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Cascading Rivers Scenic Bikeway

Scenic Bikeway

  • Length:
    71.4 miles
  • Difficulty:
  • Origin:
  • Attributes:
    Mountain Views, River Views, Rural, Wildlife Views

Elevation Chart

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For more information and to obtain an export of this ride, visit

Stay Safe

In Oregon, a bicycle is legally considered a vehicle, and the same Oregon road laws apply. Please “be seen” and practice safe riding. Vehicle traffic, farm equipment and narrow shoulders exist on many Oregon roads, and you may find that construction projects, traffic or other events may cause road conditions or signage to differ from the map results, ride descriptions and directions. For travel options plus weather and road conditions, visit, call 511 (in Oregon only), 800.977.6368 or 503.588.2941. Routes listed on this website are for informational purposes and intended as a reference guide only.

Rider Alert: As of 8/30/17, portions of the Cascading Rivers Scenic Bikeway are closed for fire-fighting efforts, from Ripplebrook Ranger Station to near Detroit.

Official Maps from Oregon Parks and Recreation

Download map and cue sheet


Cascading Rivers Scenic Bikeway GPS (Detroit start)
Cascading Rivers Scenic Bikeway GPS (Estacada start)

Route Description

The Cascading Rivers Scenic Bikeway follows the woven Clackamas and Breitenbush rivers in a 70-mile route from Estacada to Detroit. Water is the dominant force that sculpts the volcanic landscape of the West Cascades. All along this route, water and rock interact to create a place of dramatic beauty and inspiration. Rivers, rapids, waterfalls, hot springs and lakes captivate and guide the rider. Time is forgotten as a pausing rider looks up to the sky through ancient forests that line the Bikeway. Where there is water, there is life. Riders may experience glimpses of elk or a fluttering grouse or rest along the route to a symphony of forest songbirds.

The bikeway parallels the nationally designated Wild and Scenic Clackamas River along rocky riffles, quiet pools and reservoirs. Beneath the waters, native runs of coho, chinook and steelhead salmon seek their ancient spawning beds. Mt. Hood and Mt. Jefferson smile down upon the exploring cyclist.

Experienced riders who seek a challenge will be most attracted to this 72-mile route of forested splendor paired with a 3,125-foot climb from Estacada and 1,985-foot climb from Detroit. A shorter family-friendly ride is available from Estacada. Those coming from the north or through Portland Airport will be able to utilize the Portland TriMet system all the way to Estacada. Free parking is available in both Estacada and Detroit. The U.S. Forest Service offices in both Detroit and Estacada offer campsite information and road condition reports. This route is closed during late fall and winter.

Remove the stresses of civilization with a walk through the towns of Estacada or Detroit. Both are full-service towns with many options for eating. Both towns are situated on tranquil waters and are similarly rooted in historical attachments to water power, mountains and forests.

Important Traffic Information:

Cascading Rivers Scenic Bikeway
Motorized vehicle traffic volume is low to moderate in late spring and fall, but higher on weekends and holidays during summer months. Most of the route through the national forest is narrow, steep and winding with limited to no shoulder. Watch out for truck traffic, fallen rocks or trees, and possible damaged road surface conditions and slippery surfaces during wet or icy weather. In the winter, Road 46 is not maintained for travel. Much of the route is closed by snow in late fall to early spring. Roads are only maintained from late spring to fall. Check Road 46 status with local Ranger District offices. Highway 224 conditions can be found on ODOT’s Trip Check website. Cell coverage is extremely limited.

Ranger contact information: Detroit Ranger Station, 503-854-3366, or Clackamas River Ranger Station, 503-630-6861

All Scenic Bikeways
Scenic Bikeway routes often include roads with car and truck traffic. Although the Bikeways are routed on low-traffic and low-speed roads whenever possible, most are designated for cyclists that are comfortable riding in some amount of traffic. For traffic-free riding, please check out the Tualatin Valley Scenic Bikeway section north of Banks and the first half of the Covered Bridges Scenic Bikeway.

More Resources

Check out Oregon’s Mt. Hood Territory and the Estacada Chamber of Commerce to find more sights to see and things to do near this Scenic Bikeway.

Camping and hot showers are available at Milo McIver State Park and Detroit Lake State Park. Milo McIver State Park offers hiker-biker sites for a reduced rate.

Photos of this Ride


  1. day use parking is availabe at the city hall in Estacada- which is the backside of the chamber building. Weekend over night parking is ok there too – just call ahead to (503 630-8270). There are two places for day use parking in Detroit. downtown Detroit at the west side of Patton Rd
    south of intersection with Forest and 1.3 miles up Forest Rd 46 at a large gravel pull out. Check the cue sheets for more info

  2. […] just came back from our most recent bikepacking trip.  We followed the newly designated Cascading Rivers Scenic Bikeway along the Clackamas and Breitenbush rivers, starting in Gresham, and finished by following the […]

  3. Cascading Rivers Bikeway closed due to forest fire! For updates go to

  4. […] the road reopens, the Cascading Rivers Scenic Bikeway, which follows Highway 224 through Estacada, will also be temporarily […]

  5. Lane and Shoulder Closures: Summer of 2015 and early fall: there is project along OR 224 east of Estacada to reduce rockfalls and remove hazardous trees. Work will take place along a nearly four mile stretch east of Promontory Park. All travelers will expect lane and shoulder closures and minor traffic stops with flaggers. Delays should be less than 20-minutes. You can learn more about the project by visiting

  6. Farady Road Closed: Farady Road, just outside of Estacada, is closed for several months. The detour is to stay on Highway 224 up and over a steep hill. This adds a bit of elevation change to the Bikeway, but no extra miles.

  7. I just did this as an out and back from Detroit and I really enjoyed the ride but if I were to do it again I think I’d turn back about 20 miles from Estacada. If I was starting in Estacada I’d probably do the same and drive about 20 miles in before starting, there are TONS of places to park along the road. On the 20 miles closest to Estacada the road conditions are notably worse and the vehicle traffic much higher. There are still some beautiful views to be had in those 20 miles I just found the other 50 to be much more enjoyable. Once Farady Road opens again I’d reconsider as that looks to be a pretty nice section that drops down away from traffic and follows the river.

    Here’s some pics I took:

  8. Is overnight parking available at the Dam?

  9. Rode out and back from Detroit to the high point, 36 miles RT, July 21, 2015. Hardly any traffic, beautiful, but the climb is stiff–last 5 miles is 10-14% grade. I’d love to see a loop route completed, returning via Silverton and Silver Creek Falls.

  10. As of August 15 Farady Rd is still closed – there is no signage on Hwy 224, it is clear for about 4 miles and then is blocked by a large pile of rocks for about 100 ft.

  11. I just got back from a tour that ended in Estacada Sept. 22 via the Cascading Rivers Bikeway. Traffic from Detroit was nonexistant until about 10 miles past the summit then just an occasional tourist. The trees were as colorful as I have ever seen, reds, oranges and yellows intermingled with the dark green of the firs. It was absolutely gorgeous!
    Traffic the rest of the way was light on the rest of the trip into Estacada. Faraday Rd is now open, what a treat that was!
    Overall, a very good experience. I rode it on a Tuesday, there might be more tourist travel on the weekend, but I did not see any log trucks on the whole route.

  12. The Cascading Rivers Scenic Bikeway has been closed due to snow on Dec. 14th 2015 and probably will not re-open till spring!

  13. […] Clackamas River delivers on all these points. First of all, it’s one of the newest Scenic Bikeways (something I totally forgot about until I saw the signs)! The city of Estacada is one end of the […]

  14. If you’re just going to do the Faraday Rd section, I would park at the hydro project at the west end of Faraday Rd instead of the “cycling plaza” at city hall. The initial 1+ miles on Hwy 224 is not that pleasant, relatively narrow shoulder and heavy traffic, much of it pretty hostile to bikes.

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