Twin Peaks

Length: 18 Miles
Direction: Counter Clockwise
Elevation Gain: 1035 ft
Highest Point: 580 ft
Recommended Gearing: 39X25 or equivalent

DirectionsSee full ride directions
View map and ride data at
Download Print-Friendly Directions

This tunnel descent curves nearly 360 degreesFrom the original Rubber to the Road book series, the Twin Peaks ride is a short adventure that takes in a couple of great city parks: Mt Tabor and Rocky Butte.

Beginning on the east side of Mt Tabor on Yamhill, you will immediately climb past the north side of the park. If you’d like to take in a loop of the park while you’re still feeling fresh, turn left at 69th Ave onto Salmon Way. Mt Tabor is an extinct volcano that now holds much of our city’s water in reservoirs throughout the park. There are ample roads inside the park including the famous Mt Tabor circuit, which is raced on yearly as a series during the spring/summer months. There are also a number of dirt paths that are a nice escape with your cyclocross or mountain bike on a rainy day.

Yamhill leads you west out of the park towards downtown via the Lincoln/Harrison bike commute route. An especially nice feature of this ride is the trip through Ladd’s Addition. Navigate around Ladd Circle Park and consider a stop at the coffee shop on your way through. Exiting Ladd Circle, you will join up with Madison St, which takes you to the Eastbank Esplanade bike path.

The Esplanade runs on both sides of the Willamette River and the east side is a great method for traveling north and south so close to downtown. Head north and then follow the directions to Tillamook St. Tillamook and other relatively quiet streets north of the I-84 will take you east now over to Rocky Butte.

As soon as you reach Rocky Butte Rd, you will immediately begin climbing up. This park contains rare views looking north from such a high point in the city as well as a 360 degree view of all other areas in town. Once known as Wiberg Butte, it was renamed Rocky Butte after the stone quarry on the east side. There is in fact a park within the park at the very top. Joseph Wood Hill Park was created in 1935. Then, from 1937-39, government make-work projects allowed for improvements to the park including stone walls, roads and a parking area.

After climbing up Rocky Butte and having a look around, enjoy the descent down on the south side including a long tunnel that nearly wraps around itself. Watch your speed through here, the tunnel just doesn’t seem to end.

Join up with Tillamook St again on the south side of the Rose City Golf Course, Then the bridge on 74th Ave will take you over the I-84. A couple more miles through the neighborhoods of the NE and your back where you started.

Mt Tabor in the morning. Wow.The top of Rocky Butte RdRocky Butte RdYamhill Rd at Mt Tabor

2 Responses to “Twin Peaks”

  1. Bart Says:

    In my opinion, it’s better to descend on the north side. There are no houses (well, one) on the north side and you can really pick up some speed without worrying about running over meandering pedestrians or getting smashed by hapless backer-outers. A very fun downhill, but watch that curve!

    This way drops you right onto Fremont, where you can head west past 82nd to 77th, leading over to the Alameda ridge by way of Sacramento. You’ll end up riding up above Rose City Golf Course, a very pretty little section with wide streets and lots of joggers and dog walkers. From there you can take a number of routes to get back closer in to downtown.

  2. Jeff Says:

    This is indeed a great ride; I’ve done a loop from St Johns many times. To fill in a few details: the route described here is clockwise, not counter-clockwise. Yamhill does lead you west out of the park, but Lincoln is several blocks south, which will lead to Harrison and on to Ladd’s Addition. You need to exit the circle on Ladd Ave, then I prefer to take a left on Clay, which goes straight to the Esplanade. Just before the Steel Bridge, take a right up the switchback ramp, the turn left and ride up the sidewalk to the diagonal light at Oregon, go north on Interstate, peeling off the right at Wheeler, which leads to Williams Ave and Tillamook. This will take you (with a couple of well marked jogs) to 92nd, where you turn left to Rocky Butte. On the return, when 74th meets Burnside, jog left to 76th, which will take you back to Yamhill.

Leave a Reply