Happy Valley

Length: 24 miles
Direction: Counter Clockwise
Elevation Gain: 1336 ft
Highest Point: 727 ft
Recommended Gearing: 39X25

DirectionsSee full ride directions
View ride data at GPSies.com
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Covered Bridge withstands progressThe City of Happy Valley was established in 1965. If you look at the terrain map feature of this ride on gpsies.com you can see how much hillier it is than the rest of Portland east of the Willamette. Located in the SE area of Portland, this ride is just south of Powell Butte Nature Park. Although a short ride, it’s a great getaway that’s still within the city. The ride starts from Mt Tabor park and is then accessed from the Springwater Corridor. At this time the I-205 bike path, which intersects the Springwater Corridor path, is closed due to the MAX rail extension. If reopened, you can hop onto the path from Division St. For now, we’ll travel down SE 92nd Ave.

This ride is from the first edition of Rubber To The Road. The description written in 1997, warns of imminent development that will permanently change the landscape. I was pleased to see that the nicest part of the ride along Deardorf Rd was intact, quiet and beautiful, with the covered bridge over Johnson Creek still doing its job. The road twists and climbs upwards until turning onto Ridgecrest where you’ll get a good view of the city’s new neighborhoods. Climb again up 145th, which becomes 147th. On the right it’s houses. On the left, horses. Keep an eye out on this ride for other wildlife including goats, chickens and bunnies!

Your reward for the climbing thus far, is the descent of Monner Rd. The dense housing is gone now, replaced with rural farmland and rural roads. But keep an eye on traffic on 172nd and Foster Rd. If you’d like an addition to your ride, turn left onto Vradenburg Rd at the intersection of Sager and 162nd Ave. This road eventually dead ends, but is worth the trip. Venture back to the Springwater Corridor where you can lengthen your ride by heading East if you like, or by venturing North into Powell Butte Park if your bike is equipped for some dirt trails.

Maybe like thisUnder the bridge

7 Responses to “Happy Valley”

  1. Ben Says:

    Had a great time on this ride. Will most likely become a staple morning ride where time is limited but I am still looking for some hills.

  2. Jacob Says:

    You could do a version of “Eastside Hillwork”. Plenty of climbing in the area. Climbing up and over Mt Scott won’t disappoint.

  3. Tim Shepard Says:

    As of my last foray up Vradenberg in 7/2011, the remote spot mentioned in Rubber to the Road (book 1) has been taken over by 3-4 McMansions. Two were for sale and one was deserted. There was no view.

  4. Jacob Says:

    Bummer. At least the hill is still there?

  5. Matt Says:

    Great route, however please note that as of today (4/02/13) there are large gravel chunks on the Ridgecrest Road descent; this resulted in me shredding a tire at 50+KMH and and a necessary bail-out phone call.

  6. Scott Says:

    Rode this with a friend of mine this morning. Good route with some nice sustained and fairly steep climbs. Ride starts out suburban and transitions to rural. Plenty of sections with no shoulder or bike lane, but you generally got onto side roads promptly, and drivers were quite courteous to us today.

  7. Ransom Says:

    Finally made it out and tried this. A bit more no-shoulder/some-traffic than I’d like, but I’d tend to say that about most rides around Portland… When I wasn’t worried about my left elbow’s safety, I was enjoying myself!

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