Author Topic: Missoula to Portland, OR -- Recommended Routes?  (Read 4827 times)

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Offline goodfoot

Missoula to Portland, OR -- Recommended Routes?
« on: May 23, 2009, 05:37:36 pm »
Hi Everybody,

I'm planning a self-contained trip during mid July through mid Aug.  I will start in Jackson, WY and follow the TransAm trail up into Missoula.  From Missoula I will head southwest to Portland, and I'm trying to figure the best route between those two towns.  My only requirement is decent campgrounds along the way.  I would also like to avoid long stretches of soul crushing heat and headwinds if possible.   I'm giving myself around 30 days for the entire trip, and I'll probably be covering 50-75 miles a day.   

Should I just follow the rest of the TransAm route and perhaps cut through central Oregon to Portland?  Or ride through Washington roughly along the L&C route?  Are there any variations that someone can recommend?

Your suggestions are appreciated,

Offline windrath

Re: Missoula to Portland, OR -- Recommended Routes?
« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2009, 10:41:45 pm »
Hi Tom -

I rode the L & C from Portland to Missoula a couple of years ago.  A few years before that I rode from Missoula to Jackson, WY.  The L & C from Missoula to Portland is pretty darn good way to go.  There are Adv Cycling maps you can purchase and follow.  There are only a couple of stretches that are rough roads.  Campgrounds were pretty available the entire way.  The headwinds will depend on the weather - as always.  It could be pretty darn hot along the eastern section of the Columbia River from Lewiston westward.  My log is posted at if you want to read for camp locations.

Good Luck and let me know if I can help in any way.


Offline johnsondasw

Re: Missoula to Portland, OR -- Recommended Routes?
« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2009, 11:38:48 pm »
There are serious headwinds in the Columbia Gorge in the summer.  I would definately avoid going west right down the Columbia River.  You'd be better farther south in Oregon.
May the wind be at your back!

Offline litespeed

Re: Missoula to Portland, OR -- Recommended Routes?
« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2009, 05:18:22 pm »
The easiest way to cross the Divide is at the Hiawatha Trail just NW of St. Regis. The two-mile tunnel (light required) saves you 1500' of climbing. It's also a beautiful, pleasant and very scenic ride. $8 fee the last time I rode it.

The westerly winds in the Colombia river Gorge are pretty tough although the only time I did it (west-to-east) I met cyclists coming the other way. They made it but it wasn't easy.

If you do the Hiawatha Trail you will also probably have headwinds along the St. Joe River from Avery to St. Maries but it wasn't all that bad when I did it.