U.S. Route 26 in Oregon
|Maintained by ODOT|
|Length||471.56 mi (758.90 km)|
|West end||US 101 near Seaside|
| OR 217 in Beaverton|
US 20 in Vale
|East end||US 20 / US 26 at the Idaho state line|
|Counties||Clatsop, Tillamook, Columbia, Washington, Multnomah, Clackamas, Wasco, Jefferson, Crook, Wheeler, Grant, Baker, Malheur|
U.S. Route 26 (US-26) is a major cross-state United States highway with its western terminus in the U.S. state of Oregon, connecting U.S. Route 101 on the Oregon Coast near Seaside with the Idaho state line east of Nyssa. Local highway names (see Oregon highways and routes) include the Sunset Highway No. 47, Mount Hood Highway No. 26, and John Day Highway No. 5 before continuing into Idaho and beyond.
The western terminus of the highway (and of US 26) is at an interchange with U.S. Route 101 between Seaside and Cannon Beach. The highway heads east from there through the Oregon Coast Range, providing access to Saddle Mountain and passing through the valleys of the Necanicum and Nehalem rivers. It then crosses over the Oregon Coast Range, where it passes through the Dennis L. Edwards Tunnel, descending into the Tualatin Valley, into the community of Banks.
East of Banks, the highway merges with Oregon Route 6 and becomes a freeway, which passes through the high-tech regions of Washington County. The freeway enters the Portland metropolitan area in the northeast corner of Hillsboro, then passes through the northern part of the city of Beaverton and the communities of Cedar Hills and Cedar Mill near the intersection with the northern terminus of Oregon Route 217. Also at this point, MAX Light Rail is adjacent on the north side of the highway for nearly two miles until it submerges into Robertson Tunnel.
The highway enters the Portland city limits near the Sylvan neighborhood, where it is also joined by Oregon Route 8; east of here the highway descends a steep grade through a canyon which penetrates Portland's West Hills; this stretch of the Sunset is coincident with Canyon Road. The highway skirts the southern edge of Portland's Washington Park, providing access to the Oregon Zoo and other attractions. At the bottom of the grade, the highway passes through the Vista Ridge Tunnel into downtown Portland. Immediately east of the tunnel is an interchange with I-405; this interchange is the end of the Sunset Highway.
In Portland, the route overlaps Interstate 405 (Stadium Freeway No. 61) for a short distance before exiting onto city streets, including Arthur Street, to reach the Ross Island Bridge. (Prior to 2005, US 26 ran through downtown Portland on the one-way couplet of Market and Clay Streets, which carry the Sunset Highway to its end at Naito Parkway (Pacific Highway West No. 1W), turning south there to reach the bridge.) US 26 leaves the bridge, which is at the beginning of the Mount Hood Highway No. 26, and follows Powell Boulevard, a surface street, to Gresham.
There were plans to construct a freeway alignment of US 26—the Mount Hood Freeway—to bypass Powell Boulevard; however this project was canceled as a result of the freeway revolts in the 1970s. A few ramp stubs from Interstate 5 (on the Marquam Bridge) stand as evidence of this project. Roadway connections between the Portland freeway network and Mount Hood remain a big problem, as there is no good direct highway connection.
An expressway begins near Gresham and carries US 26 southeast to near Sandy. From Sandy to near Government Camp and Bennett Pass, where US 26 intersects Oregon Route 35, it closely follows the historic Barlow Road through the Mount Hood Corridor, and is part of the Mount Hood Scenic Byway. The Mount Hood Highway branches off to the north along OR 35, and the Warm Springs Highway No. 53 carries US 26 southeast through Wapinitia Pass (where it crosses the Pacific Crest Trail), Blue Box Pass, the Warm Springs Indian Reservation, and Agency Plains to Madras. After a short overlap with US 97 (The Dalles-California Highway No. 4), the short Madras-Prineville Highway No. 360 continues southeast to a junction with OR 126 in Prineville.
At that junction, US 26 picks up the Ochoco Highway No. 41, which also follows OR 126 west to US 97 in Redmond. The Ochoco Highway ends at OR 19 near Dayville, from which US 26 follows the John Day Highway No. 5 through John Day to US 20 in Vale. The remainder of US 26 in Oregon overlaps US 20 on the Central Oregon Highway No. 7 to the Idaho state line.
An ancient trail passed through the section of the Warm Springs Indian Reservation as part of an extensive Indian trade network linking peoples of the northern Great Basin and Columbia Plateau to those living west of the Cascade Range. Obsidian, bear grass, and slaves were transported over these trails to major trading locations along the Columbia River in exchange for dried salmon, smelt, sturgeon, and decorative sea shells. The long established route was later used by Peter Skene Ogden's fur trapping expeditions in 1825 and 1826. Fur trader Nathaniel Wyeth was here in the 1830s. Captain John C. Frémont followed this route on his 1843 explorations for the United States and Lieutenant Henry Larcom Abbot headed a Pacific Railroad survey party along it in 1855.
The Sunset Highway portion was under construction by January 1933. Both the Works Progress Administration and the Civilian Conservation Corps participated in the construction during the Great Depression. Portions of highway officially opened to the public on September 19, 1941. In 1949, the highway was completed.
The highway was originally named the Wolf Creek Highway after a nearby creek of the same name. The Oregon State Highway Commission renamed it the Sunset Highway at their January 17, 1946 meeting by a unanimous vote. The name is drawn from both the nickname and insignia of the 41st Infantry Division, which was largely drawn from Oregon, and because the highway leads towards the setting sun.
US 26 formerly terminated at a junction with US 30 in Astoria, sharing an alignment with US 101 north of Cannon Beach. The highway was truncated by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials in 2005 following a request from the Oregon Department of Transportation.
Milepoints are as reported by ODOT and do not necessarily reflect current mileage. Z indicates overlapping mileage due to construction longer than established route, and – indicates negative mileage behind established beginning point. Segments that are locally maintained may be omitted. For routes traversing multiple named state highways, each milepoint is preceded by the corresponding state highway number.
|Clatsop||Cannon Beach Junction||47 -0.10||US 101 – Seaside, Astoria, Cannon Beach, Tillamook||Interchange; Western terminus|
|Necanicum Junction||47 9.42||OR 53 – Wheeler, Tillamook|
|Jewell Junction||47 21.78||OR 103 north – Mist, Jewell||Interchange|
||No major junctions|
||No major junctions|
||No major junctions|
|Washington||||47 40.91||Dennis L. Edwards Tunnel|
|Staleys Junction||47 45.51||OR 47 north – Vernonia, Clatskanie||West end of OR 47 overlap|
|Davies Junction||47 49.47||OR 47 south – Banks, Forest Grove||Interchange; east end of OR 47 overlap|
|Tillamook Junction||47 53.33||OR 6 – Banks, Tillamook||Interchange; no westbound entrance|
|||47 53.62||West end of freeway|
|||47 55.19||55||Dersham Road – Mountaindale|
|North Plains||47 57.16||57||Glencoe Road – North Plains|
|||47 58.74||59||Jackson School Road|
|Hillsboro||47 61.06||61||Helvetia Road, Brookwood Parkway|
|47 62.46||62||Cornelius Pass Road – Cornelius Pass, West Union||Signed as exits 62A (south) and 62B (north) westbound|
|47 64.29||64||185th Avenue – PCC-Rock Creek|
|65||Bethany Boulevard, Cornell Road|
|47 67.14||67||Murray Boulevard|
|47 68.34||68||Cedar Hills Boulevard – Beaverton|
OR 217 south to I-5 south – Beaverton, Tigard, Salem
|47 69.21||69B||Park Way, Barnes Road|
|47 70.83||71A||OR 8 (Canyon Road)||Westbound exit and eastbound entrance|
|Multnomah||Portland||47 71.30||71B||Sylvan||Signed as exit 71 eastbound|
|47 72.18||72||Oregon Zoo, World Forestry Center|
|47 73.39||73||Canyon Road – Providence Park||Eastbound exit and westbound entrance|
|47 73.53||Vista Ridge Tunnels|
|47 73.75||74||Market Street (Sunset Highway east) – Portland City Center||Eastbound exit and westbound entrance|
I-405 north to I-5 north / US 30 – St. Helens, Seattle
|West end of I-405 overlap, exit 1D|
|61 1.39||12th Avenue||Westbound exit and eastbound entrance|
I-405 south to I-5 south / I-84 east / US 30 – The Dalles, Salem, Portland Airport
|East end of I-405 overlap, exit 1C; eastbound exit & westbound entrance|
|||East end of freeway|
|||Broadway Drive – Council Crest||No access from US 26 west|
|||6th Avenue, Terwilliger Boulevard – Portland City Center, Keller Auditorium, Oregon Health & Science University, University and V.A. Hospitals|
|Naito Parkway (Pacific Highway West north)||Interchange; westbound exit and eastbound entrance|
|26 0.18||OR 10 west (Barbur Boulevard)||Interchange|
OR 43 south (Macadam Avenue) to I-5 south – Lake Oswego, Salem
|26 0.76||Ross Island Bridge over the Willamette River|
|26 1.01||OR 99E – Milwaukie, Oregon City||Interchange; eastbound exit to OR 99E north is via 17th Avenue south|
|26 1.60||17th Avenue south||Interchange; eastbound exit and westbound entrance|
|26 1.76||17th Avenue north||Westbound exit only|
|26 5.04||OR 213 (82nd Avenue)|
|26 5.74||I-205 / Division Street – Seattle, Salem||I-205 exit 19.|
To I-84 / Burnside Road, Powell Valley Road
|Clackamas||||26 19.54||OR 212 – Boring, Oregon City||Interchange|
|Sandy||26 24.40||OR 211 – Estacada, Molalla|
|||26 54.23||Timberline Lodge National Historic Landmark (OR 173)|
|OR 35 north – Hood River||Interchange|
|Wasco||||53 71.27||OR 216 – Bear Springs Ranger Station, Maupin, The Dalles|
|US 97 north – The Dalles, Biggs||West end of US 97 overlap|
|4 92.46||D Street (OR 361) – Metolius, The Cove Palisades State Park|
|US 97 south – Redmond, Bend||East end of US 97 overlap|
|OR 126 west – Redmond, Bend|
|41 18.75||OR 27 – Bowman Dam|
|41 19.75||Prineville Reservoir, Paulina (OR 380)|
|Wheeler||Mitchell||41 65.94||OR 207 – Spray, Service Creek, Fossil|
|OR 19 north – Kimberly, Spray|
|Mount Vernon||5 154.03||US 395 north – Long Creek, Pendleton||West end of US 395 overlap|
|John Day||5 162.29||US 395 south – Canyon City, Burns||East end of US 395 overlap|
|Austin Junction||5 190.67||OR 7 – Sumpter, Baker City|
|Baker||||5 210.54||OR 245 – Hereford, Baker City|
|Malheur||||5 223.22||Eldorado Pass|
|US 20 west – Vale City Center, Burns, Adrian||West end of US 20 overlap|
|Cairo Junction||7 258.20|
OR 201 north to I-84 – Ontario
|West end of OR 201 overlap|
|Nyssa||7 265.97||OR 201 south – Adrian, Lake Owyhee||East end of OR 201 overlap|
|||7 266.82||Idaho state line|
US 26 continues into Idaho
|1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi|
- The Oregon Trail
- "Oregon History sign, Indian Trails, located at 44.863983°,-121.311867°". Retrieved October 9, 2014.
- Alexander, Paul. Highways, roads played vital role. The Hillsboro Argus, October 19, 1976.
- Robbins, William G. (2002). "Subtopic : Oregon in Depression and War, 1925-1945: The Most Visible of Relief Agencies". The Oregon History Project. Oregon Historical Society. Retrieved August 29, 2008.
- Tucker, Kathy (2002). "Workmen Battle Mud, Wolf Creek Highway". The Oregon History Project. Oregon Historical Society. Retrieved August 29, 2008.
- "Minutes". Oregon State Highway Commission: 12846. January 17, 1946.
- Special Committee on U.S. Route Numbering (May 6, 2005). "Report of the Special Committee on U.S. Route Numbering" (PDF) (Report). Washington, DC: American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. p. 4. Archived (PDF) from the original on October 16, 2017. Retrieved March 4, 2021.
- Oregon Department of Transportation, Public Road Inventory Archived February 24, 2008, at the Wayback Machine (primarily the Digital Video Log), accessed March 2008
- Road Inventory and Classification Services (July 2017). "Straightline Chart Legend" (PDF). Oregon Department of Transportation. Retrieved April 7, 2018.
- "U.S. 26: Brookwood Parkway/Helvetia Interchange Project". Oregon Department of Transportation. Oregon.gov. 2013. Retrieved June 14, 2013.