Total Distance: 27.5 miles
In the middle of winter, roads are gravel-covered. Rain falls from the grey sky of the central Gorge. The dreaded inversion settles in, blocking the sun. When it’s raining and the roads are full of slippery red cinders, escape to the east side of The Dalles!
Want to time trial? 15 Mile Road is the place. Want to spend two hours in your big ring? You can do it here. Sick of seeing trees and just want a vista of rolling wheat fields? Yes, this is the ride for you!
Park at the Petersburg School, about 1/4 mile up 15 Mile Road. Head clockwise for a flat start. Head counter-clockwise for more sustained climbing. If you’re heading counter-clockwise and want the full 27 miles, make sure you ride past the first junction with Emerson Loop Road and take a left on the second.
You can make the loop shorter by (if you’re going clockwise), by going straight from Kelly Cutoff to Emerson Loop Road. Shorten the counter-clockwise version by taking a left off 8-Mile up the 1st junction with Emerson Loop Road, rather than continuing to the 2nd junction.
This is a great ride, but skip it on windy days, and skip it in the heat of summer. Have fun!