The countryside around Mt. Hood is one of the most blessed area in all of the Pacific Northwest. I’m not certain even camping and riding the entire area for a solid week or two would exhaust all of the riding opportunities presenting in that particular corner of Oregon.
The roads aren’t the most curvy on the face of the earth, but they’re quite sweeperish with tolerably short stretches in between. But most important to a rider who’s simply sick and tired of constant traffic, these roads seem to be quite nearly empty during the week. Even when I went through other nearby roads on Saturday, there was very little traffic anywhere but on US 26 proper.
Which is all fine by me. The tourists and the cops can all stay over there on the freeways.
Up-Valley on Wamic Market Road. The hamlet of Pine Hollow is at the foot of the ridge on the right, next to the hill in the middle:
Yes, some stretches do look like the image below. But once you cross over into the National Forest, it’s more sweepers than not.
This road is obviously one that doesn’t get patrolled terribly frequently. At one point during my travels I was headed eastbound into Tygh Valley moving at a very respectable pace when I got passed on the left by a FedEx delivery van doing at least 85mph on those deserted roads a few miles went of Wamic. Obviously, I must have been holding up his delivery run, as he didn’t even slow down for the reduced speed limit in Wamic either.
If you’re hungry while rolling through the eastern terminus at Tygh Valley, there’s a great little restaurant just off the main drag named “Molly B’s Diner”. It’s in a little white building with lawn ornaments all over the side yard. They served me an enormous stack of pancakes and a large glass of OJ for well under $10. Good service, and the old pictures showing some of the history of Tygh Valley were quite interesting too.
If you’re running quite low on gas, there’s also a general store on the main street in Tygh Valley. It’s a boxy older-style single-pump analog pump and while I didn’t gas up there, somebody else was gassing their old truck up at the pump during one of my passes through town in July 2008.
Once you’re to the west end of FS 48 at the intersection of FS43, you have a decision to make. You can continue on up to FS48 and loop back up to I-84 via OR35 or back to Dufur on FS44. If you take the left and go onto FS43, it will take you over to US26 and provides a more direct route to Portland and automotive-related services.
- Counties: Wasco, Hood
- Length: 36 miles
- Towns: Tygh Valley, Wamic