Ride to 5 Gorge waterfalls and a swimming hole

The newest section of the Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail is also one of the most spectacular, offering miles of car-free riding, sweeping views of the river, and access to five waterfalls, including the 190-foot Starvation Creek Falls.

This ride starts at our e-bike rental location in Cascade Locks (15 Herman Creek Lane), where your Bike the Gorge host will give you a detailed training on how to our e-bikes and make sure you feel comfortable before hitting the road.

Our recommended ride route starts with 4.5 miles on a low-traffic shared roadway through the forest before connecting with the Historic Highway State Trail at Wyeth Trailhead.

The next 6+ miles of car-free riding will take you past three waterfalls (with the option to hike to two more) en route to the popular swimming hole at Viento State Park, which is the perfect place to relax and cool off halfway into your ride.

Bike the Gorge
Based on 48 reviews
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Kathy W.Kathy W.
00:07 18 Aug 23
We’d talked about biking the Gorge for almost a year. We’d walked sections and knew it would be a great adventure. Bob wanted to cover as much territory as possible…I looked forward to having some great exercise while enjoying the beautiful Columbia Gorge. Bike The Gorge gave us the perfect way to accomplish both our goals. The entire process was so easy! We signed up online. Ben met us at the starting point and gave us clear instructions about the bike’s operation as well as a proposed route. He reassured us that we’d enjoy our trip! And he was so right. I didn’t think we’d spend the entire 3.5 hours out on the trail…but we did! I recommend this adventure and suggest making Bike The Gorge your first experience!
Chelbie BuckinghamChelbie Buckingham
20:31 14 Aug 23
This was easily one of my favorite experiences in the PNW. The views are breathtaking! The employees are very helpful and accommodating.
Barbara DworschakBarbara Dworschak
00:50 13 Aug 23
Staff were helpful, instructive. Suggested trip a perfect length, beautiful scenery.
Amy WillsAmy Wills
18:56 10 Aug 23
It was a beautiful bike ride! The staff was very friendly and professional. We would definitely do it again!
Ann LopezAnn Lopez
16:35 08 Aug 23
We had an amazing time using the e-bikes for our group of friends to explore the gorge. I had never used an e-bike before, but he made sure that we were comfortable before we set off. The trails and waterfalls along the way were beautiful! I highly recommend this experience with Bike the Gorge!
Michelle DavisMichelle Davis
23:29 05 Aug 23
Every aspect of this adventure was AMAZING! Booking was easy, Customer Service was top notch, bikes were brand new. The route was beautiful. Ben was super informative and helpful. Will do this again and refer ALL my friends and Family
Donna ArmstrongDonna Armstrong
20:30 04 Aug 23
Fantastic break from long miles on summer vacation road trip! Easy off the highway- quick to transition to bikes - beautiful bike only trail (fairly easy road ride on e-bike up large hill to the trail) e-bikes in great condition with comfortable saddle. Only negative is that you parallel the interstate…so you get road noise. BUT, you get wonderful views of the gorge and you ride in and out of sun/shade making ride enjoyable on hot day. I will definitely return again! Fantastic waterfall stops!!
Heidi CurreyHeidi Currey
04:40 24 Jul 23
You have to "Bike the Gorge"These guys are amazing. This is a wonderful way to spend a day. From biking in the quaint little town of Cascade Locks to picnicking on the shores of the Columbia @ Viento State Park you'll find an entire day of living the dream! This was my first E bike experience. The owners made it a wonderful renting experience. They make sure you are comfortable and answer anything asked. They will rescue you if your unfortunate enough to need help while out and about. They make sure you know where you're going. And if they keep expanding this already 5 star business, hopefully they will be offering guided tours for those more reluctant to venture alone. This is an easy to navigate area with some challenging hills, but with the E assist I made minced meat out of them. The bike are incredible. Very nice quality. Top of the line maintenance. Powerful on the hills. I was so impressed. The ride takes you in and out of forest, along Interstate 84, which is incredible to ride above. You have the opportunity to stop at 5 different waterfalls along the way, one of which you can climb behind is you have the proper foot wear. When you reach the park, there's an easy access the to river. There you can enjoy a picnic, dip in the water and watch the wind surfers up close. All I can say is that this is a great experience and "Bike the Gorge" are the guys you want to make it happen. They are a hidden gem with the perfect location, the best service. We are already planning another trip and bringing our friends. They have gift cards too!! If you love your friends, you'll send them to the Gorge!!
Mariesa StombaughMariesa Stombaugh
23:31 20 May 23
We had a wonderful experience with Bike the Gorge. They went out of their way to help us when we were in a bind on Mother’s Day when my personal e-bike broke on me. So friendly and accommodating!I’ve ridden and owned a few types of electric bikes, and this one was better than any of them. The quality of the bike exceeded my expectation. One of my favorite things was how powerful it was, especially when going up hills. My mom riding with me on her “Electra” brand e-bike bike couldn’t keep up on the hills. The bikes also had some perks I wasn’t expecting; like side mirrors on the handlebars, a nice phone holder on the handle bar so I could use my maps and play music while riding, and a bike lock for when we stopped to hike the waterfalls.The bike ride itself was so incredibly gorgeous. In my opinion the ride had everything you’d want. The paved bike path was nice and wide with turnouts at major view points. We went through beautiful forest areas, by three waterfalls, and along the gorge itself.I rarely write reviews, but my experience with “Bike the Gorge” prompted me to share. Definitely recommending renting e-bikes from them!
Why you’ll love this ride

Experience the best of the Gorge. You’ll see towering firs, sweeping vistas, and up to five spectacular waterfalls all while zipping along on your e-bike.

Cool off in the river. The swimming hole at Viento State Park is the perfect place to take a dip in the river (or soak up the sun) halfway into your ride.

Escape the car traffic. The six-mile segment from Wyeth trailhead to Viento State Park is completely car-free — and even the shared road that you’ll ride from Cascade Locks to Wyeth doesn’t see much car traffic, as most drivers take I-84. This makes it a perfect ride for anyone who is newer to biking and/or doesn’t feel comfortable navigating high-traffic roadways on a bike.

Leave the planning to us. When you book our half-day e-bike rental, we’ll send you a recommended itinerary and detailed directions that cover everything you need to know to have a smooth check-in process and unforgettable ride experience.

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What you can see and do

Emerald Falls. It’s only a half-mile hike from the Wyeth trailhead to this picturesque waterfall — and if the water levels are low enough and the trail conditions are safe, you can continue another 200 yards to the more secluded Gorton Creek Falls.

Starvation Creek State Park. The 190-foot Starvation Creek Falls is the perfect backdrop for a lunch break — or you can lock up your bike here and take a short hike to Cabin Creek Falls, Hole-in-the-Wall Falls, and Lancaster Falls, which are all less than a mile away.

Viento State Park. The waterfront area at Viento State Park is considered one of the best swimming spots in the Columbia River Gorge, so be sure to leave time for a dip in the water or a doze in the sunshine.

What type of rental you’ll need

We recommend a half-day e-bike rental for this route, which will give you plenty of time to ride all the way to Starvation Creek Falls and Viento State Park.

Cross the Bridge of the Gods for a town-to-town tour

The best local view of the Columbia River Gorge might just be the one you get crossing the Bridge of the Gods — and that’s not the only reason to take a trip across the river.

This 6-mile ride follows a mix of bike lanes, bike paths, and shared roadways to the charming town of Stevenson, Washington, where you’ll find waterfront parks, sweet treats and tacos, local beer and cider, and a delightful farmer’s market on Saturdays in the summer.

The only hard part will be deciding where to stop for the inevitable mid-afternoon ice cream: Scoopy’s Social Club or The Cabin Drive-Thru in Stevenson or Eastwind Drive-In in Cascade Locks. (The good news: You can’t really go wrong.)

Distance: 12 miles roundtrip from our rental shop in Cascade Locks to downtown Stevenson and back.

Traffic: Moderate. You’ll have to share the road with cars coming into Stevenson, and it can get quite busy during the summer months.

Public Restrooms? Yes, at Bob’s Beach Family Park and Teo Park in Stevenson and Overlook Park in Cascade Locks.

Why we love this ride

Feel the thrill of crossing the Bridge of the Gods. Unlike cars, bikes don’t have to pay a toll to cross the bridge, so you’re free to enjoy the wind in your face and the views all around you. Just don’t look down if you have a fear of heights, as the bridge deck is grated and you’ll be able to see rushing water beneath you.

Combine nature and civilization. You don’t have to choose between sightseeing in the Gorge and shop-hopping through an historic small town, as this ride delivers both. After crossing the Bridge of the Gods, you’ll turn onto a quiet, forested backroad before rolling into Stevenson, where you can park your bike and explore the restaurants, museums, bookshops and waterfront by foot.

Build your itinerary around food and drinks. One of the best perks of riding e-bikes is that you can gorge yourself at lunch without regretting it on the return ride later. Just be sure to drink responsibly, as it’s illegal to a ride a bike under the influence of alcohol, just like with cars.

What you can see and do

Stevenson Farmer’s Market. This waterfront market featuring local food, produce, flowers, art, and music is open on Saturdays from 10am to 2pm, starting June 12.

Bob’s Beach Family Park. Bob’s Beach is the go-to spot in Stevenson for kayakers, windsurfers, picnic-ers and sunshine loungers.

North Bank Books. For the bookworms in your group, North Bank Books is a delightful little shop full of reading material on local history, culture, birds, mushrooms, mythology, and more.

Skamania Lodge. The gift shop at Skamania Lodge is worth a quick detour — and you can scope out your next Gorge adventure while you’re there.

Breweries. The Gorge is full of great brewery options, and this ride will take you past three of them: Thunder Island Brewing and Gorges Beer in Cascade Locks and Walking Man Brewing in Stevenson.

What type of rental you’ll need

It depends on how much time you want to spend exploring Stevenson and the rest of the Gorge:

  • A two-hour rental will give you time to ride to Stevenson, check out the waterfront and do some quick window-shopping.
  • A half-day rental will give you time to stop for lunch and spend an hour or two shopping in town or relaxing on the waterfront.
  • A full-day rental will give you time to do more exploring in town, as well as the flexibility to add on a ride to Viento State Park or the Eagle Creek trailhead.

See our Ride Guide for more details and follow these directions from our rental location.

Get a taste of mountain biking on the easyCLIMB trail

The Columbia River Gorge is full of top-notch mountain biking terrain — and not just for experienced riders.

The easyCLIMB trail in Cascade Locks offers more than two miles of “smooth, flowy singletrack with short descents and very little climbing,” along with incredible views of the Gorge and access to the popular swimming hole at Government Cove.

This trail is perfect for first-time mountain bikers and other beginners who want the fun and thrill of trail riding without too much of the hard work.

Why we love it

Build your skills on a course for beginners. You don’t need expensive gear or years of experience to get started on the easyCLIMB trail — and if you decide mountain biking isn’t your thing, you can simply ride to the beach at Government Cove and enjoy some R&R instead.

Go as hard (or as easy) as you want. The trail has enough sharp turns and descents to keep things exciting, especially for thrill-seekers willing to go hard on the pedaling. But beginners can take it as slow as they like, and there are plenty of scenic spots along the trail to pull aside and take a breather.

What you can see and do

easyCLIMB trail. The trail is a destination of its own, with elevated views of the Gorge and frequent bald eagle sightings during the winter months. The best viewpoints are on the northeast side of the trail system, less than 100 yards from the main parking area.

Government Cove. This Columbia River inlet is a popular place to kayak, paddleboard, and soak up the sun during the summer months, and you’ll go right past the access point as you ride along the southeast side of the trail system. (Check out Otter & Osprey if you’re interested in water sports rentals at Government Cove.)

What type of rental you’ll need

E-bikes are not permitted on the easyCLIMB trail, but we plan to begin offering recreation bike rentals in summer 2023 — and you can sign up here for updates.

Ride to Eagle Creek and hike to iconic Punchbowl Falls

Punchbowl Falls is one of the state’s most awe-inspiring waterfalls — and the journey to get there is just as memorable as the destination.

From our rental location in Cascade Locks, you’ll ride five mostly car-free miles along the Historic Columbia River Highway to the Eagle Creek trailhead, then hike 2.1 miles up a dramatic slot canyon to reach Punchbowl Falls.

Note: The Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail is currently closed between Cascade Locks and the Eagle Creek Trailhead, making this route inaccessible by bike. We will update this post as soon as the trail reopens.

Why we love it

Leave the car traffic behind. You’ll be on a shared roadway for the first mile of the ride, and then it’s all bike lanes and bike paths the rest of the way, including nearly three miles along the car-free Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail.

Swim at the base of Punchbowl Falls. The best waterfalls are the ones you can see and feel, and Punchbowl Falls checks both boxes. The iconic upper falls are visible from the main trail, and you can take a short detour to get your feet wet at Lower Punchbowl Falls.

Experience a fire-adapted forest. The Eagle Creek canyon is now six years into its recovery from the 2017 Eagle Creek fire, and there are signs everywhere of nature working its restorative magic. That said, the trail and cliff faces are still unstable in places, so look out for rock slides and use caution when hiking, especially on the narrower sections of trail.

What you can see and do

Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail: Bonneville Segment. This car-free section of the state trail opened in 2013, helping connect Cascade Locks to John B. Yeon State Park and the west side of the Gorge. The full historic highway state trail, once complete, will stretch more than 70 miles from Troutdale to The Dalles.

Eagle Creek Trail. This popular trail reopened to hikers in 2021 after a nearly four year closure due to the Eagle Creek fire and related landslides. You can hike as far as Wahtum Lake (13.1 miles), but most day hikers turn around at Punchbowl Falls for a four-mile roundtrip journey.

Metlako Falls. The first major waterfall you’ll see on the hike is Metlako Falls, which peeks through the trees shortly before you reach Punchbowl Falls. It’s a good milestone to let you know you’re getting close!

Punchbowl Falls. A landslide has made it more difficult (though not impossible) to reach the basin of the upper falls, but you can still get a great view from above and then climb down to Lower Punchbowl Falls to put your feet in the water.

What type of rental you’ll need

The short, mostly flat ride to the Eagle Creek trailhead will be perfect for our recreation bikes, which we plan to begin renting in summer 2023 once the state trail reopens west of Cascade Locks.