climb with a gravel decent. It’s not bad on a road bike and you don’t have to smash it, but if you are looking for less gravel, you might want to choose R3 or R5. (81miles and 6200ft)
R5 Takes you North of the highway and heads through Mayger and Quincy closer to the Columbia before dropping into Clatskinie. No gravel on this upper section. (85miles and 6300ft)