Bennett Pass

5 Star Route

Here’s the short of it … we buzzed down the highway for 7 miles in the fray of the occasional truck or RV … then wiggled our way up and up on forest service roads (first paved, then gravel), passing by dispersed camping areas, and through lush forest.  When we reached a high meadow we thought, so foolishly, that we would be blasting back to the cars lickety-split.

But that was when the fun really began … we weaved our way down and up and then down, down, down on tough rocky roads, the kind of roads that extreme jeepers love to brag about. There was mud, snow, steep descents, cliffs … but it was beautiful to find this secret road with BOOMING views of Mt Hood. It hardly seemed real ….that views of the mountain made every bumpy bit on the final stretch well worth it.

Today, the historic Bennett Pass Road is a bumpy, often grinding minefield to navigate. It’s hard to imagine that it was the main forest route when it was built, but it still passes some of the finest scenery in the area along the way. [WyEast Blog]

Ride Details
Miles 0 to 7 / Highway Downhill / Paved

From the parking area make your way onto Highway 35. The next 7 miles (~ 20 minutes ) are downhill, with an elevation loss of 1400 feet at an average gradient of 3%. There is a 6 foot shoulder with rumble strips up to where the highway crosses Hood River [mile 4.8]. Thereafter, there is a 3 foot shoulder with fog line. For this sector, we recommend the use of a red blinky light. **Read More

Adventure / Gravel Route

Loop: 27 miles / 3600 ft gain
– Surface: ~ 60% gravel, 40% paved
eBike Friendly: Yes
– Location: ~ 45 minutes south of Hood River, Oregon
– Published: July 2020

Technical Difficulty & Risk[what this means]

Advanced. Due to: (a) the extremely rugged Bennet Pass sector from mile 16 to mile 27, (b) the remote nature of part of the ride and, (c) limited cell phone reception.

When we like to ride this …

Non holiday, mid week, with an early start. (We really don’t like traffic!). Also, wait until after July 4th. There are some north facing slopes that hold snow into late June.

The Start

Bennett Pass sno-park. Pit toilets.
Lat / Long: 45.310204, -121.641737

Food / Water

None


Downloads

Wahoo / Garmin Direct Download
Cue Sheet / GPX file / TCX file

Legend

Red = paved road
Brown = gravel / dirt road

For help with GPS files, the RideWithGPs mapping app and to learn how to download our routes for free, see the “Using Our Rides” page.

Ridden and Reviewed by …

Gravel Girl / Team Dirty Freehub

She loves a good day of gravel like most people like a good book. She’s always amused by the outdoors and the wild adventures. Gravel Girl is a Co-Founder of Dirty Freehub.

Captain O / Team Dirty Freehub

He should have “Never Stop Exploring” tattooed on his chest! He loves adventures on bikes and is a Co-Founder of Dirty Freehub.

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