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This final leg of the epic bicycle journey following in the moccasin-and-canoe path of Lewis and Clark's Corps of Discovery Expedition is one for the books. Ride from the heart of Washington's Walla Walla wine country to the shore of the Columbia River. Follow the mighty Columbia - on both the Washington and Oregon sides, depending on where the cycling is better - all the way to where it meets the Pacific Ocean.
Walla Walla, Washington to Hermiston, Oregon. 60 miles.
Leave the heart of Washington’s wine country and head to the water: the Columbia River will be your guide from here all the way to the Pacific Ocean. Ride to the spot where Lewis & Clark first sighted the Mighty Columbia. Cross into Oregon for the first time on this journey (and the 11th state of the Bicycle Adventures Lewis and Clark Tour Series). Spend tonight in Hermiston.
Hermiston to The Dalles. 108 Miles
Cross back over the Columbia River into Washington (the cycling is better here). Head west with the river at your left. Watch as the landscape changes powerfully: the riverside geology has a fascinating history in the ancient Columbia Gorge National Scenic Area. Get your first glimpse of Mt Hood - the 11,000-foot Stratovolcano standing tall, guarding the Columbia Gorge. Up for a challenge? Ride the first asphalt road in Washington: the Maryhill Loops Road. Its rounded, looping corners and road surface are a road cyclist's dream. This road has a fascinating history too. Currently owned and maintained by the Maryhill Museum of Art, it's closed to cars with rare exceptions for special events. Cross back over the river again to stay tonight at the Celilo Inn, on a bluff overlooking the Dalles Dam.
The Dalles to Skamania. 50 Miles
The Dalles' name came from a French word describing the columnar basalt rocks carved by the river in this area. Lewis and Clark camped at a creek not far from here. Continue bicycling this morning with the river to your left. Brown grass on the hillsides is replaced first by sparse trees, then ever-thicker forest. Rock cliffs bare their faces at the rivers' edges; Mt. Hood slides from the forefront of your view to your left. Stop for the night at magnificent Skamania Lodge on the Washington side of the river. This is the perfect place to relax and take in the grand scale of the Columbia Gorge with Mt Hood's regal backdrop.
Skamania to St Helens. 65 Miles
Ride to the mouth of the Willamette River in Portland. Though one of the Columbia’s largest tributaries, Lewis and Clark somehow missed the Willamette as they passed it - twice! - both on their westbound and eastbound routes. Riding by on the riverside, you'll likely understand how this was possible. The Columbia is wide and dotted with many islands, and the surrounding terrain is relatively flat. It would be surprisingly easy to mistake the mouth of the river for another waterway around an island. Continue riding up the Columbia to the small town of St. Helens.
St. Helens to Fort Clatsop. ("Ocian in view! O! the joy!" ) - Well, almost in view. 70 miles
From National Geographic's Lewis & Clark Journey: "Upon reaching a wide body of water Clark waxed momentous—prematurely. On November 7 he thought they had reached the Pacific: 'Ocian in view! O! the joy,' he wrote in his journal. But they were actually at the estuary of the Columbia—still 20 miles (32 kilometers) from the coast. Fierce Pacific storms, rolling waters, and high winds pinned them down for three weeks—'the most disagreeable time I have experienced,' Clark wrote."
The Columbia is almost 5 miles wide here and there. Smell the scent of sea air. Ride beside the river; turn the bend into Astoria. You're now only a short distance from Fort Clatsop.
You've arrived! Explore Fort Clatsop, Astoria and the Pacific Coast.
Spend the last day of the journey exploring the area. Feast and celebrate! You've reached the end of Bicycle Adventures' Lewis & Clark Corps of Discovery bike tour series. Finish off the tour in fine Bicycle Adventures style with a special celebration recognizing each segment that each adventurer has completed.
As an optional extra, a person traveling solo on any inn-to-inn trip may reserve a room for his or her exclusive use. This will guarantee you a private room and private bath every night. Unlike other tour companies, if you're willing to share a room, there is no extra charge for coming solo, no matter when you sign up for the tour - even if you wind up with a private room by default.