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Question about biking to White Salmon, WA

Any opinions on riding Hwy. 14 to White Salmon, WA (across the bridge from Hood River)?
I'm going to a friend's in White Salmon, WA next Saturday (across the bridge from Hood River) and would like to bike there. I don't think going on I-84 over the Hood River Bridge is an option because there's no way to bike across the bridge itself(the surface is all metal grooves and there's no pedestrian crossing), and I also don't think biking along 84 would be much fun.

Has anyone taken Hwy. 14 in Washington out that far? Or even as far as Bonneville or Stevenson? Appreciate any opinions on the safety of that route. Thanks.
My Observations 04.Apr.2004 13:36

klickitat county resident

HWY 14 through the Cascades and the east slope (from White Salmon westward) becomes quite narrow and bendy (no pullout strip poor sight distance) in places. The road, being older, has some hills. HWY 14 is used by 18-wheelers in order to avoid ODOT weigh stations on I-84. There are some straight stretches between Stevenson and White Salmon, but that segment is predominantly curvy. The posted speeds are 50, except for the portion from about 5 miles west of White Salmon, where it becomes 55. While I-84 would probably be noisier and windier, it at least has a bike lane. Could your friend pick you and your bike up in Hood River? I don't own a bicycle and have no second hand knowledge about biking on HWY 14 through the Cascades.

reply 04.Apr.2004 13:59

gerry

I could be picked up in HR if there's no safe way to get across the bridge. In fact, I'll do this if travel on 14 is too dangerous, and it sounds as if you're saying it probably is. I had enough of that kind of bike riding when I lived in Atlanta (cars going by at 60 on a road with no shoulder) and there's no way I'm going to put myself in that position again. Thanks for your input.

Bridge of the Gods? 04.Apr.2004 15:58

former Gorge resident

The Bridge of the Gods in Cascade Locks is also mesh, but much shorter and less travelled than the Hood River bridge, and I've seen plenty of people bike across it. (Or walk their bikes.) You could take 84 to Cascade Locks and cross there, which puts you on 14 just before Stephenson, well after the end of the narrow/curvy/steep part of that highway, and take 14 into White Salmon.

Watch it on the bridge if it's a wet day, though.

Sounds good 04.Apr.2004 17:26

gerry

I think I'll take that last piece of advice and cross at Cascade Locks. My neighbor was just telling me he's ridden 14 out there before and that it's not too bad after Stephenson. He said 84 is hellish (which I already knew), but I know I can take alternate routes for a pretty good distance til I have to hook up with the highway.

Thanks again.

Hitch a ride accross 05.Apr.2004 17:49

Darrow

14 is pretty gnarly all the way through to the WS/Bingen area. I understand your concerns about 84 all the way out, but you shouldn't worry about catching a ride over the bridge. Its a toll stop and their are usually plenty of friendly pickups around that you'd find someone who'd let you hop in.

Also think about the highway 26/highway 35 option. Bus service should get you out to at least Sandy and maybe futher. The ride from Gov't Camp down to Hood River is amazing.

Riding to White Salmon 07.Apr.2004 19:23

The Green Redneck

Highway 14 is a beautiful ride--the worst part is the hideously cracked and potholed Old Evergreen Highway riding from the north end of I-205 bike path into the town of Camas. It is narrow, it does have some--not a huge amount--of traffic. Good store at Beacon Rock, and just where most of us need it; there's a substantial climb east of Washougal. I highly recommend it. If you ride on the Oregon side and cross Bridge of the Gods (illustrated on the inner sleeve of an 80's Mojo Nixon album, by the way) don't use the Gorge Scenic Highway unless you're riding early on a weekday morning--despite appearances, the shoulder of I-84 is wide, and is much safer than sharing the narrow, twisty scenic highway with rednecks, meth lab cooks, and Uncle Alzheimer in his RV. I won't even talk about the time I was riding the GSH some years ago and got passed by an Airstream Trailer club!