- Rating: Difficult
- Activity: Bike
- Distance: 10 miles round-trip
You’ll need to channel the hill-climbing quad power of Lance Armstrong to make it to the top of 3,143-foot Nestor Peak, but complete the approximately 5-mile, 2-hour fire-road climb and the reward is incredible views of the Hood River Valley, with snow-capped Mount Adams looming over your shoulder. Luckily, the road proffers payoff for your pain with glimpses of Gorge vistas that seem to improve in direct proportion to the altitude gain.
ROUTE: Up top, an out-of-place corrugated shack is a fine place to acknowledge the delightful truth of gravity-based sports: What goes up must come down. Retreat 200 yards back down the hill and pay close attention to the white diamond trail markers on the trees. This is the start of a fast and fantastic single-track trail that swoops and switches back through the dense forest on an approximately 5-mile, 1-hour descent all the way back down. No one said this was an easy ride, but then no one will disagree that it’s worth every ounce of sweat dripping from your brow. Map: Adventure Maps Hood River & South Central Washington; www.adventuremaps.net.
DIRECTIONS: From Hood River, head north across the toll bridge, then turn left onto Rte 14 for 1 mile until you hit Rte 141 north. After about 7 miles, turn left onto Northwestern Lake Rd. Cross the bridge over the White Salmon and park on your left at the picnic grounds on Northwestern Lake. Ride up the road for a half-mile and make a left onto gravel road N-1000. Follow N-1000 for about 5 miles to a marked intersection indicating Nestor Peak and gravel road N-1600.