The Forest Service Road 39 portion of the Hells Canyon Scenic Byway is now open. The parts that were washed out have been repaired and are passable.
I know that many motorcycles went through during the Hells Canyon Motorcycle Rally, so it should be ok for cars.
Thanks everyone for your help! Phirl, we'll be heading on the route you suggest.
Highway 14 on the Washington side is wonderful! We just drove it from Maryhill back to Bonneville Hotsprings and Spa two days ago. I was amazed at the difference in the views as opposed to the Oregon side, which I love.
The prospective is entirely different.
And I would highly suggest visiting the Maryhill Museum and the replica of Stonehenge that Sam Hill built as an honor for the WWI soldiers who lost their lives. Also the Maryhill loops where they tested the asphalt those many years ago to use on the Old Scenic Highway. (of course at that time it was the new and exciting highway... shudder....)
I sure agree 14 vin Wash very nice, However can not compare to the Historic Columbia River Hwy, You are up close to the several waterfalls. You can walk up to them. View from womens forum one of best in this country. Vista House special place
Maybe third time in Gorge 14 would be nice but certainly in my view not first time.s
I recently took the exact route Kuskokwim suggested, except in reverse, and it was very scenic. If you have a chance to detour and see the Painted Hills, it is well worth it as well.
Since your ultimate destination is Hood River, and to be honest I don't know exactly what the time difference would be in relation to taking 97 to Biggs, you might want to take 26 all the way up to Mt. Hood, then Hwy 35 along the back side of the mountain to Hood River. Either way, it is going to make for a mighty long day in the car. 26/97 would take you up through Madras, and past Smith Rock as well.
<For our September trip> So where is your September trip report?