Distance: 79 miles
Elevation Gain: 5512′ (MapMyRide)
Good on a windy day? The Dalles Loop, NO. The Parkdale Loop, okay.
If you’re looking for a long ride with stunning views, you’re looking in the right place. Plan on spending most of the day in the saddle, but don’t worry about carrying tons of food and water; there are plenty of spots to refuel and rehydrate along the way.
Highlights of this ride include the view from the top of State Road, looking east over The Dalles. Time it right, on an east wind day, and you’ll love the tailwind along the Columbia River as you ride past Rowena and up the oft-photographed Rowena Curves. As you head to Parkdale, you’ll ride through orchards and by a lavender farm, before climbing Booth Hill to one of the prettiest views in the Gorge. Make sure you turn around at the top of the hill and look north for a view of the Hood River Valley and Mt. Adams.
Once you reach Parkdale, there are any number of ways you can return to your car at the China Gorge parking lot. I’ve picked just one, but retracing your route along Booth Hill and Eastside Road is another lovely option.