Bald Peak Challenge

Length: 74 Miles
Direction: Counter Clockwise
Elevation Gain: 6353 ft
Highest Point: 1634 ft
Recommended Gearing: 39X27 or equivalent

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Generally speaking, any ride in the area that breaks the 4000ft barrier in elevation gain, is classified in my books as ‘a doozy’. So 6300 ft should give you an idea of what you’re in for. This ride is a shortened version of the Paskewich Challenge, taken from Rubber to the Road Vol II. So that the ride could begin in town and remain a reasonable distance, the eastern portion of the ride was removed, leaving the “meat” of the ride well intact.

Bald Peak Challenge begins in downtown and takes full advantage of Cornell Rd to get you out to Bald Peak Mountain. One you’re on Bald Peak Rd, you’ll climb almost immediately for about 5 miles. Climb again up Hillsboro/Silverton Hwy to Mountain Top Rd and enjoy a hard packed gravel section until Bell Rd.

Haugen Rd is another challenging climb, especially after what’s been tackled thus far. After Roy Rogers Rd, the original route from the book had you climb up 175th Ave. I was surprised to find that it no longer existed off of Scholls Ferry Rd when I arrived. Well, after seeing the many new homes in the area, perhaps I wasn’t really surprised after all. Luckily, with my GPS, I was able to plan a route through the neighborhoods to reconnect with the planned course. Unfortunately however, I was unable to avoid any of the hills. Your final climb of the day is back up Cornell Rd towards Skyline Blvd. Then a well deserved descent back to town. Take yourself out to dinner when you complete this one.

Rood Bridge Park is a nice water stopMt. Hood in the distanceChanging LeavesYou've reached the top of Bald Peak when you see the radio towers

5 Responses to “Bald Peak Challenge”

  1. Carl Says:

    Re the Bald Peak Challenge, you may be interested to know that 175th Ave now connects directly to Roy Rogers Rd., making the original route possible.

  2. paul Says:

    As a resident of the area, I would highly recommend avoiding 175th. The new extension has a very nice bike lane that after about 1/2 mile feeds into one of the most dangerous roads in the area. Heavy traffic, no shoulder, steep hills, and blind curves are a BAD combination for cyclists.

  3. Pete Says:

    Wow. The word for today is ouch! Don’t let the long flat section after coasting down Cornell lull you into a sense of complacency. You will suffer today. For your troubles however, you are rewarded with some truly outstanding scenic riding. Living in Portland, this ride took me to places southwest of the city that I’d never considered visiting before.

    I found the gravel downhill on Mountain Top Rd. to be a little bumpy for my taste. If I do this ride again, I think I’ll try it the other direction so as to be going uphill for this section.

    Note for the admin: I would change the wording on the directions from “straight on Bell Rd” off Mountain Top to “bear left” instead. It’s a little ambiguous which way is supposed to be straight. I made the wrong choice and ended up having to do some significant backtracking (uphill of course).

  4. Ted Says:

    If you are coming down Bald Peak Rd, turn right on Hillsboro Hwy (OR 219), instead of left, then turn left on Bell Rd. You will add a rather nasty, steep, hair-pin curve, but you will avoid the dirt section of Mountain Top Rd altogether. I took Mountain Top Rd the first time I tried Bald Peak and have avoided it ever since. This is one of my favorite rides.

  5. Mike Says:

    The section of Mountain Top Rd between HWY 219 and Bell Rd has recently been paved.

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