Council Crest Washington Park Loop - Cycling

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Summary

The Council Crest/Washington Park Loop combines the thrill of riding through the streets of "Bike Town USA" with the exercise and exhilaration of a thigh-burning climb to the highest point in Portland.

Written by

Abby Joffe

Distance

5.3 miles

Destination Distance From Downtown

1.9 miles

Difficulty

4 of 5 diamonds

Time To Complete

1 hours

1-2 hours

Seasonality

All Seasons

Dog Friendly

No

Fees Permits

No

Review

Intro

If you had one bike ride to check out Portland proper, this should be it. Starting essentially anywhere in downtown Portland, make your way through the city to Vista and begin a steady climb to the highest point in the city. On a clear day you can check out no fewer than four cascade peaks and a sweeping view of the Rose City. 

What Makes It Great

It’s essentially the best of Portland by bicycle. Starting in the heart of Bike Town USA, you’ll have the opportunity to weave your way through a downtown area that caters to bicyclists. With clearly marked bike routes, wide bike lanes, and “bike boxes”, it’s a joy to explore a city laid out for folks on two wheels.

The character of the ride changes instantaneously as you begin the ascent up Vista to Council Crest. The tree-lined route climbs steadily, providing the bulk of the loop’s exercise on the way to the highest point in Portland. Council Crest is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike. And if you make the climb on a clear day, you’ll understand why. Continuing over to Washington Park on Hewitt Blvd, the loop just gets more scenic as you wind your way through the city’s renowned green spaces. From Washington park, a thrilling descent down Fairmont takes you through even more classic scenery and the meticulously manicured neighborhoods of the west hills. The loop ends when you arrive back downtown where any number of the city’s legendary brewpubs await to reward your efforts.

From Council Crest, head down and over to Washington Park; home to Portland’s Zoo and International Rose Test Garden. You’ll descend on winding roads through one of the stateliest neighborhoods in the city before arriving back downtown and concluding the loop. During the course of the loop you’ll be hitting some of the city’s premier attractions. So if you’re feeling like doing the tourist thing, you’ll have ample opportunity as Washington Park is home to the Zoo, the Japanese Garden, and the International Rose Test Garden.

The Council Crest/Washington Park Loop combines the thrill of riding through the streets of "Bike Town USA" with the exercise and exhilaration of a thigh-burning climb to the highest point in Portland.

Who is Going to Love It

Cyclists in need of some cardio. If you like climbing, bike-friendly downtowns, winding tree-lined roads, inspiring vistas, and scenic descents, this is the loop for you.

Directions, Parking, & Regulations

Since the loop starts anywhere downtown, parking is wide-open. I would recommend one of the downtown Smart Park garages.As mentioned, the west hills of Portland are susceptible to snow and ice in winter. It could be raining downtown but snowing up in the hills. Check conditions before you go.

Location

Council Crest - Washington Park Loop

OR,
45.518919, -122.67949

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