The trailhead at the Deschutes River State Park is 100 miles east of Portland. The railroad grade maintains a constant 1 to 3 percent climb for 16 miles. While it seems flat when you start, the continuous climbing becomes exhausting. Less than 1 mile from the Columbia River, you pass the Class-III Moody Rapids. Rattlesnake Rapids, a Class IV, is 1.5 miles farther upstream. At 4 miles, you cross Gordon Canyon and pass the only other Class-4 rapid, the Colorado. The trail passes seventeen dispersed campsites between the Columbia River and Sixteen Mile Canyon.
The trail is rarely closed by snow or ice, but summer days may be too hot to ride. Tread: gravel railroad bed. Hazards: rattlesnakes, dehydration, and flat tires are the main hazards. The snakes are rarely seen; bring plenty of water; and get puncture proof tires, if you can.
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